help with undiagnosed chronic back, neck shoulder and jaw pain and strange symptoms

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I have an undiagnosed chronic problem, any help much appreciated.. Here goes.. 

I have had a discomfort in the middle of my back for a few years now, slightly to the left of my spine but under the rib cage towards the middle of my left shoulder blade. Ive always shrugged it off but over the last two years things have taken a turn for the worse and i cant get any answers.. two years ago I had a 6 week period of random episodes of what can only be described as a sudden feeling of anxiety accompanied by a feeling of movement even though i was standing or sitting still.. I was sent to cardiology for a full check up, EKG, Echocardiogram, blood tests and holter monitor all came back clear although the episodes had stopped by the time i went for the appointments (NHS waiting times). Also had a brain scan that came back clear. 

The back pain/discomfort continued and i was sent to the musculoskeletal dept. they sent me away with exercises to try.. Then last august (two years after the initial episodes) the symptoms returned with a vengance! Leading up to august I had a feeling of not being able to get a satisfying breath in my left side and my back problem seemed to be getting worse. I was experiencing pain in my left shoulder too. Then in august whilst driving I began to experience pain in my shoulders and had an almighty rush of anxiety and a sense of doom that convinced me I was about to have a heart attack. I went straight to ER and had a full check up, blood tests, EKG came back fine, chest xray fine and i was sent home. I continued to have these episodes of unexplained anxiety/panic along with chest pain/pressure, shoulder pain rib and back pain (all left sided) pain down arms, and the breathing discomfort, several trips to the ER found nothing. Back to cardiology, echo normal, bloods normal, managed 12 minutes on a treadmill stress test, 2 holter monitors found only ectopic beats all normal. 

Back to musculoskeletal unit, MRI of thoracic spine and neck shown only mild to moderate degenerative disc disease in the mid thoracic region. They said that wouldnt account for all my symptoms and discharged me. 

I am now aching and have stiffness along the left side of my thoracic spine area, aching in my left shoulder, aching and stiffness in my neck (left side) aching along the lower left jawline and I am still having random episodes of this feeling of anxiety/panic although i have learned to control it significantly since it started and it passes quite quickly. Symptoms seem to appear more when sitting watching tv, at a computer or driving, not with exertion (with the exeption of this breathing restriction that can bother me at any time, although it eases off when i lie flat) I am taking propanalol (helped a little but not enough) I have done hours of research myself and came accross vitamin d deficiency so had myself tested and i was deficient (levels were at 20) I am taking vit d pills and have been for a few months, not helping! I also read up on magnesium deficiency and got a supplement that has helped with the stiffness in my back for a short while but it is slowly starting to come back even though i continue to take the pills. I have considered the possibility all this is down to plain anxiety and panic disorder but that does not make sense of all the left sided symptoms.. I think it is more likely there is an underlying issue that is causing the anxiety but i am stumped as to where to go next. My Doc isnt much help either. Thanks for reading all this if any of you can relate any help would be much appreciated

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  • Posted

    Hi this sounds awful and I am sorry you haven't got a diagnosis yet.  The only things that struck me was when you said you have breathing restrictions (and the only thing I know anything about).

    Have you had breathing tests ie for asthma,  copd, or anything else.  Are you a current or former smoker and how old are you please?   I am asking the last question because copd rarely strikes before the age of 40. 


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    • Posted

      Hi, I am 38 and was a smoker up until recently. I have had a lung function test and that was fine. If I go for a brisk walk or a jog it seems to loosen up making me think its the muscles rather than the lung itself. I have no cough and ive never coughed up blood or anything. Its really confusing to say the least!
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  • Posted

    I know you probably don't want to hear this but from everything that you've reported my best guess is that it's anxiety. I think you're having anxiety attacks. Anxiety and anxiety attacks can cause physical pain. If you're under constant stress it can causes tight muscles which will then eventually make the muscles hurt. Besides seeing a psychiatrist who can prescribe some medication for you it would behoove you to see a therapistgive you some tools to help you through these moments of anxiety that you get. In the meantime if you can afford it I would look into biofeedback. I don't think you live in the US so I don't know if this sort of thing is covered where you live by your medical care but I would try biofeedback therapy. It is a wonderful method of relaxation that you can use. This is not your typical relaxation where you just listen to music and close your eyes and rest. And because of the strength of your anxiety I think you'll need more than just to download a recording and do it yourself. I know that in the United States it can cost a couple of hundred dollars and not covered by insurance. I wish you luck in this because I know that what you're experiencing whether it anxiety or physical is really wreaking havoc on you and your body. So whatever it does turn out to be I hope that you find help for it

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I have considered this possibility but i guess all the left sided symptoms have lead me to believe it is heart related if im honest. I will look into your suggestions and again I thank you for taking the time to read this and reply.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sorry to hear all of thtis. It is good that your tests came back  clear.


    ​Your level was low so you were prescribed supplements. However you have to be very careful with supplements of Vit D because they deplete the body/liver of Vitamin B12 and cause a peernicious anaemia or the neurological signs and symptoms which are peripheral neuropathy.

    ​It is therefore very important to include include Vit B12 plus folate with your Vitamin D3.


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