I am writing this as the proverbial Hail Mary pass as I am in desperate need of some guidance concerning a chronic and very painful health issue.
My name is Brian and I am a 38 year old male living in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. For the past 4 years, I have been dealing with severe pain throughout the muscles of my back and left shoulder blade area. Starting at around the mid back region and traveling up to the shoulder/neck area, I have several, several “knots” of hard spots throughout the muscles where the pain stems from and radiates through the back. I basically live on a heating pad and, after many unsuccessful trips to doctors, I am very frustrated.
For four years now, I have had many procedures, testing and drug therapies with no success. I have done physical therapy, yoga, muscle relaxers, TENS machines, posture corrective vests, injections in the spine, trigger point injections, chiropractors and now, at last, they put me on daily narcotic medication which I am loathe to take. MRI’s have confirmed that the pain is indeed muscular and 3 doctors (orthopedic, rheumatologist and pain doctors) have all pretty much washed their hands with me and stated that I need to be on pain killers every day. I have also had blood testing to rule out problems but most of this is Greek to me.
Well, I also have Crohn’s disease that I have had for over 25 years and needless to say, the narcotic medicine has caused a ton of issues with the function of my bowels. My gastroenterologist wants me off the narcotics as much as I want off them but, without them, I am having problems just functioning every day and that’s no exaggeration. With Crohn’s, I am used to daily pain in joints and even used to severe pain in the abdomen during flare-ups. So, pain is usually just part of my life. However, these back pains have sidelined me now and really impacting the quality of my life. I miss out on so much with my wife and daughter and, at 38, I honestly feel about 78.
I also have around 12-14 lumps throughout my back and other parts of my body and I’m not sure if that is related. I have had a few removed and they were called fatty tumors. Many are in my back and, at one point, I thought maybe they could be the root of the problem. Doctors back here however, said they are unrelated. I have also been told that Crohn’s causes a bunch of “weird” problems throughout the body and the lumps and muscle spasms could be related.
I mean honestly, is this what life must be from now on? Being fed pills daily to mask the back pain and then have said pills cause even more problems with my Crohn’s disease? I feel like I need answers. What actually causes the muscles to lock up like this? Why, despite exhaustive efforts, do they remain locked up even after TENS, massage, stretching and many other treatments?
Any advice you could pass along would be greatly appreciated