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Musculoskeletal Problems - Back!
An_252395 posted:
Hello all,

I should start by saying I'm a (what appears to be - minus the muscular issues) healthy 22 year old male.
Height: 6'2
Weight: 155 (i've lost 15 pounds of muscle since the injury)

I am having some severe back problems and am posting here to hopefully pull from the knowledge of the internet (the people that make it up!) and find possible causes/solutions to this problem that has plagued me for too long.

A 1 year and 7 months ago I pulled a muscle in the gym doing shoulder press. It appeared to be the trapezius muscle, about where it terminates on the back (if you go to the edge of the scapula and then cross directly over to the spine). I put the weights down and was done for the day. I took a day or two off, went back and it didn't feel right so I left the gym for another week and came back when everything felt fine. Shortly after returning to the gym (a day or two) I pulled the muscle again. So i took off longer this time until it felt better and returned. I then pulled the muscle on my right side, somewhere in between my scapula and spine. Since this first pull I have perpetually suffered from muscle pain in my back. I visited a chiropractor after 7 months of no relief (the muscles kept pulling everytime I returned to the gym). The x-ray showed that my spine was pulled slightly to the right (i believe) and he attributed that to the muscles being so tight they were pulling against each other and my spine (which I certainly agree with). He seemed somewhat knowledgeable, but he was more your come in and let me crack your back and attach some electric stem pads to you (albeit haphazardly - like he didn't even remember where the injury was) and you'll be fine.. So, I stopped seeing him and decided I'd try getting back in the gym. I was able to work out again without pulling any muscles for a while, but the muscles were always extremely tight and felt on the verge of pulling all the time. I of course pulled some muscles because of this, but none as bad as they had been. So for about 4 months I continued to workout very carefully (as in not able to do much..). I couldn't deal with my back being tight all the time so decided to take off from the gym until my muscles relaxed so that I could actually work out again. Shortly after I took off from the working out I left to study abroad and my back went haywire (possibly from the beds) - I spent over half of 4 months with constant pulled muscles (in my neck and back - all upper back, around the shoulder blades and attaching to the spine). I started getting massages and that helped a good bit with the tightness but that didn't solve the pulled muscles. I'm now back from study abroad and saw an orthopedist who took x-rays of my neck, although it was more around my mid back that was having the problem... He suggested I see a physical therapist for 6 weeks and if I still am having problems then he'll have me do an MRI. This was pretty unhelpful and shows a shameful complacency... The MRI might be helpful if he can even analyze it when the time comes. But as of now, I have no idea what the problem is and am at a loss for treatment and was hoping to glean some insightful advice or information from others who may have encountered this.

I'm seeing the physical therapist and am still having constant tightness in my back. I've only visited him 3 times, but I'd like to get some other opinions on the possible causes. The day before my last visit to him my back got so tight around the T3 or T4 vertebra it was painful to breathe - the muscles from each side of the vertebra to my scapula. By the time I got to the PT, he said he was perplexed because he couldn't see what I was talking about (most all of it had receded). And my back was feeling somewhat better at the visit time. it fades in and out..

Thank you in advance for any help or advice!

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