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Posted By : ride_04 - 9/6/2007 10:53 PM
Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and it seems that a lot of you have experience/info/advice that could be really helpful. I'll give you guys a little background on my situation and any feedback would be much appreciated. So I'm 24 now, and I've been getting chronic headaches and neck pain since I was 13. In the last few years it has also worsened to include low and mid back pain. The pain never goes away on its own, and I would describe the headaches as tension headaches isolated in the back of my head. There are two bumps, one on each side of my neck on the back of my head where the pain in that area has always seemed stem from. My muscles are always tense in my back, neck, and shoulders and I'm always tired, most likely from lack of good sleep. Also, I'm constantly cracking my neck to try to relieve the pressure. When I was growing up, my Dr.'s basically told me to "just deal with it" and blew me off. Now I have a Dr. that I've just been persistent with, but I can tell that she is really hesitant to give me any kind of medication that actually helps. Here's the thing though. The pain has never been diagnosed. I had x-rays and an MRI done recently and all findings were normal. So they have no idea why I'm in pain. My spine "specialist" recommended getting more exercise, but I can't because I'm so fatigued, and it always makes me feel worse anyway. His other "insight" was that, sometimes people are just in pain all the time for no reason. Very helpful. I've tried chiropractic, PT, Motrin 800 (does Absolutely Nothing), flexeril (does nothing for the pain and makes me feel more lethargic than I already do) and most recently vicodin. The vicodin has been the only thing so far that even touches the pain but I can tell that my Dr. really does not want to give me them, and when she does it's only enough to last two weeks only taking 2 per day (which I think I need 4 at least, I just try to space it out for as long as I can). I think that partly why I am unable to get medication is because of the lack of an actual diagnosis, and the fact that I'm only 24. I don't want to have to depend on pain meds if I don't have to, but I'm coming to realize that this might be my only option at this point. I realize that I failed to mention that I have sustained numerous extreme sports injuries over the years, but my headache/neck pain started before that. I'm just wondering if any of you might have a similar experience that you could share, or any advice you could offer in regards to possible avenues/ideas for obtaining a diagnosis, as well as treatment options to try, or advice on how to handle Dr.'s in this kind of situation. Sorry for the rant, but I feel like it will be most beneficial for you guys to have as much info as possible, so feel free to ask questions about anything that I might have left out that could be important. I really do appreciate any ideas that you all have. Thank you all in advance.


Posted By : stayingafloat - 9/7/2007 2:12 AM

Hi Jessie,


Welcome to healing well this is a good place to get information and share your situation.  I am definately not a doctor, but here are some things you might want to consider.  Rheumatologist are a good specialist to check into.  I had migranes in 2002 everyday and had never had them before I was then 23 and started having widespread pain throughout my body aches, swelling, pain and fatigue.  After multiple hospitializations and hundreds of tests I was diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia, which is a wide spread chronic pain disorder and is known for many of the symptoms that you are sharing.  The only way you can be sure they can be sure is that all the other tests come back negative and you meet the requirements of having widespread tenderness.  To get a good idea I would take a look at webmd and see what you think.  I do not know if this is what is going on with you it could be many different things, again I am not a doctor, just another patient who has been through extensive testing.  It was also had for me because of my age for Dr's to understand what was going on in my body.  There are medicines for migraines specifically, that are non narcotic.  I take vicodin as well and it is not a good answer long term.  I was also very athletic when I was younger as well, so I know where you are coming from.  If it is fibro or something similiar nerve block medications help also as well as some anti-depressants.  I would get every test you can have done you help them figure out what is going on, and trust me there are tons of tests, blood-work is important as well.  A natural way that may help is called Muscle activation therapy, I'm not sure where you live, but google it and you may find a practioner near where you are.  Well I wish you luck and am sorry you are having so much trouble at your young age.  If I can be of any help let me know, good luck to you.  P.S. you might want to consider acupuncture, this may be of help to relieve the pain as well:)


Posted By : Lindaloo - 9/7/2007 5:57 AM
Welcome to the forum!
You have just had a good response from Stayingafloat.  Good advice indeed.
My response will be much shorter.  I recommend that you go to a pain specialist.  They will know what kinds of medicines are best for chronic pain and will get you enough of the right meds to control the pain. 
I shudder everytime I hear from one of my friends on this board or in the chat rooms that their doctor won't prescribe adequate pain medicine and that they are suffering.  You have suffered enough.  Get the help you need and deserve.  If you want to try a rheumy first like Stayingafloat recommends, then go ahead, but I have been to rheumys before.  (They diagnosed my fibromyalgia) and I would recommend a pain specialist.  They do blood tests too and rule out other problems as well.
Good luck and keep in touch ok?

Posted By : Chutz - 9/7/2007 12:10 PM
I agree. Get to a rheumy and find out what's going on. That 'nothing' your doc said you suffer from does have a name.

Keep us posted,

Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Posted By : straydog - 9/7/2007 4:34 PM

Hi Jessie,

I too wanted to welcome you to Healing Well. You have already had some great responses from the other members. I suggest a good pain mgt dr. He can run any kind of test known to mankind, or refer you out for things like x-rays, MRI's. In the meantime, he can start you on some pain medications to try and get your pain level down and under better control. PCP's and most specialists do not want to write scripts for pain meds, except in a very small quantity as you well know. A pain dr is more uptodate on current pain meds available, alot of them use a combination of meds. Asl your dr to ref you top a pain mgt dr. Good luck, Susie

Posted By : ride_04 - 9/7/2007 9:23 PM
Hey, thank you all so much. I just saw my regular Dr. today, and she did refer me to a chronic pain specialist. I had some blood work done the other day and that all came back normal. Right now she's having me try nortriptyline (anti-depressant) at night, and she gave me a few more vicodin, which I'm thankful for. She said that the pain clinic will be able to refer me to all kinds of different things to try. I've tried acupuncture once, and I'm definitely willing to try it again, and I'm going to ask about that muscle activation therapy, and look into talking to a Rheumatologist as well. As far as Fibro goes, I really don't think that's it. I don't have widespread pain or tenderness, it really is all concentrated around my spine and head. It really feels like my spine is out of place all the time too despite my x-rays being normal. I've actually been in a good mood all day today, (despite only getting 5 hours of sleep last night) just knowing that I'm finally on the right track to getting some help. I recently graduated from college in June, and I'm trying to get into a career in education, but I feel that taking care of myself and managing this condition is really my top priority right now, so I'm glad to get the ball rolling. Again, thank you all so much. I really do appreciate your advice and kind words. I'll keep you all posted on what's going on and let me know if there's anything I can do to help anyone else on this forum.


Posted By : stayingafloat - 9/8/2007 11:54 AM



I am so happy your doctor is helping you, that is great news.  I am glad you are doing better and despite it all just know that the answer you seek are coming.  Hang in there and keep us posted on how you are doing. 


Take care,

Chronic pain/Back Injury T4-T7
2-Radiofrequency Neurolysis Surgeries
(easy explaination:nerve deadening surgeries)
Depression as a result of the chronic pain
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."

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