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Does anyones pain move around?

kneubertkkneubert Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Chronic Pain
My pain issues started 3 years ago and were mostly in the right side of my neck and ran down along my right shoulder. With PT the shoulder got a bit better but then the pain moved to my left shoulder and then to the center of the upper back within the past 2 years. Now it rotates around the whole upper back/neck. It can move around in a given day. Many times in this past year the pain feels like this burning. No major disc issues other than DDD in the neck with a couple small bone spurs and some narrowing of the nerve root. Nothing bad enough for surgery. The pain seems to be in the muscles; many trigger points. I often lean against tennis balls on the trigger points which will relieve the pain. I suspect I have some fibromyalgia but have not been diagnosed. Anyone else experience anything like this?


  • Hi, my pain is in my lower back -so lumbosacral region.
    It has ruined my life, ruined my career and totally changed my personality.

    Ive been suffering for almost 2 yrs now- which seems like so much time, then i see on this forum people suffering for lot longer and i feel humbled.

    But i would like to tell you how im feeling - i was a workacholic nerdy child, so spent alot of time with my books slouched over my desk, additionally this persisted all the way through college and medical school.

    Now im taking 20 painkillers a day. ive spent over 6.5 months off sick and am on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
    It doesnt settle. I do yoga and stretches every morning and before i go to bed -it helps. but only for a little while.

    No-one knows whats going on with my back -ive seen a spinal surgeon/orthopod and he gave me nothing,no advice no possible cause...nothing. My MRI and CT spine show some smorls and hemangiomas (blood vessel masses) and a slight superior herniation on my L5

    No-one understands why theres so much pain. Coming to your posting -its mobile, never in one region.
    and it knots up... i can feel the knots in my back and thats when the pain is worse ?? ligamentous involvement.

    Doesnt help me being a Young doctor -i think ive diagnosed myself with virtually everything including spinal cord compression -symptoms i initially had when the pain started. I was also thinking FibroMyalgia...

    Currently im taking paracetamol, ibuprofen, tramadol and Pregablin (Gapapentin made me vomit and dizzy and Amitryptilline wasnt strong enough

    So i dont understand - i had thought back pain was the disease of the elderly generation, im too young to suffer this way, as are alot of people on here.
    I dont know what to do. So currently im popping pills ruining my liver and kidneys and praying to God to get me out of this hell hole.

    I wanted to be a surgeon -thats never going to happen, i cant stand stationary for more then 10mins at a time. So ive had to change all my career paths because of this problem which i didnt want to be the centre of my life but it has become. I dont travel anywhere anymore. I cant go hiking anymore and the gym is a far away dream. Additionally i feel like slapping most people as im always on the edge and in pain, not really good way to feel when your responsible for other people and your in very close professional role.

    Does anyone have any ideas how i can make this go away?

  • Knewbert the answer is yes the pain, especially around the neck, can move around. In my case the potential for pain is always there but what I actually feel depends on my activity (amount and area under strain). You can also set off muscle strain because you are guarding an area in pain.

    If you are getting relief from the tennis balls you might want to talk to your doc about trigger point injections. They will usually provide relief for a few months if the doc can find the right spot.

    You also might want to try some PT to teach you exercises to strengthen your upper body and shoulders. The better condition you are in the less strain you will experience.
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  • To Kris - NY I have tried 3 sets of trigger point injections and 2 epidural injections, acupuncture, etc etc just didn't want to go into all that on the 1st post as it would have been so long. I did PT also and am currently doing a different method called Postural restoration therapy. That therapy found my shoulders actually are too tight and are working too hard to compensate for weak mid/lower back muscles, abs/core. So I am working on strenghtening those areas to take the load off the shoulders. (To Dr Trouble, you may want to check that out also.) After going through that program, I met all the goals and still the pain continued so they have this way of checking your jaw (which I also have TMD due to clenching but it isn't that bad) and it is hard to explain but my jaw seems to be off a bit and I am on a wait list to get in with a holistic dentist next March. Turns out your jaw can affect pain in the neck/shoulder even the pelvic/low back area. I am also trying myotherapy which is different than regular massage. You can google it. I am hoping from some relief there. But I could never understand this pain moving around and what you said makes sense. This burning feeling is the most hard to deal with. I haven't had much luck with meds; I tried the gapapentin but didn't want to get up to that largest dose, amyltriptline didn't work for me. Flexeril helps a bit and vicodin also but I hate to take go down that road. Hope some of this helps you both too. To the doctor - have you ever tried chiropractic, acupuncture or any of these other things I mentioned?
  • My pain is 80% nerve and 20% mechanical. I found the neurontin worked for a while and that was at the max dosage. Then I went on to the anti-depressant and anti-seizure drugs. They worked well for the most part but it turns out that I get the weird rare side effects. I found that my neurologist is best at figuring the meds out.

