Back problems for over 2 years

Posted , 3 users are following.


Apologies if this turns into a long post, I'm trying to keep it as brief as possible.

Around 2 years ago, I was working for an airline as cabin crew. I hit my back on a corner of a crew seat in unexpected turbulence, but at the time thought nothing of it. 

Around a month later, I woke for work and couldn't move to get out of bed. My back was in pain like I'd never felt before. After a day or two of laying in bed resting, I went to see a doctor who told me I had a muscle spasm and gave me medication for this. 

2 months later and a few more trips to the doctor, and I was still suffering with this. As such, I left my job (where I'd just been on sick leave, and they were happy with this) as I wanted to earn my money rather than sit around doing nothing. I joined a few different jobs. The pain subsided a few weeks later. 

It came back, from recollection 3-4 months later. Went to the doctor again. Muscle spasm again. More medication. Didn't last so long this time - a few weeks.

A few months later, same issue. This repeated another 1 or 2 times at which point I considered it a repetitive issue with no real connection - I wasn't doing anything abnormal or out of the ordinary that would lead to these muscle spasms. 

I went to my GP who referred me to an NHS physio. I figured this was ideal and would really help. Was wrong, really. I went, for a 20 minute session, where the guy literally went "your back is too flexible, do these exercises and your problems will disappear". Except, they didn't. I managed the exercises for a week or so and the pain came back and was worse than I had ever known it. I tried again when the pain was gone but same thing. I gave up following that.

The pain kept coming and going regularly, but was noticeably lasting longer. This was now going on for months at a time. Not only that, but the period without pain was getting shorter. 

I found myself needing some time off work because the pain was so bad. Work assessed the situation and have actually been really good about it (still in the same job) - I've got a modified desk area to help, and they're aware my pain (as it's being treated as un-diagnosed) will lead to more time off. 

To where I am in present day. I've been off work for 2 months with pain. I've started paying to see an osteopath. I was fed up with going to the doctor who kept saying the same thing over and over and asked if I wanted to be re-referred to physio. No thanks!

My osteopath has thus far been brilliant. I told him my entire story and he took a look at my back and immediately said "utter rubbish, there's no excessive flexibility in your back, if at all".  He identified that above my lower back there was no movement at all, it was completely frozen and stiff. He did some work in that first session which helped. I've seen him for 4 sessions now and he's been very good.

He wrote a letter to my doctor asking for tests to be made in order to help diagnose the problem. I'll list my symptoms a little further down to aid this. 

The first thing I was tested for was Ankylosing Spondylitis. All tests (MRI included) came back negative. Only thing showing was a slight Scoliosis - not enough to cause any pain. 

I've just had further bloods taken for additional testing - I'm awaiting these results and will be seeing my GP next week. 

My symptoms are as follows:

- Moderate to severe pain, most days, especially at night, in the back. This can be anywhere, lower, upper, central, left, right, or all over. 

- When pain isn't present I get a dull ache. This TENDS to be centrally, but will vary from lower to upper back.

- Left arm and shoulder pain. This was worked on by Osteopath recently and has actually improved since.

- Numbness of legs. Not severely, but enough to make walking feel funny. This is not always present. 

- Occasional tingle in my right foot, unsure if related.

- Fatigue and lack of sleep. I know fatigue and lack of sleep are two separate issues but they do combine. Most nights I cannot sleep until 3-5 in the morning. Following this, I can then sleep until early afternoon. When I wake, I feel as if I've not slept which often leads to me struggling to get up and/or taking naps a few hours later. 

I also have very severe heartburn most days, my osteopath is unsure whether this could be related. The one thing he is fairly certain of is that my pain is completely unrelated to that bump I had that time. 

What I should mention is that I am 24 years old. And male. 

I'll get to the point. I was just wondering whether anybody had experienced anything similar and/or could suggest anything this could be. 

Other conditions that have been mentioned to me are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME. 

Any ideas much appreciated - I'm aware that my doctor and osteopath will likely be able to assist much further, but it currently has my osteopath stumped, in his own words.

Thanks in advance!

1 like, 7 replies

Report / Delete

7 Replies

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up