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Still in Pain for a Year Not Sure Why

I don't think it's worth anyone's time to go through all my details. Ultimately, I've been in pain for over a year and attempted many different treatments with no clear solution. When I wake up I don't have much pain. After sitting down or standing for a while, however, I begin to get a little pain in the base of my neck. From here, pain travels to the top of my traps above my shoulders. The pain stays constant and feels like an incredible strain. As time goes on the pain dips down under my shoulder blades, then over time above my hanging ribs, and if it's really bad it goes into my lower back. It used to be that I only got it in my lower back. So I imagine maybe I had a neck problem and over time muscles all the way down into my lower back had to compensate (maybe herniation). My worst pain comes from the pitching of the spine and rotations. If I pivot my body toward the left I get a sharp pain just below my right shoulder blades (and the opposite for the right side). If I bend my torso back I get some middle and lower back strain near the pivot points. Sometimes if I turn my head to the left or right my shoulder blades begin to hurt as well. Finally, when I look up sometimes I get pinching kind of feeling in my neck. I rarely ever have tingling or shooting pain in my arms and legs. If I push on some places in the muscle, pain gets referred. Pushing under my armpit and the edge of the shoulder blade will refer pain. Pain killers also don't help at all. I pretty much have full mobility and although the fact the pain never goes away is distressing, I am capable of getting through life. Overall it has gotten easier, but I don't know if I've gotten used to it or the pain is slowly going away. Anyone have an experience similar that could help?



  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,489

    you might ask your doctor about facet arthritis or degenerative disc disease (which isn't really a disease, but a process that we all go through as we get older).  my lower back problems started out with the achy at the end of the day and just got worse and worse and worse over many years.....a CT can tell them a lot about the spine, if there's inflammation going on etc, might be a good place to start.  without really knowing much more it's hard to say, plus i'm not a medical doctor.....but this is where i would start-calling my dr and seeing if they could help me out to understand what is hurting.

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 953

    @jayhaley - You deserve it for yourself to get some diagnostic work done on your neck.  I totally agree with @WLLady.  If diagnostics show something, at least you can focus on a treatment plan.  Treatment does NOT always mean surgery.  Surgery should most times be the measure of last resort, but surgery does have its place.  Your body/neck is trying to tell you something.  No one makes up pain. 

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  • mlsmmls MarylandPosts: 11

    I'm not a doctor and can't diagnose, but I had similar pain as you describe. I originally ruptured a disc in my neck and had surgery (because I was losing neurological function of my arm), but after the surgery, I went two years with miserably debilitating pain that sounds a lot like what you describe ... Neck pain that progressed to the top of my shoulders and upper back (traps) after my head was vertical (sitting, standing, or walking) for a little while. My pain didn't really go to my ribs and lower back, but actually would go up into my head. And when I'd press on trigger points (TrPs) in my muscles, I'd get referred pain, too, as occurs in myofascial pain syndrome. I also get referred pain from TrPs in my arm pit area. And meds didn't help at all.

    It wasn't until after 9 months of this pain did a physical medicine and rehabilitation (pm&r) doc finally diagnose me with chronic myofascial pain. And it wasn't until after 2 years of pain that I finally got lasting relief. At first, trigger point injections (with steroid) helped some, but for me, myofascial release therapy really helped me reduce my myofascial pain. 

    I'd make sure you get properly diagnosed by a doctor. It took many months before I got a proper diagnosis. I was "lucky" because my dad was a GP and he suggested I go to a physiatrist (pm&r doc) after so many months of my other doctors (GP and two surgeons) not knowing what was wrong with me. The pm&r doc finally was able to diagnose me. But even with a proper diagnosis, it still took a long time to find what worked best for me. (More details of my story are on my website--url below).

    Good luck!!

    (if you want to read about my story and what I've done to reduce my chronic pain, see my personal website:
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