I am a 56 year old female, 5'10" tall, previously fit and active. I live in Canada.
I have been dealing with severe chest/ribs/back pain now since May 12. When it started, (while jogging) I was in the hospital for 3 days, and they ruled out heart-related illness, other than some minor blockage in one of my arteries. The pain continued, so I went back to ER twice. They gave me pain pills and sent me home. Many tests later, the pain has continued. Most recently, my family doctor referred me to a specialist, who ordered a CT scan, which revealed "moderate to severe right facet degeneration at the T4-T5 level with associated moderate narrowing at the right T4-T5 neural foramen". In layman's terms, (as I understand it) the bone is pressing on the nerve, causing referred pain into my ribs and chest. I am being referred to a surgeon - he says that is the only treatment option. I always thought back surgery was a last resort, and that conservative measures should be tried first but he doesn't feel I will have any success with physio or an osteopath, or facet joint injections (the things I could think of at the time of my appointment). It is likely to take months to see a surgeon, and more time after that to actually have the surgery. The pain is DEBILITATING. Percocet and anti-inflammatory meds (Celebrex) give me some relief, but is obviously addictive and I don't like taking them. But I am desperate.
Any advice/treatment options would be appreciated.