My answer, to your question in brief is that it’s worth a shot (pun not intended).
From your details, you clearly fall into what doctors term “expert patients”. Ie. you’ve done a significant amount of online reading into your problem, and possible solutions. Not to mention, sought the advice of multiple specialists.
So please take my online reply for what it is – an extremely limited internet source (without the requisite examination, investigation results, specialist opinions and detailed questioning that a doctor seeing you in person would have).
The problem as I see it, is that your set of signs and symptoms is rather non-specific – Dizziness, stiffness, tinnitus and pain by themselves often have no clear cause.
They can each be a symptom of multiple disease, and together also don’t fit any one pattern for a particular condition (taking into account that you’ve already had most of them ruled out), especially in healthy patients.
This short post on “organic” vs “non-organic” disease (or functional symptoms) will further explain what I’m referencing, and why it can be difficult for patients such as yourself to find a satisfactory diagnosis and treatment.
I appreciate that it must be rather frustrating to be told “nothing’s wrong” after yet another imaging scan/blood test/specialist consult.
When “organic disease causes” are all ruled out, what’s left is often pesky diagnoses like musculoskeletal pain, nerve impingement, behavioural/functional/mental health type problems eg. somatic syndrome disorder – all of which can be difficult to treat.
I am thinking of getting treatment for these trigger points. I found a pain specialist who has expertise in this area of trigger points treatment. But I would like to have some views from the doctors here about trigger points and my conditions.
This wiki write-up on trigger points is a pretty good summary on the current state of things.
Do note that there are various trigger point treatments available, as covered under the management section of this other write-up.
From a scientific point of view, 2 things stand out:
- A review of previous studies has shown that treatment can be effective for some patients, but there needs to be larger studies to confirm findings.
- There are no reliable physical exams to diagnose the condition.
Putting 2 and 2 together, this means that empirical treatment may be worthwhile – ie as a doctor, I MAY NOT KNOW for sure if you have this problem, but I may give you treatment anyway since it’s been shown to be helpful in other patients with similar symptoms as yourself.
My final 2 cents, if the trigger point treatment fails, is that it may help to seek the advise of a rheumatologist. My rationale is that there are some uncommon autoimmune conditions that can cause weakness and stiffness. I wouldn’t be surprised if he found nothing wrong however, and referred you back to the pain doctor.
- Yes, I think trigger point treatment is worth a shot, if I were in your shoes. In Singapore, trigger point treatment is offered by pain doctors (usually anaesthetists) and Sport Medicine doctors.
- It may be worth consulting Rheumatology – but see what your Pain doctor says first.