Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic Myofascial Pain?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 2, 2008
  • 10:53 AM

I've been suffering for pain now for three years and thought I'd just post my information in here (and everywhere I can) to see if these symptoms might be familiar to anyone?


Range from about 1 – 4 on the pain scale depending on weather and activities, I experience all of these every day, the pain rotates around in all these areas at different times of the day, in varying degrees. Pain is increased by weather conditions and stress.

Pain and tightness on R posterior of neck, sometimes radiates down to about mid-back and occasionally up into jaw. Stiffness and cracking of neck when I move it.

Pain underneath R shoulder blade and between shoulder blade and spine. Numerous knots along muscle on inside and slightly underneath shoulder blade, from mid-back up to top of shoulder blade -- when these knots are really bad all my other symptoms are markedly worse EVERYWHERE (or vice-versa?)

Pain R shoulder – in joint and all around, sometimes accompanied by itching, shoulder feels like it is pulled forward, won’t touch floor if I lay on back

Swollen feeling at all times, underside of R arm (between underarm & elbow) since November of 2005 -- accompanied by pain and sometimes itching – this symptom is constant and does not vary throughout the day, although it is made worse by weather conditions and stress. The swelling is so severe that it causes my right arm to stick out at a 15 to 20 degree angle from my side, as opposed to my left arm, which hangs flat against my side.

Pain radiating from shoulder down to elbow on top of upper arm

Burning pain in elbow

Pain radiating from elbow down the R side of my forearm

Pain in R wrist

Pain in back of R hand corresponding to metacarpals of middle, ring, and pinkie fingers

Numbness and Pain right side of R palm

Pain, tingling, coldness and numbness, right middle, ring, and pinkie fingers.


