I'm a 23 year old woman and I've been having severe and debilitating pain in my neck, back of head, jaw, face, ears, and shoulders for almost three years. Most of the pain is high up on my neck, behind my ears and into my head. I get hard lumps that can easily be felt, and my trapezius muscle swells up visibly. It has gotten continuously worse and nothing seems to help. I live day to day wondering if I will have a day of pain, because the pain can be so severe that I can't function and I have to rest, take hot showers, and use a heating pad to control the pain. This happens frequently, sometimes even four or more days per week.
I have been to my general practitioner, an orthopedic doctor, two chiropractors, a neurologist, a TMJ dentistry specialist, and an ENT. My xrays have shown only minimal arthritis, but significant straightening of my spine (indicative of muscle spasms). My MRI didn't show anything.
I have lots of painful trigger points, which led my neurologist to say I have fibromyalgia and he treated me with several trigger point injections and told me to do stretches. Each doctor, in fact, has recommended such stretches, and although I do them daily and avoid prolonged activity that could provoke pain episodes, nothing I do seems to help.
I just think that there might be something else causing my pain besides just the fibromyalgia. The doctors have told me that I just "need to live with it," but it's so hard because my life has been so affected by this and a lot of times I'm in such severe pain that I can't hardly stand it, even just laying down. I've always thought I was pretty tolerant of pain, but this leaves me in tears. I also have trouble sleeping because the pressure on my head from my pillow hurts my neck, head, and face. (and I've tried several pillow types and also wear a mouthpiece prescribed by my TMJ doctor).
When I saw the TMJ, he said that he believed my sinuses weren't draining properly. I don't know what led him to say that, but something led him to think that. I found that interesting because I have always had severe allergy problems (when I was tested in high school by an allergist, I tested positive for nearly everything on a skin ***** test). I also had chronic sinusitis when I was in high school, even though I took allergy medication every day.
What I find significant is that every time my pain flares up badly, my throat also swells, my ears ache, and my eyes water. Although my doctors don't seem to think my pain could be related to allergies, I do think it's a possibility. I'm just trying to find some cause, and I don't know where to go next. This is so frustrating.