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left side chronic pain - voodoo doll syndrome
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left side chronic pain - voodoo doll syndrome

I have had left side pain for over three and half years now. The pain varies and sometimes goes away for a few days to a week.
The pain is in my ankle, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, shoulder, and sometimes my jaw on the left side.
On a bad day all of these locations are affected and I can hardly move.
The pain is worst in the mornings and tends to lessen over the course of the day, but not always.
The pain never appears in one location alone. It is always in a combination of locations. However, the one location that is always affected is the Hip. So the pain is always in my hip and some combination of other locations. Typically three locations, but as I said sometimes all of the locations I mentioned are affected.

For example as I am writing this today I have left side pain in my Hip, knee, jaw and ankle.
Last week the pain was in my Hip, knee, shoulder and elbow.
I have had no injury to my left side.
My family doctor has given me IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) with some success. I have also seen a chiropractor who has treated me with active release as well as traditional chiropractic treatments. I have also seen an acupuncturist for this condition. I have also taken medications such as celebrex, elavil, gabapentin, oxycodone, advil 800mg, and codeine.
I have tried physical therapy and exercise to alleviate the symptoms.  Primarily, I have tried low impact sports such as swimming. Although it lessens symptoms while I am in the pool the symptoms return within sixty minutes of getting out of the pool. I also cannot simply go swimming at all hours of the day.
I have also taken homeopathic remedies such as arnica, traumeel, and pulsatilla.
Only a few of these things have helped. Oxycodone has helped, but I only take that when everything is affected and if I do not need to use my brain that day. If I can sit at home and do nothing I do use oxycodone, but I try and limited that to extreme cases. I am worried about becoming addicted as I have heard that oxycodone can be addictive. Pulsatilla has worked in a limited capacity, but I needed to take it nearly constantly throughout the day one or two pellets at a time every hour or so (not typical dose which is 5 pellets 3-4 times per day). It would reduce symptoms so that I could leave my house or focus in my lectures (at university). However, I again worry about taking too much.
Chiropractic care, IMS and acupuncture have worked in a limited capacity reducing the pain, but not eliminating it. I still have a lot of pain after treatments, but not as much as pain as prior to the treatments. Even though these treatments work to some degree there is still a problem because I cannot go for a treatment when my doctor is away or I am in pain on the weekend or evening.
Even though I have had some treatments for this pain I still do not know what is causing it and how to address the root cause rather than plug the dam of symptoms.

When I first started experiencing this pain I called it voodoo doll syndrome because of the sudden onset and relief of symptoms. I would experience symptoms for a few days or even just a few hours at the beginning and they just as suddenly as the symptoms appeared they would disappear. Sometimes the symptoms would only appear every two months or so. However, over time the symptoms would appear more frequently, stay longer and be more resistant to pain medication such as Advil.  Now I have more days with pain than without. I would say that I experience pain nearly 80% of the time.
And often the symptoms last for several days no mater what I do or take.

* note
I was born with severe metatarsus adductus bilaterally and was corrected to curvature of 31 degree (left foot) and 34 degrees (right foot). I have always had foot pain and so I do not count any pain in my feet.  I have had several days where I cannot walk due to my feet. Typically I do not use a cane and if I do I use it with my right arm/hand as prescribe by the physiotherapist.
Tags: Pain, joint
1 Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
It was as if somebody somewhere had a voodoo doll of me and was poking the joints on my left side.
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