T Nation

Young Adult, Chronic Pain, No Answers...


Sorry to have to do this. But im desperate for help. This post will likely be long, apologies in advance for this but i really want to include ALL that i know if it will help any of you help me, by offering suggestions, thoughts, advise on how to approach/deal with things, seriously anything, please feel free to lend a helping hand.

19 + 9 months old, male, about 165lbs, bout 5'10.
Medical History;
Liposuction at 15-16 (bad gyno)
Root Canal (Dentistry) smashed front teeth on a fruit machine - 16.

Current diagnosis;
Raynauds phenomenum/diesease/syndrome
Chronic ITP? Haemtology - haven't bothered to read up on this yet, and will explain why later.
Meniscus tear - R knee.

Next history may seem really over analyzed or exaggerated, but i feel it needs to be, incase there's anyone out there that might think, that could match with that, or you should be checked for so and so.

October 2010, was working with dad, pain developed in sacrum whilst kneelin down and leaning forward, inital thoughts was that it was where i wasn't used to the work as i was on vacation for a month before hand and worked through the pain, but it didn't go away.

About 6 months later down the line, started developing neck pain, the only possible explanation i can think of is that when coming up from a squat, the bar jolted off my back and onto my neck, but no instant pain or injury that i can recall from it.

More recently Ive started having aches and pains in my bicep tendons (inner elbows, insertion point to joints). At times it bothered me during pull ups, it would be painful to do and bear weight on, could be related from the shoulder i guess, but i'll explain more later. Even walking the dog would cause a degree of pain in these areas.

Anyway, i have been to the doctors countless times over the years, but nothing. I had gone to them in the past as i gave complaints of being thirsty, having a dry mouth, which required me to drink more often, and then, urinate more frequently. I even remember being out with friends in my early teenage years and avoiding having drinks due to fear of having to pee. My mother said ever since i was little, whenever we were out i was always asking to pee - bladder problems?

I was ran with a few tests and if i remember correctly, being tested for diabetes, twice, both which thankfully came back negative.

I have had several blood tests, x-rays and scans, if i can remember;
Ankle x-ray (thought i may of fractured, by falling on it) - Clear.
2 Cervical spine x-rays - Clear.
Both Knee x-rayed - Clear.
2 Chest x-rays - Clear.
MRI Scan lumbar spine - Reduced lordosis - doc said it was completely normal, and no significant abnormalties were found.
R knee MRI - Meniscus tear.

Ive been tested for RA, FBC'S, all sorts.
In the past my iron was low, i was given supplements and after recent bloods, my iron levels are fine. However, my platelets were low on the first testing, by the second testing, they were higher, but still slightly low. The haemtologist said not to worry about the ITP as my platelet levels were only slightly below the normal range, and therefore discharged me.

So, my current complaints are, back ache, and aches in my inner elbows (but not the joint)

I have the weirdest neck symptoms though;
Neck - Can be my whole neck, comes and goes, some days it isn't bad, some days it is, base of my skull, to shoulder blades, more of a dull ache, i have overactive traps, and can avoid the pain at times, some times i notice it hurting are;
In a quadruped position, looking down, an example, playing a puzzle, within 20mins, hurts like hell, or if i were bending over sorting the washing, it will hurt, if i shrug, it normally produces pain.

The sacrum pain isn't much of a bother recently, sometimes i wake up and it hurts a bit, but normally i can stretch it off or walk it out, perhaps some SIJ Dysfunction or some imbalances around there.

At this current time, i do have possibly an anxiety disorder, and id say, some depression. I have been researching what's wrong, and after reading certain illnesses/dieases, getting myself in a right state and panicing worrying big time. Im not doubting the power of the mind, at times i haven't been able to control it and am always sub conciously looking for symptoms in myself and scanning my body for issues, looking for problems which weren't actively there. Im in the progress of getting councselling, but i am taking control of the situation a bit better. Prescribed anti-depressants, but not willing to take those, yet.

I stretch every morning and evening now, but feel prolonged sitting can make my whole back tighten up. The aches/pains are normally right in my spine (so it feels), and a real nuisance. I have tried exercising, as i haven't lifted weights or worked out seriously for about 6-8 months, although int he summer i was trying to keep my strength up, DL's, Bench, rows, etc.

