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Upper Back Pain, Instability and Nerve Problems

2 years ago I was a weightlifter. I slowly injured myself gradually. First it was not sleeping and I didnt know why, then my lats seemed to shutdown/not get a pump/bloodflow to them when exercising. Then pain. Eventually I was in a ton of pain in my left upper back/scapula area and my left side had instense rib pain. I also had these nerve like problems going on at the same time. I couldnt sleep more than 2 hrs for six months.

Besides the terrible pain keeping me up. Everytime id be about to fall asleep my body would "jolt" and my mind would awaken. It was very similar to if you hurt a loud bang in the night and was startled. You instantly awaken almost with adrenalin.

Over time it progressed to random under the skin twitching in legs, arms, hands, feet, butt, hip, elbows. But mostly in the legs. This would happen whenever i was sedentary or when trying to sleep. The twitching would keep me from sleeping.

It progressed again to pins and needles and numbness in the legs when lying down.

Its now progressed to getting hot sensations in the feet and hands. But I still frequently get any of the above symptoms.

After 2 years I can somewhat reduce the nerve problems if I do nothing but sit and move slow all day. Not lifting, moving, bending or twisting much at all keeps the symptoms at bay. Any type of strain or pressure on the back will exacerbate the symptoms. If I pick up a heavy box, try and exercise, a light stretch, or apply any pressure on my back or ribs, like a light massage with cream or anything, any of the above symptoms will return. Typically if I do anything to even use my back within half an hour after, I will cycle through all the symptoms again in order. And it will take about 1-2 days of doing nothing to calm them down again.

My entire left upper side of my back, the scapula, rhomboids, lower traps, etc. Feel very weak, atrophied and cannot get much feeling, bloodflow or function in the muscles. I cannot even feel a stretch or pull in these muscles when bending over, they just feel non existant. My left arm is noticeably weaker than before and has shrunk about 0.5 inches more than my right.

I recently tried a scapula muscle activation static hold. Feeling no function, activation or even the presence of a muscle being there. All I felt was a piercing pain going through my left upper chest and coming out of the left upper scapula. Followed by pins and needles down my left arm and then about 2 hrs of pins and needles in the legs following.

I have also noticed some trigger points in these areas that when pressed seem to temporaily return bloodflow to these weakened areas as well as cause pins and needles in the legs. But it is short lived.

Structurally, I have stretched ligaments in my upper back/rib cage, and chest. Ribs that pop, crack, and slip in my back, side and chest. All causing pain, mostly in the left scapular area but also rib pains in the side and sharp burning pains in the chest.

Rough Structural Diagnosis's being: slipping rib, costochondritis like pain (chondrosternal with instability), Snapping Scapula. Roughly between the t3-t6 area.

I have been getting Prolotherapy to these structures which has greatly reduced the cracking and about 40% reduction in pain duration and frequency. Although it has not helped get rid of the pain itself. It has not done much for the nerve issues described above as they still exacerbate with any back stimuli. It has also done nothing for regaining scapula, rhomboid, lower traps, function, feel or bloodflow.

Since Doctors cant diagnose me I guess I am looking for anyone with similar symptoms that has an idea of what they have?


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  • I get the bad rib pain too. Have you tried a nerve pain medication? I would lose my mind if I were not on the stuff myself.
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  • SlippedRib,
    You say doctors have not been able to diagnose your problems so far. Have you had tests or treatment apart from the prolotherapy, if so what was the outcome? Was the choice of prolotherapy a medical choice or your own?

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
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