Chronic muscular pain - advice saught

Hello,

I have been suffering from chronic back pain for approx 2 years now. I have had all the appropriate tests and scans done (bloods, x-ray, MRI), which have ruled out anything 'sinister', and so I can only put it down to muscular / biomechanical issues...I have done two long term stints in physio, neither of which have reaped any results. I have also consulted a chiropractor, an osteopath, and, most recently, had weekly massage therapy. Yet, I am still in constant, chronic pain. I have now been referred to a pain clinic, but I am seriously struggling to deal with constancy of the pain, and the fact that I just can't see and end to it.

One thing that has been identified by a few of the therapists that I have consulted, is that I have a muscular imbalance in my glutes - which I can actually feel. Also that my pelvis is scewiff....Whether this is the root cause, I don't know, as i have become so riddled with muscular tension and myofascial knots, that it is hard to know what has caused what, and my body has become progressively more and more imbalanced and screwed up.

I guess what I would like to know, is, does anyone have any experience of these symptoms, and how they deal with them, or, even better, fix them!? I am very holistic in my approach, and include self hypnosis, mediation, and visualization in my pain 'tool box'. I am also a yoga teacher (yeah, no kidding!), so I incorporate gentle yoga in to my daily regime..and, foam rolling... and stretching....and physio to strengthen my weak glute..

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Peace and joy :-)

x

11 Replies

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  • I don't have much advice as I suspect my issues are similar and I haven't got better. Although mine happened after pregnancy and at some point a large disc herniation. The disc was fixed last year and I'm left with the pelvic pain and weak but knotted muscles (plus weak back muscles). The only route my GP could use was the pain clinic so I'm waiting for that. Although you are lucky to have got so much investigation, I had two years of phsyio and they refused to send me for any tests, it was the pain clinic who arranged the MRI and then got me referred to the surgeon. The GP would have preferred to send me off to an intensive rehab service but they don't exist anymore. I'm hoping the pain clinic can help and have looked into injections into the knots but they have their own Physio too and can prescribe stronger medication if required. Fingers crossed you have some success at the pain clinic.

  • Thank you Ariadne! I am hoping that the pain clinic will help, and maybe the next physiotherapist I see will be able to help me some.....I hope you don't need to wait long for the pain clinic, and get the help you need to ease the pain.

    Thanks for replying, it really has been very helpful to read all the comments and advice here :-) x

  • Hi heartsandminds,

    You don't mention if you've had any neuro assessments.

    It does sound like there's issues with your body's pain signalling. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but instinctively knew that there was a problem with my bones and it just wasn't a muscular problem. After three years of persistently harassing my doctor, I finally got an MRI which clearly shows that I have canal narrowing and stenosis in two places so I'm now awaiting surgery.

    In the interim, I have tried everything for all the other pains and aches and find that different things work at different times. I found that Turkish baths help, my tens machine is a godsend on certain days and ofcourse, injections aimed at the site of the pain to interrupt the signals are also great.

    Wish you all the very best in sorting this out. Stick with your gut feeling on this matter - you probably instinctively know what's wrong but because you're not a doctor, you're struggling to accurately pinpoint what it is. Unfortunately, real life is not like the medical show House so we have to do much of the initial investigating ourselves.

    Don't give up, get online and do as much research into your symptoms as possible and present your findings to your GP - that sometimes spurs them into action.

  • Reykua - you wouldn't believe how many times I have thought "I wish I could consult House"! But, as you say, real life doesn't work that way...your advice about following your gut instinct is very astute - I have lost sight of that at times, but I am I trying to tune back in to my body, and go with my instinct. It can be very confusing as I have been given various pieces of advice / diagnoses over the past 2 years, and sometime I just get so muddled up with all the information / assessments....

    Thanks again for your comment, and advice!

  • I feel your pain I have been suffering with chronic pain syndrome for just under 8 years which happened from a fall, My upper back and neck were worst affected. I went to the doctors every week until they did something I was refered to physics, had MRIs and X-rays, I saw many consultants and in the end I was refered to a pain clinic which helped me the pain clinic also prescribed versatis medicated plasters which has lidocaine in they took a couple of weeks to start helping but they were amazing. After 6 years they started investigating not and found I had a tear in my shoulder they said is had to build up strength before they operated so I saw an amazing physio and that in conbination with sports massage and with gentle swimming I built up strength and started to feel better and th pain was not as bad. I therefore had the operation and since then my muscles are weaker and I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and become very depressed living with pain everyday is horrible so I understand your pain. I am now on the waiting list for the pain management program in bath which have very high success rates. I know there is hope as I have had the time before my operation with less pain. So if I give any advice ask about the medicated plasters aid the pain clinic don't help ask to see about a pain management programme, try gentle exercise, talk to people who understand your condition, remember your not alone. also try heat I use my hot water bottle several times a day.

  • Thanks for the advice Jess! I will definitely ask about the medicated plasters. I use a hot water bottle every day, (even at work! )to the point the skin on my back is now badly mottled, but it is the only thing that gives me relief at times....it is really hard, as, although my friends know I have back pain, it's not easy to explain how wearying it gets, and how hard it is to just take each day at a time, and not let it consume you. I really hope you continue to recover from your operation and get on the pain management programme soon. Thanks again for the advice and support, it is very helpful :-) x

  • See another yoga teacher and get them to check on your muscular technique. No insult intended, but it is a fact that we are unable to see our own errors in body movement and need other body movement experts to make us aware of the errors we make.

    You probably need to weaken your glute.. The more contracted a muscle is the weaker it becomes. Good muscular balance is more about not doing rather than doing.

    Stretching may not help if you are not uncontracting muscle. This should include the deep muscles which are often not seen.

    Yoga is a muscle strengthening regime is you can get the muscles to lengthen out. This is different than stretching muscles out.

    A one to one session with an Alexander Teacher will show you which muscles are too tight. It can be relatively easy to be too relaxed on the outside muscles of the body with the result the deep internal muscles are too tight.

    Hope this helps

  • Thanks John, I completely agree about how one can't easily see one's own physical errors....I have thought about getting some AT lessons, so that may be the next thing to try. Thanks for the advice! x

  • Hi,

    You should ask your GP to do a test to check if you have fibromyalgia.

    Your symptoms seems quite familiar to me.

    Take care

  • Thanks Phinou, I have wondered if I could have fibromyalgia, but for various reasons I don't think my symptoms quite match the fivromyalgia profile. But thank you for the suggestion! x

  • From last 2 years, my upper back and neck were worst affected but when I discuss my issue from my orthopedic surgeon after bearing pain for 2 years, I am feeling good. orthopedicsurgerysandiego.com/

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