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Back/Neck/Rib/Sternum issues

Hi everyone,

I am a 29 year old male, 5'9, overweight at 245lbs. I have always cracked my joints, pretty much every joint that was crackable. I used to lay in bed and crack my back by twisting my whole body until one day I had the sharpest pain in the middle of my back - it felt like a knife stabbing me. That pain was followed by 12 weeks of rib and abdominal pain like you couldn't imagine. I went to the hospital, my family doctor multiple times - X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, every time I'd show up everything would be normal. Fast forward a little while, and I decided that I would stop cracking my neck (my god the pain and stiffness to follow was horrible and still is). Then I made the choice one day to stop wearing my wallet in my back pocket and instead got a smaller wallet and put it in my front pocket - for about two weeks after that my hips were killing me whenever I stood up or sat down (that pain is now gone). During this same time frame, I found out that I have slight scoliosis and my hips are not aligned.

Last week, I began experiencing symptoms again of the rib pain, sternum/chest pain, and middle-upper back pain, as well as an achey sensation in my shoulders. The doctor ran a bunch of tests, including a 3 day holter to monitor my heart which was fine. My blood work was pristine (his words not mine), with exception to urate levels which were, quite frankly, through the roof. I don't eat much red meat and I don't drink alcohol, but I do take a diuretic for blood pressure.

He also tested me for RF, which was negative. ANA was negative. C-reactive protein was 5.0 reference range was <6.0. Calcium was 2.45 with reference being 2.15-2.60. Parathyroid was 6.2, reference was 1.6-6.9.

All of the other inflammatory measurements you would find in a CBC were normal. Urine test was normal.

I had an X-ray of my chest including ribs and back and the doctor said everything looked normal, no cancer, no broken ribs etc.

So now I have been stressing myself out worrying about what it is that I have. Do I have some kind of disease? An autoimmune disorder? Or is this simply osteoarthritis due to my constant cracking of my back?

I have been referred to a rheumatologist but I am not sure when that will happen. The pain in my ribs always starts at the bottom, adjacent to the pain in my back which is probably around the t12 area.

I should also note that I generally don't have any lower back pain, no pain in my other joints like my knees, toes, or fingers. Any ideas?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I also want to mention that on more than one occasion, I have bent down and felt a rib click, which I know is consistent with slipping rib disorder. But with all of my symptoms, I feel like this is a big puzzle.
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