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Chronic upper back pain!

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Hello,

I'm desperately looking for some help in relation to back pain I experience in my upper back. I'm not very good at explaining it but I will give it a go..

In November 2009 I started a new job which was desk based before that I was in a retail based job which didn't require any sitting. I noticed on day 1 of the new job that I was uncomfortable sitting. About a month later uncomfortableness turned to pain and I began to feel a lot of pain between my shoulder blade and my spine on the upper part of my back on the left side. It became a real problem and I went to the doctor, the doctor did not help at all and did not even look at my back. I knew then that it was worse then the doctor thought.

My work sent me to the occupational health department who then referred me for six sessions of private physiotherapy, which from what I can remember went okay but did not solve the problem, I only had six sessions and am not able to afford to pay for anymore as its very expensive. The physiotherapist I saw said I "presented with a marked sway back posture win an area of specific hyper extension at the thoraces-lumbar junction. And a scoliosis concave to the right in my thoracic spine with compensatory lumbar and cervical curves. Elevation and retraction in left shoulder girdle to compensate for a right thoracic rotation. This is coupled with associated muscle imbalance and loss of normal range and quality of movement throughout the spine and pelvis" this never really made sense to me, but I assumed then I had scoliosis.


So I went to the doctor and requested to see a scoliosis specialist, who I have seen and who thought that the scoliosis was minor, he was unable to help really but sent me to have an MRI I had to wait six months for the results from the MRI for some reason they found a small cyst in my spinal cord but they have said they do not believe this to be the cause of any problems.

They wanted to send me to pain rehibilation but I did not wish to go as the hospital is far from where I live and I requested to go to my local hospital to the pain clinic, I have recently been and they have said I have already done everything they would be able to do for me. Acupuncture, pills, massage therapy, tens machine etc. but they suggested I try 'baclofen' which is a pill for muscle spasms. I have tried a LOT of other pain killers and anti inflammatorys, and anti depressants to help muscles relax.

In between all of this I have been having regular sessions with a chiropractor, and at one point i completely relied on her, to begin with really helped but recently I have not been getting any pain relief from seeing her.


The reason I am posting now is, sometimes from my back pain I get rib pain on my left side, about four weeks ago the rib pain was so bad I went to the chiropractor to get it released (she usually takes it straight away), but this time I didn't go and then my back seemed to really flare up, so I went back twice in two weeks trying to get it sorted. The pain in my back just wouldn't go and was so painfull, I was desperately trying to stay at work so carried on with work I started to take an anti inflammatory I had previously had to stop taking (because it was giving me heart burn) so I took another pill with it to stop the heart burn, then I started to notice the tiredness like pure exhaustion and knew I couldn't do anymore at work. So I went to the doctor and explained my back was so bad again and I was so exhausted so the doc signed me off. I couldn't understand why after being off for 3-4 days the exhaustion was still so bad, then I realised that maybe it was a side effect from the new tablet. So stopped taking it. By then the doc had given me the baclofen, I waited a few days to start taking this, as I was wary of side effects, but had to start taking it as the back pain would not go even with everything else I was doing for the pain. This seemed to take the Pain away which I was very surprised at since I don't get a lot of pain relief from tablets. Even though I was only taking half of a 10mg tablet 3x a day. Then the dizziness hit me again, then a couple of days later the pain came back then the nausea, and now the insomnia, I had 3.5 hrs sleep last night..

Today I went back to work and done half a day (5 hours) it felt like 10 and since I've got home I have been in bed I feel like I have no energy, am constantly tired but can't sleep. The doctor thinks I should stick on the tablet but after today I physically can't I feel like its making me so ill. I'm very worried that it may not be the tablets, how can I get so much side effects from tablets..? I feel like I have never really been given a proper diagnosis and I feel like the doctor doesn't understand.

I have rambled on and on but I am very fed up and am starting to feel depressed and keep getting upset all the time. This is so frustrating because when I am well I am the happiest person!

Forgot to say also, I moved jobs in June of this year to another department at work where I am not sitting so much since then i had been a lot better but still feeling the back pain.

This probably makes no sense. I'm sorry I am just so emotionally and physically drained.
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replied December 7th, 2011
Hi There, very sorry to hear about your never ending battle...I've been there before so i completely empathize...To make sure I'm reading your post correctly, is it accurate to state that you did not experience this pain while you were working at the retail position? The pain only began when you switched over to a desk job?
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replied December 7th, 2011
Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes that's correct, so I was redeployed from that job to a job where I stand a lot more.
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replied December 7th, 2011
Have you visited a pain management center? I know you mentioned earlier that you are not looking to pay (or at least pay alot of money)but i have used pain management centers in the past, they provide free consultations and give a thorough analysis of your pain, what is causing it, and what you can do to eliminate it...
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replied December 7th, 2011
Yes I have, just recently in fact, they told me there wasn't anything they could do for me that I hadn't already tried.. Sad
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replied June 2nd, 2012
First of all, go to a better doctor and ask him if you can get MRI scans done. Once he tells you exactly which ones to get done, he will give you an idea on what exactly is going on.
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replied October 4th, 2012
Similar injury
I feel for you. I have a similar injury caused by a go-kart wreck at 12 yr old. I am now 31 and still am dealing with the same issue. Doctors are clueless to a solution. MRI results of Thoracic and c-spine were negative. My chiropractor says that I have multiple ribs that don't stay connected to my spine correctly. When in very bad shape it puts additional pressure on my ribs causing pain in my chest and sternum. Over the years I have also started having pain in my shoulder. It was explained to me that I also have had a sprain in my SC joint and has hurt for years. The shoulder, collar bone, and first rib connect at the Sterno clavical joint causing me constant pain. I take a combination of anti inflamatory, muscle relaxer, and pain meds. Ice when I get home and heat before bed seem to provide the most relief. The chiropractor is able to provide me some relief but I am unable to go on a regular basis. I only go now when I cant bare the pain any longer. I wish you the best. Please post an update if you find a remedy.
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replied May 1st, 2013
Hello, I'm in the exact position you are in I've had chronic upper back pain now for 5+yrs.
Be careful on meds I know some pain relievers are powerful, but can be addictive. I refused by my doctor to take strong pain relievers. So I stick with Robaxin, and double strength Advil. I found T3 puts me to sleep. If you have sever pain at night take a natural strong sleep aid like valerian. Also, since I also I have full time desk job, another suggestion is a back posture trainer, posture is one reason that causes back pain while sitting, if you can get up and do some stretching excercises, or take up yoga. These suggestions will help to release any tension in your back. For years I've tried chiropractor, acupuncture, Chinese acupuncture, massage therapy ( that helped give me relief for a day or two), neck/spine specialists, and so forth the list goes on. Hope this info. Helps I realize some posts here are back in 2012...
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replied August 29th, 2014
Have you tried visiting a Chiropractor? They are great in treating back pains.
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