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23 going on 93: Unknown Thoracic Pain and the Downfall of My Happy Existence

Hi All,

I've been lurking around the site for a while and I finally am posting. Who'd have thought.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. I woke up, the middle of the night in October, screaming in pain from my back and have been in pain ever since. I was treated for a kidney infection initially, twice, but still had pain, went to the doctor, was referred to the pain specialist, and have had 2 normal MRIs, 2 lumbar injections, 1 thoracic facet injection (where the pain is), and have had not a single ounce of relief. I've had a normal CBC, ANA blood tests done a month of physical therapy and still nothing. If anything, it hurts more. The doctor said since I don't have any herniation or bulges, I should be fine. I went to another GP to look at my situation, but she essentially said there is nothing to do, and nothing wrong. I don't know if it's related, but I suspect it is--I have frequent migraines from neck/shoulder pain/neck and muscle spasm, but that has been years before, and is being (mainly) treated now by the Botox injection--PTL.

I'm at my wit's end. My pain doc told me to get off the pain killers because that is the only thing she thinks could be causing the pain. I understand the reasoning behind this, but since I've only been on them since the pain began, I don't think I can agree. My whole body seems stiffer and stiffer, I can barely get out of bed some days, am exhausted and just completely overwhelmed. My hip is popping every time I try to dress myself. It's just not pretty.

I've been trying to do my own research, as I spend my life researching other things, but don't even know what to do at this point.

I just...I don't know what to do anymore. This is the second time I've gone through this--the first time being 5 years ago. There isn't anything "visibly" wrong, so they dismiss me, my pain. I don't know what, if anything, to do. I've gained 30+ pounds during this time period, am grumpy from the steroids and am in more pain. Any thoughts or advice? I'd take any ounce.

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Comments

  • Hi I had an accident. Long story. I went to a sports physio who worked out what had happened. She was the only one who thought outside the box. I had been trying to get a correct diagnosis for 8years and had tried everything. Try going to a sports physiotherapist who will feel your spine and see if it's aligned correctly. If it isn't get them to put it into the right place and tape it there. Otherwise your muscles will spasm it out again. Feel your hips - are they in line or is one up from the other? Are your shoulders in line with each other or is one raised?

    I wouldn't take steroids as I've seen too many people who have changed personalities. Maybe try and cut out the steroids. Painkillers until they combined them with a muscle relaxant didn't work for me.

    A good sports physio is worth a try. You probably know all the other stuff if you've been lurking like a pain diary. Sports physios work with professional athletes. Make sure they will touch you and not put you on a tens machine. Try and get an older sports physio with a lot of experience.
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,518
    edited 05/01/2014 - 7:55 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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  • SWIMMING.
  • My daughter was having this type of pain and they found lyme disease I know they act like it isn't around but it can effect you like this. The worst thing is no one believing you it isn't in your head. You hurt and there is a reason ask for this test. We don't even know when she got bit from a tick ever but she has it so at least go and ask for this could help and an antibiotic will be administered she still hurts muscle pains weakness but at least we know it isn't in her head. And it seems now for us chronic pain people I hear detox get real we hurt and there is a reason they just aren't knowledgeable to run the right test.
    suzlebuzel said:
    Hi All,

    I've been lurking around the site for a while and I finally am posting. Who'd have thought.

    I suppose I should start at the beginning. I woke up, the middle of the night in October, screaming in pain from my back and have been in pain ever since. I was treated for a kidney infection initially, twice, but still had pain, went to the doctor, was referred to the pain specialist, and have had 2 normal MRIs, 2 lumbar injections, 1 thoracic facet injection (where the pain is), and have had not a single ounce of relief. I've had a normal CBC, ANA blood tests done a month of physical therapy and still nothing. If anything, it hurts more. The doctor said since I don't have any herniation or bulges, I should be fine. I went to another GP to look at my situation, but she essentially said there is nothing to do, and nothing wrong. I don't know if it's related, but I suspect it is--I have frequent migraines from neck/shoulder pain/neck and muscle spasm, but that has been years before, and is being (mainly) treated now by the Botox injection--PTL.

    I'm at my wit's end. My pain doc told me to get off the pain killers because that is the only thing she thinks could be causing the pain. I understand the reasoning behind this, but since I've only been on them since the pain began, I don't think I can agree. My whole body seems stiffer and stiffer, I can barely get out of bed some days, am exhausted and just completely overwhelmed. My hip is popping every time I try to dress myself. It's just not pretty.

    I've been trying to do my own research, as I spend my life researching other things, but don't even know what to do at this point.

    I just...I don't know what to do anymore. This is the second time I've gone through this--the first time being 5 years ago. There isn't anything "visibly" wrong, so they dismiss me, my pain. I don't know what, if anything, to do. I've gained 30+ pounds during this time period, am grumpy from the steroids and am in more pain. Any thoughts or advice? I'd take any ounce.
    Surgery from hell
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  • If it feels like more than the spine pain you've been treated for in the past, its worth having a full work-up if your insurance will cover it. Mine does. If you're taking meds it's worth getting all the basic blood work done at least. I was tested for a whole host of things that 'could' explain that 'other' pain & all over horrible feeling., including Lyme disease (I was told it can present like fibromyalgia), hormones, rheumatism, diabetes etc. I thought this was normal with pain management. They raised the subject & had my GP take my samples for analysis, it felt like routine.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • This may sound strange, but if you're male, have your doc check your total and free testosterone. At 37,I was getting back pain, joint pain and stiffness. My GP ran a battery of blood tests and found that I had low testosterone. This was also the source of weight gain (about 20 pds over a few months). I got on TRT, been on for 18 months, and most of the aches and pains are gone. Still some stiffness every few months but mostly gone.
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