Im 23 and have been in pain for 3 years

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/16/2011 12:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,

Just found this forum and thought I would ask some questions. First a little about me.

I am a 23 year old male. I have had severe and nearly constant pain in my shoulders (both shoulders) for nearly 3 years now. When this pain is especially bad it radiates through my entire back and I even occasionally have pain that seems to shoot up and down my spine. I have had all of the tests you can think of and tried PT for several years. Tests showed nothing and PT didn't help. My doctor finally decided that it is "should instability" so my shoulder joints are loose and are able to move around to much. He recommended surgery and unfortunately it is just not something that I can afford right now. I am a student so I am poor smilewinkgrin I also feel like they only came up with this diagnosis because none of the tests ever showed anything so I am hesitant to get surgery anyways. But once my financial situation changes I will consider it again.

Unfortunately this isn't it though. about 6 months ago I started having lower back pain that is the worst pain I have ever felt. It feels as though my spine is bruised. I can't sleep, I can't lie on my back, I can't sit down for to long. Again tests show nothing and PT isn't helping.

Both of these things are awful by themselves but together I can barely function. I am a graduate student and I can barely do my work most days. I am lucky enough to have found a doctor who doesn't seem to mind prescribing me hydrocodone which is the only thing that has helped me. Before he prescribed me this medication I was seriously considering dropping out of school because I just couldn't do anything. I couldn't work, I couldn't go to class. I don't seem to have any problems being on this medication. I feel a little strange but I am able to go to class and do my work and everything I used to no problem.

But of course the longer I am on this medication the less effective is becomes. I am currently taking 10mg and it only seems to help for an hour or two. I take it nearly every day during the week. I try really hard not to take over the weekends when I am not working. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't. I am planning on talking to my doctor again soon about where I am at but I just wanted to see if anyone here could offer advice as to potential options so I know what questions to ask my doctor. I don't want to just keep asking for a larger dose. Are there other options like switching meds and letting my tolerance of hydrocodone decrease and then going back to a lower dose? Any advice would be great. I have been dealing with this for 3 years with really no help other than narcotics for the past few months.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/16/2011 2:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I have hypermobility so my joints are too loose and so all my joints come out of place and I don't get pain in my shoulders.  My mom also has joints that are too loose and it doesn't cause her pain so I doubt that is your actual problem.  Another thing with that is if you were in PT it should have helped if that were the problem since the stronger your muscles are around a joint the less likely it is to move around too much.  As far as the pain part I don't know much.  I'm in the same boat just with my hip instead of my shoulders.  I know sometimes you get pain in one place but it's actually because of them compensating for something else that hurts.  So it might be your back is where the problem is and it's making your shoulder hurt.  I'm sorry I'm not much help.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/16/2011 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
My daughter has the same issue with her joints, they all can come out of joint almost at will. She was recently diagnosed with an ultra rare disease related to it, can't remember the name, will come back and ammend this post. She just turned 30, but had been going on all her life.

I wish you luck as you search for an answer, sounds like you need to find a way to get some better medical opinions.

david in sc
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 11/16/2011 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, sorry to hear about all of this SticKid.

I'm also 23 years old, and in December of last year two of my lumbar disks herniated and caused severe pain. I've dealing with it ever since, and had to pull out of classes and focus all my time to healing and feeling/getting better.

Do you have any medical insurance at all, or are all your expenses out of pocket? It is possible--although I don't know how every state works, nor if it would be wise in your case specifically--to get medical assistance through the state. It's basically insurance, and one major way of being approved for it is to have a doctor say that you can't work, or that you can't work right now. For instance, here in PA you can get MA (medical assistance) if your doctor says that you're temporarily disabled. That way you'd have more resources to figure out what this problem is and what your options to treating it are!

Also, I'm pretty much in same boat as you medication wise. In my case, the Hydrocodone I was on didn't really help at all. I'm on Tramadol now, and it helps slightly more in my case. Tramadol isn't classified technically as a narcotic, though it basically is, so some would say it has a better level of tolerance and lower dependence. It isn't a sure thing, but maybe it would help you without making you needing larger and larger doses of the Hydrocodone. Either way, if you can get insurance or pay for the visit, you should see a Pain Management doctor while you also try and figure out exactly what is causing your problems. The combination of the shoulder problem and your back does not strike me as coincidental and I would recommend asking your doctor about the back problem too if you haven't yet.

Feel free to keep posting, and keep us in the loop!
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/16/2011 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
See if your still covered under your parents health insurance, maybe look into that...
maybe look at a free clinic in your area or a teaching hospital...
Just because you have had testing done does not mean that
there is no hidden damage, you could have a tear in your shoulder and
so do not discount what your doctor is telling you, for that much pain it could be
a lot of things and maybe it's to early yet to show up on diagnostic tests...
You should ask for a possible referral for now, to a pain management doctor
wish I knew what else to say...many prayers and well wishes, others will come by
with better advise so pay attention....
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 11/16/2011 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Stickid...I am sorry I live in Canada so I am not sure about health insurance in the States. However, there are plenty of members who I am sure can help. I am so glad you found this forum, I have found it very helpful...I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.

Take Care, Amy

50 yr.old female
Chronic pain, fibro, mild depression and nerve pain
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