January of 2005 right shoulder began to hurt. Saw orthopedist in February 2005 and diagnosed with shoulder impingement due to tiny bone spur. Sent to physical therapy but each time I tried to exercise the pain became extremely severe so after several months I stopped. November of 2005 still had pain in shoulder, began to have swelling and pain underneath my upper arm and my elbow was beginning to hurt, also had numbness and coldness of pinkie and ring fingers. Saw my primary care physician (also an osteopath) who said it was my “1st rib”, did a manipulation and said she did not know what was causing the swelling in my underarm area. Shoulder seemed to feel a bit better but other symptoms continued. In January of 2006 cervical sprain when van pool I was riding in was rear-ended – neck felt better within a couple of weeks, shoulder began to hurt worse again -- elbow pain, underarm swelling and numbness continued. June of 2006 took a four day computer class with very bad ergonomic setup -- the underside of my R upper arm felt extremely swollen and painful, R elbow began burning badly, with numbness and tingling and coldness in middle, ring, and pinkie fingers. Saw an orthopedist who diagnosed “cubital tunnel syndrome,” and again sent to physical therapy. Underwent six weeks of physical therapy during which time my elbow pain lessened somewhat, but developed “knots” on inner side of R shoulder blade and my R upper middle back (between shoulder blades) began to hurt quite badly. Told Orthopedist – but she “didn’t do backs.” Saw another orthopedists for back, diagnosed with “subscapularis sprain.” (I tried to explain all my other symptoms to him, but he refused to listen and yelled at me to pick “one thing” so I picked my back since it hurt worst at that time) In November of 2006 my back pain became markedly worse than the other pains I was having, saw another orthopedist who took x-rays of cervical spine (not mid-back), shoulder & elbow, said everything looked fine and diagnosed “cubital tunnel syndrome,” and prescribed more physical therapy. Over Thanksgiving holiday I flew home to OK, my back pain became so severe that I ended up in the ER twice, the pain was now not only in R upper middle back between shoulder blades but was moving over to L upper back as well – was diagnosed with “backache unspecified” and put on Vicodan for duration of trip. At this point the back pain became unbelievably bad (8-10 on the scale) so I cut my trip short and flew home. Once home I experienced severe chest pain and shakiness, along with a feeling of unreality, along with the pain and severe depression (suicidal thoughts) due to unrelenting pain. Saw primary care physician next day, she said I was having panic attacks due to Vicodan -- she discontinued Vicodan and sent me for 8 more weeks physical therapy for my back only. From around October of 2006 through January of 2007 I experienced extremely severe bouts of pain ranging from 6 to 9 on the pain scale – the pain would occur in my neck, shoulder, upper back, shoulder blade, my entire arm, elbow and hand and would be so severe that I would be crying by the time I got home in the evening from work and could not eat dinner. I was taking 4 Ibuprofren every 4 – 6 hours throughout the day and night during this time. I would wake up in the middle of the night with severe hot flashes, cold sweats and night sweats during which my entire bedding and pajamas would be soaking wet, and I would feel extremely nauseous from the pain and hot flashes. I had to sleep in a separate bed from my husband due to severe pain and profuse sweating. During this time period I lost 15 pounds due to inability to eat due to nausea from severe pain and became extremely depressed. In January of 2007 while I was still undergoing physical therapy for back pain, I began seeing an acupuncturist. Acupuncture helped reduce my pain down to about a 3-4 on a daily basis and helped my depression markedly. Acupuncture also helped markedly diminish the the hot flashes/cold sweats. By February of 2007 my pain levels were down to about 3 on a daily basis, but pain rotated daily from right side of neck, to behind right shoulder blade, across and around right shoulder, down right arm and into elbow, wrist and hand – with constant feeling of swelling under upper arm and numbness, coldness, and tingling of middle, ring and pinkie fingers. In February of 2007 began seeing a chiropractor and with her help my pain levels were reduced down to about a 1-2 on a daily basis (occasionally a 4-5 depending on weather or activities) and I felt markedly better by June of 2007, was able to reduce my chiropractor visits down to 1 per week and was finally able to wean myself completely off pain medication. In June of 2007 I felt well enough to take a yoga class – and afterwards I began experiencing severe pain again, rotating all over, about a 4-6 on the pain scale again. In July of 2007 again saw my primary care physician who diagnosed Chronic Myofascial Pain and recommended more physical therapy (she specifically REFUSED to order MRI’s or CT scans, even though I started crying from desperation in her office – she threw a Kleenex at me and said that she definitely KNEW I had chronic pain and that was FINAL). I was seeing a massage therapist at this time who worked on the knots in my back and also massaged my arm and I started feeling much better during the summer and fall of 2007. I also saw a naturopath whose web site advertised “trigger point injections” but he no longer did those – he did however, do blood work and discovered that I was severely anemic and had prediabetes, both of which were treated successfully with diet and supplements. He called my arm pain “fibromyalgia” but focused on my other health problems to the exclusion of my pain. I did began to feel much less tired and depressed on vitamin and mineral supplementation. However, beginning in January of 2008 the pain began to get much worse again – (I was under severe stress at work and the weather was really bad with a series of storms in a row with only a one or two day break in between) – pain was approximately 3-4 pain level on a daily basis with pains rotating all over from R back side of neck, down back, up along inside of R shoulder blade, over shoulder, down arm into elbow and down into my hand and fingers, still having swollen feeling in upper arm constantly. In February of 2008 noticed my reflection in a mirror one day and realized that my upper arm swelling actually causes my right arm to stick out from my body at about a 15 to 20 degree angle. As opposed to my left arm, which lies flat against my side and my left hand, which touches my upper thigh when hanging down -- my right arm does not hang down flat against my side – it sticks out and my hand is about 8 inches from my thigh and cannot touch it without my forcing it towards my thigh, when standing or walking. At this point I began worrying about breast cancer (my mother had it), so I saw my gynecologist in January of 2008, she could find no swelling in my lymph nodes and mammogram was okay. (For a total of EIGHT doctors who have now told me that this swelling does not exist – even though it causes my arm to stick out so far)

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