Please don't feel guilty about
posting here because your symtoms don't seem to be as bad as others. Many of us started out with symptoms that weren't this bad, and progressed over the years. So I think you're doing the right thing trying to find answers now.
Unfortunately, things can get worse as we age, and if you had some back problems in your teens possibly you have some genetic predisposition? It is difficult sometimes for docs to pinpoint the exact source of our pain, although you've got some things going on that certainly could be contributing - and remember the neck is part of the spine, so not separate from back issues. I would really support you in continuing to ask your doctors for answers, pursuing tests, etc. because some conditions can worsen over time if untreated. And even if the condition itself can't be remedied, the sooner your pain is eased the better. No, it's not in your head - except for the fact the brain is in our head and that's definitely related to chronic pain.
Since you're a moderator you know how to work this board so maybe scan the topics and see if you learn anything that seems to click for you.
By the way, the SI joint can wreak havoc, that I know for sure. Have you ever had Physical therapy? I happen to have finally (after many tries) found a great P.T. who was able to isolated my SI joint problems in addition to my lumbar spine issues. He does a little bit of very gentle chiropractic-like manipulation, a very gentle roll of my SI joint back into place (he knows how to check if it's out and believe me when it's out it creates much more pain). But he also gave me exercises to tighten the ligaments, and then eventually I wore an SI joint belt, which is annoying but you do for 6 weeks when the exercises aren't enough. My SI joint was doing well with just the exercises once/day until I had back surgery last Sept. Then it all went downhill, and I can't yet do the SI joint exercises because they tighten muscle in my back I'm supposed to be relaxing! Catch 22! Oh, well, just a thought that maybe a good physical therapist can help with SOME parts of your symptoms, but sounds like you really need to follow through with tests to help identify everything thats going on.
Anyway, I think the short answer to one of your questions is no, don't suffer in silence, but be prepared for a lot of potholes as you negotiate the road to medical answers and treatment.
Post Edited (PAlady) : 4/3/2008 12:19:30 PM (GMT-6)