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New to group but long time pain sufferer

janecaroljjanecarol MassachusettesPosts: 3
I've had chronic low back pain for 13 years.  Unless I am lying down I am always in pain.  Lately the pain has extended to my hip.  The doctor says the back muscle wraps around to the front of the hip and that's where the pain is.  Although I am 70 years old I don't seem to have any serious arthritis issues (yet!).

I take Tramadol and Gabapentin for the pain three times a day and have for about 12 years.  Lately they don't seem to help.  I also use a TENS machine all day which helps a bit. 

I swim laps for 30 minutes each day and do stretches daily.  I can't walk much because I also have chronic knee pain. 

My diagnosis is Myofascial Pain Syndrome.  Basically soft tissue problems.   MRIs and x-rays of my back and knees do not show anything.

Because I've been in pain for so long I have also developed fibromyalgia which mostly makes my thighs and upper arms feel like they are bruised.

I have tried everything you can imagine:  pain clinics, every type of injection with and without steroids, acupuncture, Reiki, self-hypnosis, chiropractor (I go weekly), botox injections and recently medical marijuana.  I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

I get SO depressed.  Always tired.  Unable to travel or do many things my friends can do.  I can't imagine spending another 10 years like this.

I wish I could stop feeling sorry for myself.  I need someone to slap me upside the head!


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello janecarol !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 460
    Hi janecarol, 

    My opinion:

    You don't need to be slapped upside the head. You just need to feel a bit more compassionate towards yourself. Life is tough for our friends and family. Life is exponentially tougher when you are in pain all the time. 

    Try to step outside yourself and imagine someone you care aboUT immensely is going through what you are going through. 

    What would you tell them? What advice would you give? 

    Chronic pain is a gnawing, hungry beast. Every obstacle your loved ones face, you face it with an insatiable beast gnawing at you incessantly. 

    Others who do not go through this cannot understand. You understand, therefore you are the one who has to care for you.

    Take care of yourself. It will not only benefit you, but all others around you.

    Sara :) 
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  • janecaroljjanecarol MassachusettesPosts: 3
    Thank you Sara.  It's so much harder now since my husband died (7 years ago).  He was my reason for living.  I still have many others but sometimes it's tough.  You know what I REALLY hate?  When people say "you don't look like you're in pain".  I suppose that's a compliment but it often sounds like they think I'm faking it.  What they don't understand is that every "normal" thing I do is because I push myself.

    You're right.  You can't understand it unless you're there (not even the doctors) and while empathy is nice, I don't wish this on anyone.  I have a dear friend who has had similar problems for longer than I have.  She is the most upbeat person I've ever known.  I wish she could bottle it and sell it to me!
  • janecaroljjanecarol MassachusettesPosts: 3
    Thanks Savage, but mine is not a spinal issue.  I will take a look anyway.
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