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Unexplained body pain at a young age?


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I'm a 22 year old female, within my healthy weight range, I'd say I'm on the upper side of active -- I do some physical activity every day whether that be a dance class, interval training, cross training etc, but I do not feel like I exert myself to the point of exhaustion or anything. Also consider myself to be a bit of a health nut, and a part-time vegetarian (try to mostly avoid meat, mostly out of personal preference, but also have chicken sometimes, the occasional beef, and do eat a good bit of fish). I also try to log my protein and eat a lot of that.

 

I didn't REALLY notice this until my boyfriend made me aware of this, but he pointed out I'm complaining of "random" body pain quite often. It was then that I realized that pretty much every day I wake up sore, usually in the neck and shoulders. I've read that sleeping on the stomach can over-twist the neck so I quit doing that a while back. I have tried combinations of pillow adjustments, tried to lay in perfect posture on my side, all to no avail.

 

Sometimes I'll be sitting in a chair for a while and my muscles in my shoulders will feel so tight and almost burn. I also had a random very serious rib pain (at one point could not breathe without doubling over) which doctors couldn't really figure out, it's a pain in my ribcage that still comes back now and again.

 

For a while I guess I just figured this was all "normal" stuff, but my BF has expressed concern that no 22 year old should experience this much body pain and I'm starting to see his point!

 

I know this is terribly broad, but I don't feel like I can go to a doctor with this kind of thing. Anybody have thoughts at all?

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Did your doctor do all the tests including blood, heart stress, X-Ray etc?

 

It could be anything, you could be pulling a delicate muscle. The pains you feel on your shoulders could be from subconscious tightening of your muscles in the area, naturally tight/stiff, or you're overworking the area. It could be lack of certain nutrients in your diet.

 

And if anything I would probably get a referral from your doctor to see a physical therapist, they usually can tell bodies of active people especially, at least in my personal opinion over chiropractors. A deep tissue massage or weekly or bi-weekly (depending on your needs) massage of some sort may help.

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Do you do anything in particular that would strain your posture (for example: sit at a computer all day in work? etc.)

 

Your issue could be a posture issue and pain in the neck and shoulders is really common in people who work at computers or in other professions that require constant sitting or leaning. Many times our jobs require us to be in positions that are not natural or healthy to be in for too long.

 

Seeing a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor might help. They can show you stretches and other exercises you can try to help undo any posture strains you might experience during the day.

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I had rib pain for 20 odd years as you described and no doctor really had an answer. It still hurts occassionally especially at night. Recently a bone scan found my rib had excessive calcification from a mystery old rib fracture.

I suggest getting into your doctor to get checked out properly in case its something that needs attention. Perhaps you have arthritis or overuse injury.

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I almost 100% sure that this is due to bad posture, from what you are describing as the symptoms. This can be caused in many different ways from sitting at your PC slouched, walking incorrectly, sleeping in the wrong postion and even driving your car. I have expericened this myself due to sitting at a pc for 8 hrs a day i cured it by walking around the office more. I recently carried out health risk assesments at my old company you need to get one, it is the employers obligation.. speak to hr. I also personal train and i am currently looking at posture as a specialism maybe in a few weeks i could help further, but always better off to see someone in person. Good news this is easier to cure couple of tips listed below until you get an appointment.

 

Whilst sitting at PC = monitor should be head height, feet flat on floor, knees bent at 90 degrees , back straight and wrist support. a well as the keyboard being close so you dont over reach.

 

Driving - back as staright as possible, do not slouch over wheel,

 

walking- shoulders back, back straight as if you are showing chest off.

 

good luck

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Thanks for the rapid response everyone. I guess I should clarify, I don't so much feel it is joint related, though I have experienced a few joint issues (hip or knee). Mostly it seems to be the deep tissue of my shoulders, like a burning sensation -- also they crack a LOT when I rotate them.

 

I haven't really pursued medical help on this as I'm unsure of where to even start.

 

And Bella, I'm still a student so I do spend a good bit of time at a computer writing papers and such but I wouldn't say it's an inordinate amount of time or anything.

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I have the exact same issue...that horrible ribcage pain that feels like a knife stabbing me when I breathe....

 

I finally went to the doctor about my back/shoulder pain...she referred me to a physical therapist...apparently, I have slight scoliosis and my left hip is significantly higher than my right (how have I never noticed this?) which eventually caused me to herniate a disc, which caused my muscle tissue to scar....so I'm currently undergoing treatment for that.... as well as I have a prescription for muscle relaxers...trying to fix this!

 

Definitely see your doctor though.

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I guess I should also add I've had some foot problems, I stand on foot strangely (I believe the feet curve inward or something). I have in the past few months seen an orthopedic doctor who gave me the most intense orthodics on the market, which I wear often. I had always attributed the hip/knee thing to the foot deal, but never thought to connect it with shoulder pain. Any chance it could be a posture issue? I don't think I hunch over or walk strangely, and I feel like if that were the issue the pain would subside since I wear these orthodics and they are supposed to correct my standing/stride.

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I guess I should also add I've had some foot problems, I stand on foot strangely (I believe the feet curve inward or something). I have in the past few months seen an orthopedic doctor who gave me the most intense orthodics on the market, which I wear often. I had always attributed the hip/knee thing to the foot deal, but never thought to connect it with shoulder pain. Any chance it could be a posture issue? I don't think I hunch over or walk strangely, and I feel like if that were the issue the pain would subside since I wear these orthodics and they are supposed to correct my standing/stride.

 

The foot thing can definitely be connected. I tore my Achilles' tendon awhile back and my PT thinks it's related... not necessarily a direct cause, but he thinks the two are linked somehow.

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I guess I should also add I've had some foot problems, I stand on foot strangely (I believe the feet curve inward or something). I have in the past few months seen an orthopedic doctor who gave me the most intense orthodics on the market, which I wear often. I had always attributed the hip/knee thing to the foot deal, but never thought to connect it with shoulder pain. Any chance it could be a posture issue? I don't think I hunch over or walk strangely, and I feel like if that were the issue the pain would subside since I wear these orthodics and they are supposed to correct my standing/stride.

 

High arch perhaps? Feet affects everything. Are you wearing one of those MBT posture correcting shoes?

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Your feet are your foundation. One small imbalance in your stance and throw off everything. If you have issues with asymmetry it can work itself all the way up to your shoulders and neck.

 

Did you doc have you stand with one foot on each of 2 scales to see if you are carrying a significant amount of your bodyweight more on one side?

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your bed could be why you're sore when you wake up.

and you said your a health nut? you might just be a hypocondriac .

 

believe it or not, i made a post about pain in my stomache area. after i got my ct scan test back and said i was fine, the pain went away instantly... weird really.. just proves the mind is a powerful thing. there may be nothing wrong with me, just worry bout my health a lot cause i got so much goin for me and i dont wana loose it.

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