I hope this is okay to post here. I've had a look on the forum and can't find anything like this. I've been dealing with chronic pain for about 10 months now. I've seen my Dr but he doesn't know what's going on. Essentially, I find that the day after doing an everyday task that requires a tiny bit of strength (e.g. opening a jar of jam) the muscles I used to do that task are super sore to the point where I can't really use that part of my body. The pain settles after about 24 hours until I do something else. Initially, I noticed the pain mostly in my finger joints and my shoulders so RA was ruled out, but since then we've got no idea. I've had pain in my knees, sole (heel area) of my foot, shoulder, thumbs and fingers, and outside of my foot.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing, and could you suggest who might be able to help?
Apologies if this is completely the wrong place to ask.
Yeah, I've had those symptoms plenty of times. For me it's called Fibromyalgia. But you don't just get Fibro for no reason. It is usually the result of some trauma and for me it was having 2 MVAs in my life causing multiple spinal injuries, which have all healed by the way, but there is a lot of scar tissue that now causes me great pain and disability. And of course my brain, (the part I have no control over) has taken upon itself to punish me if I dare try to live a normal life.
What do I do when I get these phantom pains, which by the way are very intense and often times debilitating? I simply wait it out. I may have to take a little extra pain medication, but normally I don't. I just use heat packs or cold packs and wait it out and eventually it usually just lessens in intensity and stays all the time, or it just goes away.
Almost all of the times that these phantom pains turn up, they are normally not rooted in anything serious or real. However, you can't take my word for that, because I learnt this for 'ME' by going to doctors to get them checked out over many years. So now I am wise enough through experience, to determine what I should ignore and what I should get checked out.
So I suggest you do the same thing. Go to your GP and tell them the story. If you don't think they are receptive and refuse to understand, then go find one that will be.
Once you do have a diagnosis, then study it, map your pain flare ups and if they are phantom pains, then tell yourself that they mean nothing and you can operate as per normal. Speak this out loud so your ears hear it, because you need to tell that part of your brain that everything is okay and it can turn off the phantom pain, thank you very much.
I am serious about this. If you open your mouth and start up with the negative crap about how bad your life is and how this pain is making your life hell, your brain is listening to every word you say and it will only do what it thinks it needs to do, to mitigate this pain and then it just cranks the pain up further and tries to force you to go back to bed. Learn to shrug your shoulders and tell yourself that this pain isn't real and you can still go do what you want to do. And actually make an attempt to do what you want that day. Once you have achieved something, say out loud how great it was that you got that job done or even just partially done. Pat yourself on the back. Why do this? Because muggins in your skull is listening and it will then think that "oh everything does seem to be okay. Perhaps I should let up on the pain a bit." And believe it or not, the pain will eventually start to subside.
Phantom Pain can be caused by many things, but more often than not, it is from the 'flight or fight response' in our brain. This part of our brain decides it's gonna do this without our permission. So we have to teach the damn thing that everything is okay and it can just back off and leave us alone. Seriously, this works if you give it a try!
Sometimes our brains do weird things, and one of those things is by causing chronic pain. This chronic pain is in many different forms for different people. We all have to go through the lengthy exercise of proving that the pain is from an actual injury or disease, or that it is a phantom pain.
Never just ignore pain and dismiss it out of hand. Always go to the doctor to get it checked out!
Because of old compression fracture injuries to 2 vertebrae in my thoracic spine, the scar tissue impinges on the nerves that go into my chest. When this flares up, I get false angina pain. Yes, real heart attack symptoms. I have been having this for over 20 years now, so I am okay with ignoring it, but if I feel anything is slightly different or there are other changes, I go to the ED and get checked out. I was in the hospital this year two days in a row for the exact same reason. I just need them to tell me that my heart is operating as per normal and that all is well. Then I just go home, rest and wait it out, which can take a few days. So it is a little distressing sometimes.
Anyway, I hope I have been able to help you a little. Always remember. Go speak to your GP first and never assume anything. Prove everything for your own peace of mind!
I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)
So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)