musculo skeletal pain

I have been suffering from what the doctors are calling musculo skeletal pain for 3 yrs now. It only comes on in the night, the pain is in my back on the left side just under my rib. when the pain first starts its quite weak but gradually builds up to a point i feel like im being rung out like a towel. I have been prescribed strong pain killers but nothing eases it. It can last from between 2 and 5 hours. Can anyone help with any pain strategies or is anyone suffering the same?

14 Replies

  • Have you had checks to dismiss any organ problems and rule out diseases? Have you had physio to rule out a rib or thoracic joint problem? How old is your mattress? ;)

  • Thanks for replying. I have had xrays and an MRI and they came back clear. I purchased a new mattress about 6 months ago as i thought that could be the problem. The thing is i never have the pain in the day its always early evening when i start to relax.

  • Have you seen a physio to rule out rib/joint problems? Have you tried to lie in a more upright position? Ie. With extra pillows under head and chest to discount any kind of digestive problem? Have you had your kidneys checked? There are so many possibilities Its bad you GP has just left you this way! Poor you. Sleeping well is so important!

  • I have my first physio appointment on thursday so i am really hoping they can help. Although i saw a chiropractor privately and she told me to go back to my Gp. I did ask about my kidneys the last time i went into hospital but they said it wasnt them although i didnt have an ultra sound. It honestly feels like everyone is just quick to throw painkillers at me in the hope it will satisfy me!

  • That's really frustrating for you Kath! I guess it's a process of elimination! Have you tried taking a few days worth of anti inflammatories because if that helped then it might be reasonable to assume a joint or rib was causing the problem associated with a particular posture? If it makes it worse might be a digestive problem? Some mus/skel probs like heat? It's horrible to get woken by pain but maybe a hot water outlet might ease what sounds like a spasm of some kind? ;)

  • if your not getting joy from one Gp ask for another one push for a ultrasound I had one and found out only born with one kidney do you use TENS ?

  • I'm defo going to push for an ultrasound. I cant use TENS because i have a fainting condition and it heightens it :(

  • I have had a swelling on my back in the thorax region with no obvious trauma but which the GP said was muscula-skeletal. The swelling hurt because of the tension but also when I took a deep breath. On my second visit because the paracetamol/codeine did not help he prescribed voltarol patches changed 12hrly (because I am on warfarin) and I have to say after 4 days the swelling is reducing and there is very little pain,

  • I have had cream but not patches, ive also been taking naproxen but nothing seems to shift the pain. I'll phone my Gp tomorrow to see about patches. Thanks

  • Over the years I have invested in a HSL lifter recliner with a more straight back rest, and a memory foam bed, both seems to help me and I find I can feel more relaxed and sleep better.

    One good thing HSL will refund the VAT if you are disabled.


  • I have a memory foam mattress but i will look into the HSL. The thing is the pain starts before i get into bed when my body starts to relax but im willing to try anything!

  • Thank you, like i said im willing to try anything and everything. I just find it so frustrating, i have been suffering like this for the last 3 years and the doctors just try to keep me quiet with pain killers.

  • Ask your doctor for Lidocaine Ointment or Lidocaine Patches. I use them both at different times, never at the same time. I need someone else to open the patches, in their foil envelopes, unfold the moist flimsy patch and apply it to my lower back. It's a two-handed job. I only have use of my right hand. So on my own alone I apply the ointment. They both do help, believe me

  • Try an Alexander teacher.

    The problem as stated sounds as if it is one area, but I suspect that the ribs in general have over tense muscles which need to be untensed. An Alexander Teacher could help you with this problem.

    It is also worth seeing a McTimony chiropractor. Some of them are very good at releasing tight muscles in the ribs.

    Hope this helps

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