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Day 1 Chronic neck/upper back pain for 8 months

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Korsko, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Korsko

    Korsko Newcomer

    Hi everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read.

    I'm a healthy, fit, 24 year old male. I had a sudden onset of headaches about 8 months ago that would not let up for a month. After routine tests, Xray, and a CT (all negative), the headache finally went away.

    What I was left with was chronic pain in my upper back, shoulders, traps and neck that has yet to go away. The pain is hardly ever completely debilitating, but often becomes painful enough for me to become incredibly frustrated and abandon what I'm doing. As you all know, this is a terribly negative cycle that seems to cause even more discomfort and pain. The pain never seems to be in the same place. It moves from area to area daily, and seems to flare up at times of stress. I've never experienced neuropathic pain; it is always achy/dull/burning.

    Although I've never had an MRI done, I've always attributed this pain to a structural/muscle injury of some sort. I'm really into weightlifting, and gained nearly 15 pounds of muscle mass in the past 2 years. I figured that one of my many minor gym injuries/tweaks has surely caught up to me, and that I'm now paying for the consequences. Or I have a muscular imbalance from putting on too much too fast, and it's causing strain. Or this, or that.

    Stressors in my life are numerous. I'm a student in the medical field, undertaking a very intense, mentally/physically demanding program. I'm about to graduate, and will start working in the field, and have to find a job quickly to pay off loans and stabilize my financial state. I need to study for hours daily. The position I need to read my texts in causes me a great amount of pain, yielding even more frustration that I can't put in the required work.

    I've taken months off from the gym. This has further fuelled my negativity and frustration, as lifting is one of my huge stress reliefs in life: it centers and balances me. I've recently started going again after reading Healing Back Pain, and The Mind-Body Prescription. As I'm sure none of you are surprised, the book describes my personality to a T.

    I strongly value logic and facts. I'm finding it difficult to fully accept the diagnosis due to my pathophysiologic knowledge from college. I'm trying my best to fully embrace it, and I think I'm making progress each day. Today I'm officially starting the structured education program.

    I guess I'm just looking for support and affirmation that I have found my diagnosis and will get better. I'm so ready to leave this part of my life behind me, and take back control of who I am and the things I enjoy. Thank you all for reading.
     
    georgethee likes this.
  2. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Hi Korsko,

    Welcome to the program! I'm certainly not a doctor, but I think you'll find, as you spend time on the site, that your story is quite similar to others. While every story is unique, there are some commonalities. I, too, had trouble with the diagnosis, but after seeing the same patterns in others' symptoms, it made sense to me. I didn't start to heal until I fully accepted the diagnosis. It's so hard to take the leap of faith, but worthwhile. Today is actually my final day of the program and I can tell you that I've learned a lot and really appreciated the responses and information others' have shared. Learning from each other and getting support from others' has helped greatly. I'm not fully cured, but I am well on my way. Much of this is to do with the program. I wish you all the best in your journey! Jo
     
  3. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I seem to remember reading somewhere on here that it's OK to use some type of pain reliever while you are recovering. To that end, I want to suggest a resource that has been a huge help to me over the last 3 or 4 years. To back up a bit, I have had my own issues with back/neck pain. It got so bad a few years ago that I started having anxiety/panic attacks and wound up at the ER once. (I could have used the TMS therapy back then!!!). Then I found Gary Crowley's site: do-it-yourself-joint-pain-relief.com. In his series of (free) short videos, he shows how to get relief from a variety of muscle pains using something as simple as a tennis ball. Once I learned how to release muscle tension with the tennis ball, I never was afraid of that again because I now had at least "some" control which took away the anxiety. Anyway, you might want to check it out and see if it will help you. Sometimes if I wake up in the middle of the night and I've slept wrong or something in my back doesn't feel quite right, I'll get up, get my tennis ball, do a few exercises with it and go back to sleep. Perhaps Gary's exercises will give you at least some relief from the pain while you are recovering.
     
  4. dede

    dede New Member

    Ihi. I am new here too . So much pain in my neck head shoulders back entire trunk. So scared and not fully believing there isn't something terribly wrong with me that doctors haven't found. I am going to do my best to embrace tms and see how it goes. Keep in touch.
    dede
     
  5. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I am currently working my way back through Alan's Pain Recovery Program now that I've finished the SEP, and the video on Day 4 where he is talking to a nurse practitioner named Felicia may help you a lot: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/day-4-breaking-the-pain-cycle.16459/ (New Program - Day 4: Breaking the Pain Cycle)
     

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