Hello fellow upper back pain sufferers!
My name's Charlie and I'm a 33 yr old illustrator in London UK. I'm at my wit's end with my back issues and thought maybe somebody out there might have some advice.
I've been waking up with back pain in my upper/thoracic region every morning for the past 6 months. The pain alleviates as soon as I get up, but sometimes lingers into the day. It seems to be lingering more often over time. I have a lot of tension in my upper back and neck and can make some pretty impressive crunching noises several times a day.
I've had this problem before - 3 years ago - but was able to 'cure' the issue with sports physio. This time, however, nothing seems to work.
The pain is a sharp, heavy ache, that feels like it's deep inside me, with some emphasis on the left thoracic area. It wakes me up around 6/7am, or around 6 hours after I fall asleep. I've been taking Naproxen for about a month, which has slightly alleviated the pain, but the effects of this drug are waning. I take cocodamol when I wake up.
I've seen various physios, sports physios, osteopaths, chiropractors...the exercises I did with the sports physio helped me to overcome this issue first time round, but do not work now. I had an x-ray recently which showed slight scoliosis of the spine, which I was told could be a contributory factor to the thoracic pain.
I've been seeing a senior physio consultant (NHS) in London for the past 2 months, who has me doing 45 minutes of stretches/strengthening exercises per day. I haven't noticed an improvement yet but have been advised to stick at them. She has also advised swimming (crawl), which hasn't helped so far.
I am an illustrator by profession, so spend around 6/7 hours a day at a desk. I try to get up and move around every 45 minutes or so.
I sleep on a CONCEPT 1400 mattress, on a wooden-slatted bed. I've read that an air mattress can be a better option, but am not convinced this would work.
The pain and intrusion on my sleep is really affecting my life now. I'm desperate to sort this out or at least feel like I'm on a path to sorting it out! Right now I'm just getting more and more used to being miserable!
Any advice appreciated, thank you.