I do the usual soft tissue work, and mobility drills, it does help a bit, but hasn't cured my problem/s.

The doctors say they have been to the hills with the investigations and say that Ive probably had more investigations than anyone. They can't seem to find nothing wrong and have prescribed me, co-codamol 15mg/500mg, and dicoflenax sodium 50mg. I don't take these unless i have to.

Roughly about 2 weeks ago, i awoke in the night in tremendous pain, i took co-codamoel, sprayed deep heat and used a heating pad but couldn't get back to sleep, so i went to A+E and they just basically gave me the same. The pain eventually went away in about 8 hours, but it was agony, and i was in tears. This same day i had a lot of diarhea and sickness. An osteopath i had been seeing said it sounds right as Ive been having a lot of anxiety lately and seems to think it could be strongly related to that as he couldn't find anything obviously wrong. At A+E i was checked by a couple of docs, took a chest x-ray and uranylsis, both which came back fine.

Some days, i feel fine, almost how i used to, with minor aches and pains like most people, but with the anxiety Ive developed, im taking most pains into account that i wouldn't thought about in the past, which is why i need some councselling and possibly CBT. The doctors seem to think that once i get back into work (been out of work a while), then i won't notice the pains as im sitting at home, thinking about them, looking for problems, dwelling on things, which if im honest, there is some truth in. However i can't help but feel there is something wrong with me.

Anyway, a prime example. Yesterday, weren't feeling too bad, so i decided to go for a swim, done a good 30mins or so, felt good, had a shower, started getting changed. Then noticed aches in my upper back by shoulder blades. Then felt it around my stomach, and had to take some p killers when i got in which helped. Im getting scared and have been tearful numerous times over this as i don't know what's going on.

I have had a couple of neck adjustments and back from an osteopath, i can now self crack my neck without much effort. He seems to think, the pain related to my elbow/tendon is growing pains and anxiety, which i have been having a lot of lately, and recently i have been better, at switching off, which has helped the symptoms. So maybe i am fine, maybe i just need a good deal of therapy, in the right direction, some ART, corrective exercises, but at times, i just feel my life is going downhill.

I don't know what's happening in the future, i can't plan things as i don't know how im going to feel, i don't feel like i can stay away from home due to fear of being in pain and having to take p killers with me everywhere. I don't feel normal or how i used to, i feel on edge and that 1 day i'll have enough of it and do something stupid.

So, need some massive psychological help, which im hoping to get. Apart from that i don't know, perhaps my training in the past was imbalanced, i have shit scapula stabilit i feel, not enough pulls, the right exercises, but not done properly getting the benefits and just furthing the imbalances.

Sorry it's LONG, not expecting many replies if any, but thought id throw it out. For now, just going to enjoy christmas and relax, but im seriously concerned about the futue and my health, i feel i can't plan my life with all this going on, i can't think ahead career wise, or where i plan to be in a few months, going on holiday or anything, or even staying away has been put off so bad.

All i want to do is be back in the gym and working out. I haven't worked out properly/sat on my ass for about 8 months, it's not healthy, but i feel im just able to walk and sit on my ass, i can't stand no more.

Sorry It's a article and thank you.



If you want to get back into the gym and workout, do it. You've been out of the loop for 8 months. Can you see why 30 minutes of swimming may make you sore? Start exercising at an intensity and volume that does not make you sore. Progress lightly and with minimal increments. Progress is progress.

With pain such as yours, stop looking for the "cause" and look deeper. Remember a few things: pain is an output from the brain (100% of the time) END OF STORY. Do not mistake this for "pain in your head." Two different contexts. The former is science, the latter is bullshit. Research tells us the factors that lead to chronic/persistent low back and neck pain are psychosocial in nature: fear avoidance, anxiety, depression, litigation, etc. Get these under control. You will get better. Do not avoid activity or fear your pain. Confront it, and realize hurt does not mean harm.

For a better understanding I would recommend two books written by one of the lead researchers in pain science.

