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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

New with questions
Jan 23, 2008
Greetings, all.

I'm looking for advice and answers regarding a neck/back injury.

The injury occurred at work about 13 months ago (December 2006). I slipped and fell sideways. I hit my ribcage on a raised platform (about 12" high) which caused my neck to snap over so hard I bruised my cheek when it hit my shoulder. Then I bounced the other direction onto a concrete floor, landing pretty much on my back. Due to it being a workplace accident all medical care has been coordinated through workers comp. insurance.

Immediately following the fall (for about 3-4 weeks) I had numbness and tingling in my shoulders and down the outside of my arm from elbow to pinky fingers, but that went away after about a month. Also had pain in my neck and middle back (about even with the point I hit my ribs).

After some wrangling with insurance was finally referred to an orthopedic doctor (for the first month I was being sent to a walk-in clinic which was no help at all). He diagnosed neck pain as purely muscular. Had an MRI done which showed small bulges in the discs in neck, but those were ruled normal.

Doc put me on extended treatment of prescription drugs (Naproxen and Skelaxin, then Meloxicam and Methocarbomal with Tramadol as back up pain med) to resolve the diagnosed muscular issues. However, the medication has done nothing to get rid of back pain. (Tramadol does get rid of the headaches that occur when my neck flares up but the pain in my neck remains constant.)

At first I was only having flare-ups every week and a half or so and then primarily in my neck. Since August I've been experiencing more pain in my middle back and increase in frequency of flare-ups, now about every 3-4 days. Inbetween flare-ups the pain is usually mild to moderate so I can manage it with taking a short break, lying down or sitting down with feet propped up. But when it gets bad (which is happening with more and more frequency) I can't get comfortable. The headaches get so bad I get dizzy and the pain in my back makes it hard to breathe comfortably.

Went back to the doc at the beginning of the week and he outright dismissed the idea that the back pain was in any way related to the injury (and therefore not his responsibility). He also told me that since my pain was not responding to his prescribed treatment (which is based on his diagnosis of muscle strain) that I must have some other condition. His exact words were "Something like fibromyalgia but not fibromyalgia that causes your muscles to damage easily."

I told him that the pain in my back started as a sharp, shooting pain like hitting my funny bone and would run up towards my shoulder. To which he said "Sounds like a muscular issue."

Then, when taking my paperwork up to the front desk, I saw that he had marked down "spinal strain" and "disc degeneration" as my diagnosis. I'm very confused and suspicious. He has been less than helpful the entire time I've been seeing him, obviously not believing me when I tell him how much trouble I have with flare-ups, etc.

Can anyone tell me what sort of options I might have here? My attorney has said previously we could request to see another doc but he (the attorney) wanted to stick with this one for as long as possible. Aside from the attorney is there someone else I should be talking to about the suspicion that doc is deliberately misdiagnosing (or misinforming) me?

Please help.



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