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Desperate For Relief

Currently having the worst flare up in my chronic pain history and if I'm not better in two weeks, I will have to drop out of the school semester, take a leave from work and bail on 3 promising career opportunities I've worked so hard for.

But lets back up.

First experienced intermittant low back pain at the age of 14, got progressively worse but through excersize I lived an absolutely normal and virtually unrestricted lifestyle. Then, the week before my 21st birthday, my world crumbled after I went on a backpacking trip(50lb backpack, 30mi) and the following week after developed crippling chest pains/spasms. After three months of bed rest the pain and debilitation remained, though, through modified lifestyle and pain meds I got back to a very functional, if still restricted lifestyle(got back to work, school, hiking and have been very productive since.)

Six months ago, age 23, I started getting neck pains. After nonrelief I went to a massage therapist and thats where the flare up began.

The massage caused no pain and in fact felt great but the next day after, my pectoralis in my chest erupted in muscle spasms. To me, this is not an entirely rare phenomena, I would tough it out a week and be back to norma I thought.
l. One week of school/work later and i could barely lift my right arm the spasming became so bad.

Flash forward, it's now been a month and I've had a near constant muscle spasm in my right pectoralis.

I've been to my primary doc several times but he keeps just saying "Idk what to tell you". I tried prednisone but didnt work, my Gp wants me to see my old PM doc again but their receptionist has not been helpful and keeps making me jump through hoops to get an app.

Recently, I went back to my Spine doc(seem for back pain years ago) and he was very supportive when I saw him and said he is determined to get to the bottom this, since my chest pain is technically undiagnosed. He has found mild scoliosis in my mid spine which has caused me to have an uneven chestwall which he thinks may be a source to my problem but he is still baffled at the severity of my symptoms.

He sent me to a Rheumatologist today who took x-rays and found my spine to be "suspicious" of ankylosing spondylosis because my lower spine is straight as a 2x4 and have unnatural inflammation in pelvis but have to wait 10 days for blood tests and an MRI app. to confirm/deny anything.

Anyway, I'm truly grateful that the spine dr and rheumatologists are finally on to the source of my chronic pains(back pain 10yrs, chest pain 3yrs, neck pain 6mo) but I'm desperate to get rid of the debilitating muscle spasm so I can at least get back to life in the meantime!

Yesterday, Spine dr gave me a cortisone injection into my pectoralis and it felt good enough after that I even made it to work for 3 hours but just 24 hours later the muscle spasming is back again.

My GP gives me butrans and norco for the pain but these meds dont treat spasm and if I am not back in school by April 1st I will have to drop out for the semester, not to mention take a leave from work and bail out of 3 film projects, one of which is promising to be a golden career opp.(I've been working very hard on my career and this spasm is throwing a wrench in it all)

Anyway, how do you guys deal with flare-ups this bad?? Just one month ago I was a fully functioning human being(well disabled but productive) now I can't even type on a keyboard without getting muscle spasms in my chest(had to write this on iTouch).

My GP is a no go, seen him three times for this flare up and he hasnt done a thing. Spine doc said to call on monday if still bedridden so thats something to have hope for mon bit I've literally debated many sleepless nights this week just to get up and go to ER but everytime I've gone for my chest in the past, they dont help me, they just do an EKG, MRI-comes back begative and they send me home telling me to rest.

What do you guys do in this type of situation?

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to get a this off my chest...


  • mcjimjammmcjimjam Posts: 307
    edited 03/21/2014 - 6:32 PM
    Have they tried a muscle relaxant?
  • Pain respects no schedule.

    There's an excellent muscle relaxant, dantrolene (Dantrium), that directly inhibits nerve-to-muscle excitation via the so-called calcium channel. It is not a central nervous system active muscle relaxant like the others, robaxin, cyclobenzaprine, Soma, etc., so the side-effects are much less debilitating.

    Ask your doc if dantrolene is good for you. (Many have never heard of it, do it may help to bring an insert printed from the internet).

    Hope that all works out for you.
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  • No one has put me on a muscle relaxer, I have a feeling they dont want to since I'm already on Butrans/Norco and I dont want to ask for it specifically and be labeled a drug seeker. But that Dantrolene sounds interesting and if its non-narcotic I wont feel uncomfortable asking about it. Have you tried it yourself?
  • I take the muscle relaxant Tizanidine. For me Cyclobenzaprine works a little better but makes me feel like a zombie. I've been taking the Tizanidine for about 4 years & it is a vital part of my blend. I don't believe that discussing non narcotic medications is going to get you labeled a drug seeker! We can be a little paranoid when it comes to asking for medications. To be honest I'm very surprised that a doctor hasn't already suggested it. I was prescribed a relaxant on my very first meeting with a pain management doctor 7 years ago. My healthy husband recently pulled the muscles around his hip & it was our GP's first action.

    I was on the same meds as you a long time ago & I took a muscle relaxant with them. Mention it to your doc. It could really help. They can make you a little sleepy in the beginning but that wears off within a few weeks ;-)

    I hope you get some relief.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 03/22/2014 - 9:42 AM
    the patient may have, they do have to bring them up to the doctor and discuss or ask, what are my options regarding this particular symptom.
    Asking for a muscle relaxer or asking what other modalities are there that I can try is not going to get anyone labeled as a drug seeker.....
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  • philnoirphilnoir Posts: 52
    edited 03/22/2014 - 12:06 PM
    Sorry to hear about the abuse in your life. I hope that you're working with it, as emotional abuse can be its own source of pain.

    Oh yes, I am prescribed dantrolene. I don't respond well to the centrally acting muscle relaxers. I've been using it for four years now. Works well.

  • edited 03/22/2014 - 4:43 PM

    I think I will see my GP and see if i can try dantrolene or something like it then. Hopefully that will work.

    I think Im EDITED either way though. I will bedrest fr a week, they feel a bit better and then I go and try to do normal things and they get worse.. My muscles obviously are just screaming for some time off to rest, regardless if I can get rid of the pain. i guess i just need to calm down and let go of my goals and focus on getting better, which will probably mean 4-6 weeks of no arm movement...

    Being a chronic pain patient sucks.

    The use of foul/vulgar language is NOT permitted on Spine Health. Please read the links below for more information.

    Post edited by Sandi for inappropriate forum language. The use of profanity is not permitted on Spine-Health forums. Please see the forum rules for more information.
  • @Dumbledore_Calrissian -- sorry, I am confused. I was replying to someone else, but ended up here. (I wonder where I meant to post?)

    Are you related to Lando?
  • No worries, I am in fact related to him! Jk I got this name from "The Office", a Jim quote.
  • I asked my GP about muscle relaxants and he told me I'm already taking Cymbalta, which functions as one (it doesn't, he is thinking of nerve pain). Anyway, I bought some magnesium which is OTC. I think it does relax the muscles some. It is a vitamin so it probably won't do much harm, even if it doesn't work. I doubt it would interact with other meds since it is present in foods, but talk to your pharmacist anyway, just in case.
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