Explain Pain and Painful Yarns.

These will give you a better understanding of what pain is and is not, central sensitisation and how to begin treating yourself.

All the best...


I had the same problems as you with my chronic pains, First off i suggest you to see a chiropractor 3 times one that deals with soft tissue, out of all therapists, chiros are best for neck injuries.

Second see Graston Technique, for joints and back for 3 sessions, then find yourself a real Sports Accupuncturist, i haven`t found one in Canada so i went as far as asia to get it done, fixed my muscular problems.

Mean while i suggest you to sign up for Medical Cannabis, cause you sound more fucked up then i am. Now please dont get offended by this but pain killers are really destructive to your liver and stomach causing ulcers and soon your liver will feel the affects.

Your shoulder blade problem would be Trigger point,Muscle Knot, Excessive Scar tissue,Myogelosis from not retracting your rhomboids while doing power lifting for bench or squats.

Personal experience no therapy worked for me besides Accupuncture, not even massage therapy, due to the fact that alot of the damaged tissue was under the shoulder blade itself.

Remember never do powerlifting with body building form.

Also trust me, this will work out, it worked for me :wink: since you already got all your MRIs.


Thanks for the replies as i understand it's a long post.

The 30mins of swimming didn't make me sore, as in muscle soreness, i had previously been 2 times prior to that session and didn't notice the back pain i got, which has kind of scared me off of swimming. I did a few pull ups on rings yesterday, and can feel im sore from that, which i can understand, muscle soreness isn't a problem to me, but back pain is.

Thanks for the suggestin of those books, i will definitely look into those, i am trying to control the anxiety/depression/psychosomatic issues as much as possible, i feel there has been improvements, and i am awaiting a councselling session.


I have had about 3 adjustments of my neck, haven't noticed MUCH improvement, but maybe there is without me knowing, all i know is the pain normally feels deep in my spine/back.

Medical cannabis, unfortunately i don't think that's an option here, as it's illegal anyway, with that being said i could get access to some easily enough.

Thanks both for the suggestions, will take them on board.


If you can't get access to good accupuncturist for your spine, then GET a Good PROLOTHERAPIST and get a blood plasma therapy for your knee.

by the sound of it, stop wasting money on chiropractics right now because i know from experience, that your problem is deep inside and adjustments wont get it.

Your left with Accupuncture,Prolotherapy, platelettherapy.

But Prolotherapy sounds like what will solve all your issues.


and wtf happened did you get in a car accident?



You obviously have no understanding of science and research.

Acupuncture is no more effective than toothpicks (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009).

Prolotherapy and saline are just as effective as the other for chronic low back pain (Spine, 2011).


Do yourself a favor and gain greater understanding of the neurophysiology/neurobiology of pain (Louw, Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2011) and stop looking for the holy grail for pain relief, because it doesn't exist. All you are going to find are more healthcare practitioners and CAM therapies looking to give you another expensive 'technique' without research or science supporting them.


I don`t need to argue with someone closed minded.

And no your wrong, if he has chronic inflammation in his back like i did, Prolotherapy could possibly make it worse because it induce inflammation for a quicker healing process. Someone who is chronically inflamed should seek accupuncture-dry needling first before prolotherapy.

maybe go do some research yourself, Mr.Ignorant.


What the fuck is wrong with you, he had an MRI showing he had a bucket tear of his meniscus, and your telling him his pain is all in his head ,and that he should continue with his workout?


Your psychological issues are probs making this a lot worse...you really need to find something else to try and focus on. When did this avalanche of issues start..?


My psychological issues are definitely a factor yes. How much though, i don't know, and if im honest, at this moment in time, i think there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with my body.

I was thinking maybe i am ok, some back/neck aches, but can carry on most of the time, however, last night i decided to go out for some drinks with friends for xmas.

So i had a good amount of alcoholic drinks, just as i would of in the past, however, even through the drinks, i was in a big deal of pain.

My SIJ area was hurting sharply, went away for about 10mins, then came back for the majority of the night. When that eventually stopped hurting, my left trap (i know this is some specific, but so true), started aching, and maybe i needed some SMR, even so, i shouldn't have to be trying to SELF-ART myself at a fucking night out. The pain eventually went away and then my SIJ area was killing again. So it's in one body place at one time, however usually bi-laterally.

