T Nation

Chronic Pain


Quick synopsis: I'm 34, been weight training since 17, injured my manubriosternal joint when I was 26. (was doing triceps extensions on a cable pulley machine - was leaning forward and pushing the rope out like on a triceps machine). Well, I felt something pop and immediately the pain set in. Thought it would go away, but it didn't. One year and zero weight training days later, the pain was still there. That was on August 3rd 1999.

After another 3 year layoff (4 in total), I pushed myself back into the iron game in August of '03. As of today (10/24/07), and 4 years since returning to the weights, I can honestly say this condition has been utterly ravaging and unrelenting.

For the past 8+ years I've been eeking out an existence marred by constant sore, burning, joint stabbing pain in my chest...everyday. Any type of motion that requires stabilization or articulation at the manubriosternal joint causes pain. It hurts (bad) when sneezing, coughing, laughing, pushing, pulling, play wrestling with the kid - even the simplest pressure (palpation) to the area causes pain.

I've had the full workup: CT, MRI, X-Ray, 4 different chiropractors (mainly idiots and 1 condescending one), 4 different pain clinics, about 30 corticosteroid/trigger point injections in total (slow acting ones manage to give about 2 weeks 50-60% relief), aspirin, ibuprofen, NSAIDS (which I won't take due to allergic reactions and the risk of adverse cardiac side effects), prolotherapy, natural COX-2 inhibitors, stretching, rest, deep heat, you name it...all except acupuncture which I probably won't do simply because I'm tired of wasting hundreds (possibly close to a thousand) dollars on experimental or short lived therapies.

In short, I just don't know what else to do except bitch, bitch and bitch. It's not life threatening (like a terminal disease) so that keeps my bitching in check, however it has ruined my quality of life.

I don't know why I'm posting here, I guess it's some attempt to connect with someone who knows what it's like and maybe get some ideas I haven't tried - because the implications go beyond the actual physical pain.