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About 1 time each year for the past 3 years I have experienced radiopathy symptoms in my left side/shoulder, tricep,pectoral, sternum, with pain levels at a 9/10. The first time it happened I went to the ER wondering if I was having a heart attack. It comes on pretty quickly then the symptoms are gone within 3 days.
The most recent of these attacks was Dec of 2017. So I got myself to my PP to see if we could figure out what was going on. I brought up that I wake up frequently in the night with my arms asleep, even though I was laying flat on my back. He did an exam, couldn't find any deficits, couldn't induce additional pain, and ordered an xray panel that came back negative.
Since that attack the pain has never truly gone away. It's now remained as a dull ache from the base of my neck, sometimes in one or both triceps, and up until about a month ago, numbness in my arms while awake. Now I am just back to chronic pain. The pain isn't intense. I'd describe it as how your muscles feel the day after a good workout, so like a 2-3/10. However it's constant. At some point during the day it shows up and that's my day from there on out.
So here I am several months in of daily pain and discomfort. I'm in my 40s and the mental toll this is taking on me is getting bad. There are times I just break down crying wanting a break from the discomfort. I have yet to have an MRI, but am attending PT 2-3x a week for the past several weeks.
Observations I have made about myself.
1. Driving in the car I feel pretty damn good. The aches go away and maybe at worst I'm just left with stiffness.
2. When I am on my feet for long periods of time I feel pretty good also.
3. With the pain I constantly feel tense, like I can't relax that area of my body (neck, shoulder blade region).
4. I ice daily, sometimes multiple times.
5. I have a cervical traction collar that inflates that I use most days for about 20 min.
6. Prior to PT I had about a dozen sessions of chiropractic.
7. I just ordered a standing desk option for myself at work.
I feel like I am trying absolutely everything. I want to know that there is an end to this. That I am going to be fine. That I am not going to be like this the rest of my life. I'm worried sick about it and it's starting to affect my state of mind at work and my output, because all I can think about is the pain it would seem. I'm guessing and my doctors/PTs are guessing a C7/T1 impingement, and possible another one higher. Is there an end in sight? How long does it take for these things to heal? I struggle to work out not because moving hurts more, because it doesn't. It's just the mental state of it all.