    I would stay away from the narcotics since they generally do not work on the nerve pain. They only seem to work because they are numbing your body after the pain exists instead of blocking it before.
  • Actually, narcotic meds can and do help some people with nerve pain. Everyone is different, and we all have to go through the trial and error phase to find out what works for us as individuals.

    Kneubert, when you mentioned that your pain "travels" I too, automatically thought of fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Those might be something that you could talk over with your doctors. They are both conditions that can cause pain over widespread areas.

    Have you ever tried anything like Cymbalta or Lyrica? I have found that those two types of meds have helped me tremendously, along with narcotics in decreasing my overall pain. I only took Lyrica for a short time (3 weeks) as it caused too much weight gain in that time, but Cymbalta has worked very well for me, along with gabapentin (which you said doesn't work for you). Maybe one of the other two would help.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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  • I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well as a couple of types of arthritis - osteo and ankylosing spondylitis. I would advise anyone who has on-going pain that isn't surgical or attributed anything specific to be reviewed by a rheumatologist. Both with fibro and AS you can get pain in different areas, which can change over time, and sometimes you have "flares" when the pain is worse. Cymbalta and Lyrica can help, but if you do have certain issues, you may need other meds to help arrest progression of issues.

    My daughter was diagnosed with AS arthritis when she was about 14 and with fibromyalgia, so you don't have to be "old" to get these.

    I don't know if this helps, but I hope you all get as much pain relief as possible soon.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Thanks to all the comments. I googled the complex regional pain syndrome and the ankylosing and don't think that is quite me but I do think I fit the fibromyalgia. When you all talk about nerve pain, would that be the burning pain I feel? I haven't tried the Lyrica or Cymbalta. I had been told by a friend before to try a rheumatologist. I am going to give this myotherapy a couple more visits and if it doesn't help I will try the rheumatologist and ask about the Lyrica. Problem is the burning feeling comes and goes. It might be there for days and then switch to another area but not feel burning. The areas most affected are the low neck/shoulders and mid back area. I will let you all know if that myotherapy does help.
  • Neuropathy can definitely be a burning feeling. A rheumy is definitely a good idea, as they are one of the types of doctors that will diagnose fibro, that or a physiatrist. Good luck!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Hi Kneubert,

    I hope you find some answers to your pain. My pain travels around but there is always some kind of pain/pressure in my neck and low back. I have been lucky all these years; after a back accident and neck accident)....... that the radiculopathy would come on suddenly and then miraculously disappear. Also, i am experiencing more pain in my thoracic area as well. I think that when one is dealing with pain in a certain area and trys to compromise it, it can hurt elsewhere or damage other areas, as well. I also have been diagnosed with fribromyalgia almost ten years ago. Unfortunately, we are not always dealing with only one health problem at a time. Hope you find some relief out there.

  • yes, my pain moves around too. i could be having a real bad right leg problem as a result of my L5 surgery, maybe hours later i'll get slicing pain in my left foot along the S1 pathway. next thing you know i could wake up with back pain and no sciatic pain. it kind of rotates. there are times where i have all the sites hurting, with there are more than just these three pain sites. we can't forget the burning pain and the painful tingling and the sharp stabs - oh, and migraines too!! lol
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