The biggest killer though was later that evening. I got home, took some cod liver oil, a multi and drunk plenty to make up for the dehydration, went to bed, within a few hours i awoke, both achilles tendons were hurting along with the opposite sides (top of foot connecting to ankle), this is both feet, really bad pain i didn't even want to bear my weight on it, along with this, my ankle mobility was reduced as my ankles were stiff.

They were also clicking alot, and so has most of my body recently, more than it used to, my hips used to click and my knee does (meniscus tear), so i could understand, but now litreally almost everything clicks.

I try telling my mum about the issues and im losing patience. Even now my feet are aching, she says "just take some p killers and get on with it, that's what there for". If only it was as easy as that.

Im starting to worry about my future as i feel at this moment in time, i don't have one at all, and i don't know if i'll be here within a months time, i know there's people worse off in the world, but i can't deal with this no more, the only thing keeping me here is enjoying xmas with my brother, other than that i feel like im just existing. Ive bought some cod liver oil and vitamin D but that doesn't seem like a magic answer.

I was standing for a few hours that evening in non appropriate footwear, even so, i don't think that should contribute to the pain i was in.

The meniscus tear doesn't bother me at all you know, hurts now and then, but it only hurts if i were to squat. Funny enough, now that i mention it, my r knee cap is aching, so psychological, definitely has a role, unfortunately i don't think solving that will cure me.

@Pew, about 14 months ago i noticed pain in my Sacrum area, since then it hasn't healed up and other areas have been propping up with problems.


Even now both knees, around quad insertion areas are aching up badly, this last happened about 2 weeks ago. Deep heat hasn't touched the stuff.


your stiff ankle is from your calves and the rest of the muscles in your leg spasming up trying to protect your knee from further damage, dont believe me, call up your doctor and ask.

why bother posting when you haven't even tried the therapy i suggested, even if it could be a mental problem? a psychologist still cost more money then all the therapy combined? what does it cost to get a psychologist? 60$ to 200$ an hour?

if you have a mental issue then if you can solve it by someone telling you so? wouldn't you think you would already be better now?

i had a meniscus tear before from lifting too much at work, and i never had surgery for it, and prolotherapy and platelet therapy got me back to work in a week. your ankle is just your body mechanism trying to protect itself from further damaging itself.


Sorry, but i don't believe that, as it's both ankles. I don't have any interest in phoning the doc as they know next to nothing about muscoskeletal problems.


This may sound silly and yes you probably have some underlying conditions that could probably only be treated by the correct therapist but have you considered your diet?

Chronic Inflammation, thus pain and discomfort, can certainly be caused by underlying intolerances or allergies. I hate promoting paleo as a cure all treatment but no one got worse from eating better and there's a chance it could help.


you don't believe that? your other leg is compensating when you do squats and work out and even walking because your bad leg isn't working properly.

Look up GSP UFC fighter, he torn his right knee trying to compensate for his left leg that he's strained.

This happened recently, im not pulling shit out of my ass.


omfg i love the paleo diet, it makes me feel great but it sucks, you pretty much have to stay away from alot of foods.



Did you call me ignorant, accuse me of not knowing the research then link wikipedia?

That demonstrates your lack of understanding for anything medical in nature. This would get you laughed out of all academic/healthcare related discussion.


LOL, sorry, but I consider 'clinical relevance' to be what you achieve in the clinic, with real patients in the real world (and yes, there may be some placebo effect in there, not that it matters IMO), NOT what some journal article tells you is 'clinically relevant'.

I long ago learned the limitations of being completely ruled by studies and RCTs. One poorly designed or executed study can be the death-knell of a technique or approach. But that doesn't mena it's not valid. You (the experienced clinician) have to blend science (studies, RCTs, A & P, etc) with what actually works.

Well i also said your closed minded, i just thought you would like to know since you didnt remember to put that down too :wink:


Did you really just rip off BBB's response verbatim from his response in this other thread?.....