Can anyone advise on what could be causing my shoulder, back and neck pain?

Hi I've had a bad pain that in my shoulder blade about three years ago. It was made worse on movement that calmed down when I stopped moving. It gradually went away by itself but last year it came back with a vengeance and is gradually getting worse. Now when I tell my neck to the left I get a sharp pain in my shoulder blade. My neck hurts pretty much constantly. My breastbone and shoulders hurt too. My ribs and sternum at the front are painful to the touch. When I do any kind of activity that involves my arms, the pain builds up and becomes unbearable. I wake up really stiff and in pain every day and i loosen up after about 3hours. No painkillers enable me to still work through this pain and the only thing that helps is actually to stop moving. I have seen a physio who has no idea what it could be. An Orthopaedic doctor suggested it could be fibromyalgia. I saw an osteopath who after four sessions said that they could no longer treat me as they suspected I had Tietzes Syndrome, and a Doctor at the Pain Clinic suggested I was stressed and my nerves were firing off signals all over the place. The only test I've had is an X Ray and that showed that my the curve in my Cervical Spine had been reversed in keeping with muscle spasm. The pain has become unbearable and it is seriously affecting my quality of life. I had to quit a college course and I am off sick after starting a new job only a week ago. I'm not sure what to do, or where to go next. Can anyone help?

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  • The problem with multiple consultations is that you get multiple diagnoses. Believe me, I know ! I'm really not sure why an MRI scan has not been requested by your GP to help reach a diagnosis. It must be very painful and worrying for you. Ask for a scan.

  • I agree with Calceolaria. You need at the very least an MRI but it needs to probably be read by someone other than your GP. It could be fibromyalgia but it almost seems too specific and fibro doesn't necessarily have such an obvious cause of pain, the opposite in fact. If your spine has been reversed in such a way that alone could cause you to be in a huge amount of pain. Your orthopaedic consultant should have asked for an MRI. When I was seeing an ortho I needed to have an MRI to help the him diagnose what was wrong. X-rays can show a lot but not nearly as much as an MRI. If you are referred to orthopaedics again ask to see someone else as they were really not thorough enough. Ask if you can be referred to a rheumatologist as well as that kind of condition should be considered even if they end up ruling it out. Fibromyalgia is often the diagnosis that results after everything else has been excluded. Good luck. I hope you get an answer - and then some help.

  • Thanks to you and Calceolaria. I requested a scan and a referral to rheumatology after seeing the GP yesterday. I think so many people have been unhelpful in the medical profession over this past 18months that I feel like they've put up a wall and it's hard to work out what other options there actually are until it's pointed out to you. So thanks again for your help. X

  • You are really welcome. Fingers crossed for you that you get some answers and subsequently some relief. Good luck and keep us informed! Deb x

  • I'm in the same boat as you i keep asking for scans and xray may aswell talk to myself seen over 5 docs in the past 7 months had physio for 4 months then had hydro then discharge from the hospital still in pain sorry for the rant but ive had enough i can't live like this anymore

  • See a chiropractor and Alexander Teacher. They may not cure the problem. However they will help you control it.

    Just a minor point MRI scans do not show muscle spasms.

  • I saw a Chiropractor and I feel it made me worse, so I'm avoiding that for now.

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