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24 year female chronic back/chest pain for 5 years

hello! I’m new to the forum but I am just looking for some advice because my fight for help from medical professionals is getting me down.

I began having lower back pain that would spread to my hips and upper thighs in 2013. I also had other symptoms of a non related illness at the same time so that became a sort of red herring, I had surgery for that and diagnosis and then I was sent on my way. 

The back/hip/leg pain returned about a year later but then I also began getting pain in my chest. It feels like my rib cage is being compressed and like someone has gone at it with a baseball bat. 

When I first got the chest I actually ended up at emergency because I thought I was having a heart attack. They ran no tests but just told me it wasn’t (obviously) and sent me home.

I went to see my GP and she said it was fibromyalgia and gave me medication to help that (Pregabalin). After taking that for a month and feeling no changes other than weight gain, I went back and she ran some blood tests. I came back positive for Rheumatoid Factor. She referred me to a rheumatologist.

I’ve had one appointment with the rheumatologist and he is adamant it isn’t fibromyalgia. My sister has degenerative disc disease and had spinal fusion surgery, my mother has rheumatoid arthritis so genetically I’m not in the best position. He won’t tell me what he thinks it is but he’s referred for an MRI which I’m still waiting for.

In the mean time, a few days ago my back ceased up completely. I can’t bend over without being in extreme pain, walking up the stairs I have to pull myself up with the banister, I can’t put my socks on, I can’t get out of bed without help. The pain feels like something is pushing on my nerves and it’s radiating and pulsing down the front of my right thigh. I can’t walk very well.

I panicked and went to A&E and was told my the doctor that I shouldn’t have gone and they will not look into what’s happening because it isn’t an emergency. I’ve woken up today and the pain has moved to my shoulder blades and neck. 

Has anyone experienced something like this or have any idea what it could be? Whilst I’m waiting for my MRI I’m deteriorating rapidly but no doctors seem to want to help me. I’m only 24, I need to work and I can’t even dress myself. 



  • challengercchallenger Posts: 1,230
    edited 07/09/2019 - 10:10 AM

    I have experienced these delays and they seem to take forever, you might contact your GP in the meantime and see if they will give you something for pain. I know this can be very hard but try your best not to concentrate solely on the pain and know you will get help. Keep us posted and keep the faith 

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • What body part are they doing the MRI on?

    I’m assuming lumbar spine but just a guess as it’s not mentioned in the post.

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  • JulJJul Posts: 8
    edited 12/13/2018 - 10:24 PM

    Sounds a bit like my early symptoms 4 years or so ago. First my doc found a hemorrhagic complex ovarian cyst and blamed it on that sort of thing for awhile. And I alone assumed SI joint disfunction as well due to low back ache & pressure & stuck feelings. I had occasional episodes every year of the same spasms where I could not walk, put my shoes or pants on etc .  

    Until recently I ended up with excruciating leg pain down to my foot . OMG the pain was torture !  Got a recent MRI of my low back and they found a disk herniation compressing into my L4 nerve root & ganglion. Also there were other findings that are not as significant according to spine doc. I also get some weird upper chest pains but I wonder if it is from pulling myself up / bracing myself to walk etc. Basically my whole body feels compromised and / or over compensating.  Ive also heard of Multiple Sclerosis stories of people complaining of chest pains that feel like a big bear hug or so called the "MS hug."   I assume it's neurological.  

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