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    pain all in my head??
    tired_lady12 posted:
    Hi all! I'm a 46 year old female and I've had and still have my share of pain for various reasons.

    My current issue is wrist pain ulnar side. Negative for carpal tunnel, not too much arthritis showing up on x-rays but what there is is on the radial side. I've had one cortisone shot and other than having cortisone flare, it hasn't really made any change in the pain, and I do have increased pain with certain movements, but it's really just a general 4/10 ache all the time.

    I am seeing an ortho guy that will be ordering an MRI soon. My worries are that the MRI won't show anything wrong, and I'll have yet another dr tell me it's all in my head! Ugh!!!

    I actually have had that happen before. I've had two knee surgeries, one major for a ligament tear and one arthro for supposedly a torn miniscus. The arthro didn't go well, the doc couldn't find the tear that was seen on the MRI, so he told my husband that it was all in my head! Ever since then, I've been hesitant to tell my PCP about all of my pain, and I sure do have alot! My hips hurt, my knee hurts, my lower back hurts, I have had whiplash from a roller coaster 13 years ago and now I have limited ROM in my neck, I've had both wrists tested for carpal tunnel and those came back negative... so what am I to think? IS IT IN MY HEAD?? Am I nuts? I did give in and told my PCP about the wrist, so she sent me to the ortho, but it took my about 2 months to get up the nerve to ask her to check me out.

    I seriously don't want another dr telling me there's nothing wrong with me when I can just feel that there is! I know my own body and I shouldn't be having this much pain! Any suggestions?? I have been living "quietly" with this pain for years, and I'm so tired...
    annette030 responded:
    Find a doctor you trust and tell him about all your aches and pains. They may be related.

    Take care, Annette
    Peter Abaci, MD responded:
    Pain is a complex experience, and for all of us, it is the product of many different factors. Some of these factors can be considered "physical" and are related to things going on in the body's tissues, like inflammation, cartilage tears in the meniscus, or degeneration of joints, as examples.

    Other pieces to the equation would include emotional,cognitive, and even genetic factors. The mind/body connection is a very real and strong influence on our overall heath and well-being. The effects of things like stress, anxiety, depression, and past traumas can influence the way our pain feels at a current moment in time. That is what makes humans...well...human. The cognitive part has to do with our attitudes and how we think about things, and this can be influenced by our culture, education, and past experiences.

    Everyone's pain experience is "real" regardless of how all of these different components come together. Tests like MRIs don't tell the whole story and should be considered just one source of information but not a judge of a person's pain. The ironic part of your doctors' comments is that everyone's pain takes place in the brain whether they have wrist pain, back pain, or knee pain.
    KYwife70 responded:
    I can empathize with what you're going through. Have you researched fibromyalgia? Also, have your PCP test your blood for inflammation (CRP and Sed Rate levels), along with complete CBC. I have had chronic high inflammation levels for 20 years. Officially, I've been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis, fibro, and vasculitis. You are not imagining your pain. Pain is pain. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of deep sleep. If you're exhausted upon waking, you may want to get a sleep study done as well. Lack of a deep sleep causes all sorts of problems.

    I've also had serious pain all over my body, only to have most of the bone scans, MRIs, x-rays, etc. come back normal. It is very frustrating. I've come to the conclusion that it is inflammation or the fibromyalgia. I'm about ready to go back to my rheumatologist.

    I hope this helps.
    Just_Stevie responded:
    It is probably nerve damage. There is a test, VERY painful, and expensive. Unless it is REALLY bad it is not worth the test or fix. I have Fibro (which is more muscular) and apart from that I was diagnosed with slight nerve damage many years ago. It comes, it goes; aggravated by God knows what. The most effective treatment when it got really bad was acupuncture. It ran from my elbow to wrist and my pinkie was actually pulling away from my hand. I too have my share and then some of pain. I have been to so many doctors I lost count. I learned
    1) I have a lot of problems that probably everyone else has too but don't know cause they haven't been tested.
    2) There is not much to do about them.
    3) If you complain to a PCP they order tests and send you to a specialist.
    4) The specialist orders more tests.
    5) you go broke 6) You have more pain due to the stress of it all .........
    My suggestion favor your wrist till the irritated nerve heals and build muscle to protect it from future flares ups - save your money.
    ringokarma responded:

    Health insurance is killing us. It makes us run to the doctor with every symptom instead of listening to our bodies and taking corrective measures to establish balance. The rules of enjoying a healthy, pain-free longevity are simple. Be active (swim laps or walk daily is a good start), eat right (a.k.a. light), throw away your television and live life instead of watching it (TV has a hidden agenda, you are the mark). Develop sound judgment about your living habits. Remember, on the day most of us die it's our own fault, not our doctor's fault. We dig our own graves; the trick is to learn to dig slowly. Unfortunately, most of us have our graves three-fourths dug before we even realize we have a shovel in our hands. Doctors are not much help; they want us sick because we are their source of income only when we are not well. Already ill? Fast and pray (or meditate ... whatever makes you comfortable) and move and rest. The rhythm between movement and rest is the pulse of life. At 46, if you are living right, you should be in peak health. If you are not in peak health in your mid-40's you need to make immediate changes in your diet and lifestyle and stick to those changes. Your health is not a doctor's responsibility. It's in your hands, but it takes time and consistent effort. Good Luck!

