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Frustrating unknown pain - what now?

Feb 18, 2018 8:49 PM

Some Background

I am a 19 year old female student. I have been suffering from chest pain and thoracic back pain for 6 months. I went to the ER and had tests done, was told I may have a blood clot in my lung and given blood thinning medication for three months. After this, the pain continued, I was referred back where the haematologist told me that this was incorrect and I did not have signs of a blood clot in the first place when it came to the scans. He then told me to take a course of Omeprazole to see if it was acid related, there was no change in pain after this. I also had a gastroscopy done which said I had gastritis which wasn't related to these particular symptoms. My GP has now referred me to the rheumatologist, as he said he has no idea what it is, however the appointment is in another months time.

My Symptoms

- Stiffness and inability to twist/bend my spine properly after day at work, or just walking around and carrying anything (even light items)
- Pain in the thoracic spine that radiates to the shoulder blades, chest and shoulder joints and neck on some occasions
- Sometimes the pain is brought on randomly and is more intense when breathing, coughing or sneezing
- Fatigue (Not sure if this is related or may be due to inactive ess)
- Occasional numbness in my lower legs

I have tried

- Painkillers
- Blood thinning medications
- Omeprazole
- Hot water bottles and various heat packs

I am looking for some advice and guidance from those with a similar experience. Any ideas as to what it could be and good ways to deal with the pain?

Feb 18, 2018 10:34 PM

Not sure, feel like I need more info.; but let me process this. Meanwhile, if you are in pain, you can try CBD(If you able to in your state) and if not, try REAL PAIN(purchase online, reg-mod. pain regular real pain OR severe pain, maxx- real pain) Let me know how this goes. Good luck! 😊

Feb 18, 2018 10:52 PM

Have you ever heard of pleurisy? My friend who is a nursing student is suggesting this. She is going to ask her nurse on Tuesday if she can think of anything. Hang in there.

Feb 18, 2018 11:13 PM

Thanks for the response. I will research your suggestions 😊 I have heard of pleurisy and thought it may be one possibility but I had a chest X-ray done when I went to the ER and nothing was detected. I also had a CT done and nothing was detected.

Feb 19, 2018 8:21 AM

Most of what you describe sounds similar to what I experience on a daily basis: I get pain in my back that radiates to my neck and shoulders, I have occasional numbness in my legs, and stiffness. My symptoms are caused by thoracic spinal stenosis, herniated disc at the thoracic 11-12 level, and degenerative disc disease. I strongly suggest that you talk to a doctor about getting an MRI scan of your neck and entire spine, and a referral to a neurologist or neurosurgeon.

Feb 19, 2018 9:10 AM

Here is information as to what may be causing your pain. This is based on what I have experienced, so it may not apply to you, but hopefully it gives you a path to look down.

1. Stiffness and inability to bend or twist the spine can be caused by many things.

2. Radiating thoracic spine pain can be caused by herniated discs and/or spinal stenosis which happens when there is a narrowing of the tunnels where the nerves are in the spine.

3. If your problem is a herniated disc, and depending on the level where it is, it can affect the nerves that control your chest muscles and that may make it hurt to breathe. This can also be caused by pleurisy.

4. Numbness in the lower legs can be caused by many conditions such as herniated discs in the lower spine and conditions that you may have been born with but that have been asymptomatic.

Feb 19, 2018 10:07 AM

I think you need to see a spine specialist!

Feb 19, 2018 10:09 AM

Great advice AmbrielleLyn I have simular issues!

Feb 19, 2018 10:55 AM

Thanks for the advice, I shall request an MRI scan to check for the listed problems. It does seem very accurate to what I am experiencing.

Feb 19, 2018 4:36 PM

Before getting an MRI done, see a physical therapist if you can. I had these exact symptoms, I had blood work, CT scan, MRI, X-rays, ECGs, the whole works. They eventually told me it must be pleurisy that wasn’t showing up on a scan. I went to a physical therapist and she felt around, turns out I had a subluxed rib. It looks normal on all my scans, but it is so painful! She puts it back in place and I’m sore for a day or two then feel so much better. It still subluxes quite often and I can tell when it does, so I just have her put it back in place and I get some relief right after!

Jun 17, 2018 8:09 PM

Update: (Honestly for anyone who wants to know or has been suffering the same symptoms)

I have now been told by my rheumatologist that the MRI shows inflammation on my hips and sacroiliac joint (lower back). It seems that it could be Ankylosing Spondylitis - a genetic condition that my uncle also has.

He also found that I have an undiagnosed thyroid condition and this may be adding to this pain or could be giving me the back pain itself.

I am now seeing the rheumatology nurses for treatment next week in case it is AS. I have also been referred to an endocrinologist in the hopes that fixing my thyroid might help with my pain.

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