I'm a 20-year-old male, around 5'-7" or 5'-8" only 110 lbs.
About 2 1/2 years ago (late 2008) when I was 18, and a freshman in college, I started experiencing excruciating back pain that I continue to experience to this day. The pain is not sharp, but kind of just "my everything aches". The pain is in my middle back, right below and between my shoulders, and my rib cage.
Whenever I crack my spine (which I just recently started being able to do), this brings on the pain. Sitting on anything other than a couch for more than 10 minutes brings on the pain. I have also noticed that week or month-long stretches of experiencing symptoms tend to coincide with stretches where I am stressed. In the summer I tend to be mentally relaxed, and this is usually when the pain subsides. When college starts back up again, the symptoms intensify. I get stressed out very easily. Not sure why.
It is usually accompanied by muscle twitching all over my upper body. In some really bad cases, it will be accompanied by mild nausea. It is often also accompanied by an extremely uncomfortable bloated feeling, like I have a balloon inside my rib cage that is inflating.
It clouds my mind and stops me from being able to think clearly. The pain cripples me when it hits. All I can do is lay in bed or sit on a couch (now that I've moved back home) and be miserable until the pain goes away for a few minutes. Usually laying down for 15-20 minutes will relieve the pain. Sometimes it doesn't relieve the pain (these are the bad cases accompanied by nausea) and I kind of just writhe around in bed for hours until I fall asleep. Then I wake up and it starts all over again. Every single day. The days start to blend into each other after a while.
I went to the doctor once in 2008 or 2009, and once in 2010. The first time he prescribed Zanaflex. Meh. It made me feel tingly but didn't really do anything Tylenol couldn't do. The second time he sent me to physical therapy. I have no idea if this did anything. The thoracic thrusts felt pretty good though (this is where the therapist basically rolled me into a ball and jumped on top of me). My back makes all sorts of crackling and popping noises if you hit it hard enough.
That's what my life is like right now. Wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.