    bocou responded:
    you probably have fibromyalgia as i do. its like traveling pain and you don't know why you hurt but it hurts and sometimes more than other times. my wrists, my hands,my elbowes, my neck and shoulder my hips, my lower back, my knees, my feet especially, my stomach is messed up, my jaw, headaches, migranes, etc etc. the funny part is, i rarely get "sick" with a cold or flu but i complain everyday and I can tell you everyone i know is sick of me complaining. doctors look at me when i come in and its like "you again?" I've had mris, xrays, on all parts of my body, been to physical therapy 100's of times. the best thing that has worked for me is warm pool therapy. i have tried exercising but that causes me to hurt so bad, i get discouraged but exercise is good if you can get through the pain. Its not in your head, its a real disease. I would try and stay away from all of the "lyricas, savellas, cymbaltas" etc.
    they may work for you, and do work for many people, just not for me. lots of side effects. If I were you, see a rhuematoid arthritis doc or someone familiar with fibromyalgia. when i finally was diagnosed with it, i cried as there was finally an answer to all of my dilemas and someone believed me?
    good luck, i hope it helps.
    medfaxx responded:
    Have you been to physical therapy or chiropractor and tried a 20 minute interferential treatment? Interferential is not a tens machine but actually much stronger. Main form of electrotherapy used in hospitals clinics for chronic pain over last half century.

    Interferential provides what is called "carryover pain relief" which simply means you should get pain relief during the 12 - 20 minute session and for some time period thereafter. Try that.
    mawkovin responded:
    Dear Tired Lady,
    I can so sympathize with you as I have gone through much the same experience. You must talk to your PCP, though, and tell them all of your concerns, including your fear of being "dismissed" as a hypochondriac. I suffered with pain for many years until it was discovered that I had a rare genetic disorder. There are many causes of "all over" pain such as fibromyalgia, depression, and arthritis, just to name a few, and just because one doctor can't, or won't, help you, doesn't mean that your pain is all in your head. Even if it were "all in your head" you still feel it and they even have treatments for that! Don't let fear hold you back from seeking treatment. You may have to search for help for a while but you will eventually get your answer, and it will be better than spending the rest of your life in pain. Just make sure you write down ALL of your concerns and problems so if you get nervous at your appointment you won't forget, and it helps to keep a "pain diary". Record what pain you have, it's location, it's intensity on a scale of 1 to 10, perhaps the activity that precipitated it, what you did to try to relieve it and whether or not it helped, and any other information you think pertinent. Doctors really appreciate that and will be much better able to help you. Just be totally honest and tell them EVERYTHING! It might be that the one thing you find to be insignificant or silly is the key to you whole health!
    Best Wishes!
    mawkovin replied to Peter Abaci, MD's response:
    Great response! Pain is pain no matter what the source. If you feel it, you have it! Just because it is "imagined" or "all in your head" doesn't mean you feel it any less, it only means that it may need a different type of treatment than say, a broken bone. Everyone's perception of what is real is different. Every brain is different. Find a doctor who will listen, and if they won't, find a new one! There is no reason you can't "fire" your physician. They work for you, you (or your insurance co.) are paying them. If employee's won't listen or perform their duties satisfactorily, they get the boot! Remember - you are the boss and deserve to get what you pay for!
    tired_lady12 replied to KYwife70's response:
    KYwife - I have had a TON of tests for everything from Lyme Disease to R.A. and more, everything comes back in the normal range, with the exception of my Vitamin D, which I now take supplements for. I don't sleep well and haven't for years. I've had two sleep studies and have mild sleep apnea (too mild to warrant a CPAP, thank God!)

    My last knee op, the doc told me he took out alot of inflammation and said I'd probably be back sometime to do it again.

    My doc did the basic test for fibro and doesn't think that's the problem.

    My wrist still hurts, 2 weeks after the cortisone. I think it'll probably be MRI for that soon. The ortho said that he can't do anything for at least 6 weeks after the shot, which will make it about 3 months of wrist pain. It's very frustrating.
    tired_lady12 replied to bocou's response:
    bocou... that does sound eerily like me. My PCP did a basic test for fibro and seems to think that's not my problem. Maybe I should ask someone else.
    tired_lady12 replied to mawkovin's response:
    mawkovin... thanks for your words... I will try that suggestion.
    joyinhim7777 responded:
    I too have/had this. I had a nerve conduction test and ended up having a crushed ulna nerve. Had the surgery cause if i did not then i would lose all the feeling in my left hand. So since the surgery i still have pain numbness tingling and spasticity. but am glad i had it done at least two of my fingers are 1/2 way working. That was when I had insurance now i just suffer. My doctors of 20 yrs will not see me unless i pay 150.00 upfront. you would think the 50 they got a month from my ppo when they did not see me would suffice. I do not ask for a hand out just to pay the medicare equivalent. If people knew the formula doctors use for setting the price for office visits they would scream. if u have insurabce use it and get all the test u can.
    Godsangel512 responded:
    OMG, in reading your issues here it's just like looking in the mirror at myself! I have muscular pain all over, my body just spasms when and where ever it feels like for no other reason than it wants to; without warning. I've been to the doctor more than enough times and had every test there is to have or seems to be had just for the final result to be NEGATIVE!

    That is so very frustrating especially to me because I'm an independent person that like to do everything myself. I find myself being unsure of what I'm sometimes because I feel that there's a brain to motor skill disconnect going on. I had one doctor tell me to do soon as I started to stretch my body just drawed back the opposite was and knotted up. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I work, by mid day I'm extremely exhausted; and I have a seditary job. As soon as I'm off I'm asleep. It has really become rather scarey for me. I feel like I'm not in control any more and I don't like not being in control.

    I feel for you and some of the others that have responded with the same issues. At least I know I'm not alone! I keep us ALL in prayer.


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    Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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