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chronic widespread pain syndrome
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chronic widespread pain syndrome

Dr Ambron

I am hoping you can help me with a question about chronic pain and current treatment options

I am a 45 year old male who lives outside Boston,  married with 2 young children, and was extremeley active with all kinds of sports including soccer, running , weightlifting, tennis, etc.

2.5 years ago i was playing soccer and got hit very hard in my rib area on my right side.  Something happened after that hit that resulted in a pain syndrome that no one has been able to pinpoint.  after the hit, i started to get pain in almost all body parts with minimal acitivity. sometimes it felt like muscle strain, other times pins and needles, other times it felt like ligament pain.  basically it has practically paralyzed me at times and sent me into on and off into depression and anxiety because i havent been able to exercise regularly.  i went through the gamut of medical practitioners from Primary doctor to orthopedist to rheumatologist to Physical Therapist to Neurologist to Osteopath to Physiatrist to pain clinics, to accupuncture, to massage therapist, etc.  Nothing was getting me over the hump. the rheumatologist was a speacialist in Fibromyalgia and said it wasnt that. some said Myofascial pain but werent sure,

One doctor had me on Lyrica for 6 months which did nothing much and proved that it was unlikely to be a neuropathic pain problem.

the rib problem got worse over time and became a severe case of chostocondritis that affected both sides of my ribcage and spread all over. My back was bothering me frequently, which was way worse than the back pain i have had on and off for 20 years. Meanwhile the pain kept going on and off at times worse than others.  
I tried Dr. John Sarno' methods of mind body work and it helped to some extent but didnt get me over the hump.

I had numerous MRI's and there was some orthopedic stuff - torn labrum in shoulder and possible torn hip labrum, meniscus tear in knee, soft tissue inflammation in my ribcage right side worse than left.  I had some relief from epidurals in my back and recently had knee surgery in November 2007 to repair meniscus tears.  

I started seeing a prolotherapist 6 months ago and had multiple injections in my rib area and some in my spine and shoulder area.  After 5 months, it seemed that the prolotherapy was helping - the rib pain was much better and i finally started doing light upper body work for the first time in a year.  The widespread pain seemed to be getting better and one thing i noticed all along during the last 2.5 years was that when my rib area was inflammed, the widespread pain got worse.  

In late December 2007 to January 2008, i was feeling much better. then right before i was to go on vacation, a friend accidentally slapped me in the ribs.  wasnt a hit but a slap and wasnt that hard.  i dont know why but the next day after doing a light workout, the pain syndrome acted up and for the last 5 weeks i have been miserable again. with light workouts that dont bother  during the workout, i get pain in multiple areas afterwords - sometimes in tendons or ligaments, sometimes in my ribs and spine.  the pain can be exruciating at times and has affected my work life and family dramatically.  Sometimes i dont even exercise at all and wake up with a pain that feels like a muscle strain in some area that last fot 3-7 days then goes away.  i havent been able to play with my 2 and 4 year olds for almost 2.5 years and it is driving me insane.  As always, the stress, anxiety and anger off it can bring on or intensify the symptoms.

I started going to a new clinic - Osher Clinic for Complementary medicine in Chestnut Hill, MA - Brigham and Womens and Harvard Medical School program.  I started doing Cranial Sacral Therapy which hasnt done much yet.  

To the question:  I spoke for 1.5 hours with the clinic director and based on my case and what i have done so far, he believes that a combination of SSRI drug and Anti Anxiety drug would help get to the core of the issue which he says is calming down my Central Nervous System, which he thinks is my nest chance of getting better and curing this syndrome.  I was diagnosed years ago with General Anxiety and was on Buspar and Lorazepam for a few years but have been off those for some time. I am somewhat high strung and have had trouble sleeping for years. i also went through a personal trauma right before this happened in which my sister, whom i was very close to, died of breast cancer and left 3 young kids.  Have you had any experience with unexplainable pain syndromes and do you think my doctor is going down the right path with SSRI and Anti-Anxiety or is there something new or more current or better that would help me?  i am miserable, havent been able to play with my kids and have the kind of relationship with my wife, i want my life back and be able to exercise the way i used to which is intense. right now i am lucky if i can go 25% of what i used to.

Thank you for your help

Steve Brooks
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366811_tn?1217426272
There's no Dr. Ambron here that I am aware of. Did you try the "Ask a Doctor" Forums? Good luck..
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