Constant pain not bad enough for help - Pain Concern

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Constant pain not bad enough for help


Sorry, long post but I feel lost. So got 18 months I've had increasing neck and shoulder pain. Caused I think by change of job to one at pc all day, and poor posture. Work have paid for a desk assessment which came out as my workstation was supposed to me fine. So not really able to change anything there. I've had 3 blocks of physio on the work bupa scheme- all hands on no real excercises to do- nice at time but no lasting effect. Sympathetic Gp. She tried me on atriptaline (sp) but it turned me into a zombie in the day and after a week gave me annodf sedated insomnia. Then we tried gabapentine but I felt faint dizzy had ringing in ears and headache so after a small emotional breakdown in her office she put me on an antidepressant and diazepam to tide me over till it kicked in - in knowledge I was about to have an assessment at the pain clinic.

Well I went full of hope and left gutted. Apparently 18 months is not that long to have pain, and as there's nothing on my MRI, I'm not that bad. I told them about the physio not helping, so they've put me on a list for more. I told them I can't correct my posture without knowing what's right or wrong and that what I think is right really hurts. They said when I do get my physio I will be shown that. I told them sleeping is painful, they said how thick my pillow needs to be(it's as close to that as I can get it).

The only drugs advice was to stop taking the ibuprofen the doctor told me to take and to take paracetamol instead (something I'd previously been told to stop as it wouldn't help at all).

So now I feel helpless. In pain all the time but apparently not enough to get treatment other than vauge advice to get more exercise. I'm back at gp for review next week , but I'm at a loss. I feel like that's it now, a lifetime of pain and not sleeping. I've dumped this here because I hope here at least there will be some understanding.

12 Replies

Hi Plinth- that's a rough time you're having - and a lot of confusion.

Chronic pain is regarded as 6 months continuous pain- so you are there!

Ibobrufen would be preferable for muscle relief, I would think. Especially at night. If your stimach can handle it.

2 possibilities going out from here -

A good sports physio who is recommended to you from personal experience ( maybe a sports club or suchlike)

A good chiropractor/ osteopath- again , personally recommended.

Otherwise- and I'm sure you've done this already - Google your condition on Youtube- there will be plenty of demonstrations to help.

I hope this gives you something to go on.


derek1 in reply to Madlegs1

Exercise might help, depending on your options a good Pilates teacher might help. Or a gentle Physio who can provide graded exercises over a period of time. Dee

2nd opinion & more tests needed hun

If your in pain it's for a reason x

See an Alexander Teacher. You problem could be posture and muscle use based. I am concerned that all the doctor has done is painkiller and no MRI scan.

You need an MRI scan to check that there are no hidden causes for the pain you have.

Hope this helps.

Plinth in reply to johnsmith

Thanks. Sorry should have said , between second and third blocks of physio I did have an MRI - which showed no issue

Dear Plinth,

If there's one thing worse than Constant Pain, it's people not taking it seriously-How long have been in pain? HOW LONG????? Not long enough, what utter 'crap'. You need to start 'banging your drum' and HARD! Surly any time, in pain, is too long-and 'they' think it's not "bad" enough-or that you haven't "suffered" long enough? Just read back what I have written, then your own 'post', preferably twice. Are you still prepared to 'put up' with this?

Please do let us know how 'things' progress, for you, Plinth.

In the mean time, I know, that we all send you our very best wishes.


I guess that all that is left to try is self help (at least while waiting for another lot of physio). I believe that either pilates or alexander technique can be really good for backs/necks, so I think if it were me, I'd be trying to find someone who could show me how to do either of those techniques. Even if it didn't fix everything, if it did just knock pain back one point on the pain scale it could be the difference between coping and not coping. Another thing would be water exercise - not swimming as such, but just floating in the pool (using noodles or float bands) and stretching out and moving arms and legs. Hard to explain, but really just doing a range of stretching and moving using the support of the water. Actual swimming can be quite stressful on the upper back shoulders and neck so I would avoid that.

For pain relief, unless you aren't allowed to use it, then one of the NSAID gels (ibuprofen gel or voltarol) over the area may help. I find that just using voltarol once doesn't really do anything , but if I use it regularly over the same spot it does have quite a good effect on keeping inflammaton down, and that in turn makes it easier to move and less painful.

Thanks all. I'd put so much hope that the pain clinic would give an all round help, but I just felt dismissed. I will tell the gp all this - she has been good and I'm sure she thought the pain clinic would be helpful. I have started a balance class but it's hard knowing what's "correct" excercise.

I'm sorry to hear how you're hurting. If I may offer my advise..try to find a buckwheat pillow. You can usually only find them online these days. For approx. 3 years I had unrelenting neck and shoulder pain. Probably due to my job as a nursing assistant.

I Went to a chiropractor for a while..took pain meds... Then I started sleeping on the buckwheat pillow. Now at first you won't like it..but give it a chance. It really helped me. I hope you find relief. X

I know we're your coming from I really do I suffer the same, mri came back normal, had nerve blocker didnt work and the pain clinic said nothing more they can do lol, back to doctors don't know how many times, and now think there sick of seeing me ,and actually listening, I would say perceviour or change doctors x

18 months is totally long enough for it to be chronic pain! 3-6 months is the minimum.


You still working?

Are you spending a lot of time in bed or on the sofa?

Do you do any stretching or exercise?

You can take paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time. Take with food.

Have you tried massage?

Relaxation exercises?


Are you depressed and/or anxious?

Tired, sorry. Sure I'll think of other stuff.

*hugs* if you want 'em.


Plinth in reply to waylay



Still working


Body balance once a week, yoga at home every day, walk during lunch time

The ibuprofen stopped making any difference, have small dose of codine for bad days

Physiotherapy did include some massage but it only gave relief for 24 hrs

Relaxing and heat help in the v short term only

Pain has made me depressed, so on antidepressants which help

Since the original post I’ve had more physio (but that’s also finished) , was recommended a neck roll for my pillow, and am basically doing everything the physio advised But still in pain

My GP is amazing, she listens and does what she can; she can see an improvement in my movement etc, but the pain is just ever present She’s also advised me to keep a record of pain in case there’s s pattern There is - work - I was much better over Xmas!

Anyway thanks for the comments- sometimes it’s just good to know people are listening!

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