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Spine twisted?

lilceellilcee Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I've been having pain in my upper and middle back for over a year. I've had MRI and xrays done and no one can tell me what's wrong. I went to a back Dr at the Mayo Clinic thinking maybe he could tell me something. All he did was look at the results of my MRI and xray from over a year ago and tell me it's Fibromyalgia. I know I have Fibromyalgia but the pain in my back seems to be more in the spine itself. It hurts to lay down and to sit back against a chair. It gets really bad when I use my arms to do things like cooking, cleaning, dishes, driving etc. Or to reach, bend, or twist for something. He sent me to get physical therapy. The therapist said it looks like my spine is twisted - which is what I've been thinking for a long time. I can see that my top part of my body doesn't line up with the bottom part. The problem is that I can't seem to find a Dr who wants to help me or who will listen to me. My chest gets tight and hurts and I feel like I have the air squeezed out of me. So they checked my heart. Nothing.
I guess what I want to know is will therapy help a twisted spine or should I see another Dr or chiropractor? I've been to chiropractors with no help.
I just want some relief from all the pain and would like a Dr who will actually look at my spine.
Sorry this is so long, this is my first time here and wanted to vent.
Thanks for listening.


  • I don't know if this will help or not, but you might want to try getting an opinion for a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who has a special interest in scoliosis. I would have thought this would have shown up in your MRI...but perhaps it has developed somewhat recently, since the MRI was taken.

    I don't know if it is a curve in your spine...or possibly it could be something like musculature that is out of balance. Tight muscles that are permanently contracted can cause pain and could be tight enough to eventually pull bone out of alignment.

    In addition to the forum, there are many excellent articles written by medical professionals. You can read about degenerative scoliosis here:




    If there is a very small curve, it may not be picked up immediately, but it could still cause a great deal of pain.

    Hope you can get to the bottom of your issues and get an accurate diagnosis.


  • Thank you for your reply. I also get some tingling in my hands and feet and my legs feel like they're full of lead. Can that be from the twisted spine?
  • Did they do an mri of your thoracic spine? Often this is overlooked because even when they find something they don't want to operate.

    I agree with Gwennie that an orthopedist specializing in backs is the best way to go. Remember the specialty is important. My regular ortho does knees and shoulders. He sent me to another doc for my back.
  • lilceellilcee Posts: 11
    edited 11/19/2015 - 7:14 PM
    Thanks. I thought the Dr I saw at the Clinic was a back Dr but he's called - "physical medicine and rehabilitaion". He didn't do anything different than the rheumatologist did and then send me for more therapy. It's so frustrating trying to find a Dr who will actually listen to you and tell you what's wrong.
  • Just FYI, sometimes those twists and curves can be due to muscle spasm, not actual bone issues. I agree that you would feel better seeing an ortho, but try not to worry too much in the meantime!
  • Kris-NY said:
    Did they do an mri of your thoracic spine? Often this is overlooked because even when they find something they don't want to operate.

    I agree with Gwennie that an orthopedist specializing in backs is the best way to go. Remember the specialty is important. My regular ortho does knees and shoulders. He sent me to another doc for my back.

    I had an MRI done over a year ago but it was without contrast. This Dr I just saw recently, didn't do any kind of tests or xrays. He just poked around in a few places and sent me to physical therapy. Said the xrays and MRI results I showed him were too old. Don't know why he was going by that then if they were too old.
    Anyways, would physical therapy be a good thing or a bad thing if they don't know what the problem is? I know I have a curve in my spine but does that cause pain? It hurts so much to reach or do any kind of bending, twisting, reaching etc. Anything to do with
    my arms.
    Oh, and the bill from the Dr was over $500 just for him to send me to pt. Hopefully insurance will pay most of it.
  • dshakddshak Posts: 5
    edited 11/19/2015 - 9:14 AM

    I've had a similar situation. I've gotten an MRI and Dr. stated that there was nothing wrong, when I knew there was. I've since found relief by seeing a chiropractor that does "ABC - advanced biostructural correction". This is different than most chiropractic technique. I speak from personal experience that it worked for me. Yes I'm not 100%, but I have dramatically improved and pain has now turned to slight discomfort. Please find a chiro that practices that technique. Let me know your results.

  • I am a 40 year old female with upper thoracic levoscoliosis and moderate/severe pain in my chest and upper back and neck. The type of scoliosis I have is uncommon due to curvature to the left...often result of spine tumor. MRI last week revealed two hemangiomas at T1 and T12 along with herniated discs from C2-C7/T1.
    I did have whiplash injury in the summer of 2011 that might explain the cervical spine issues. Along with those herniated discs, my cervical spine is completely straight.
    This last surgeon sent me for bloodwork yesterday to look for inflammatory markers to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.
    The strangest part of my case is that I have what appears to be Tietze Syndrome in my chest on the right side. This knot is EXTREMELY painful. My chest constantly hurts and feels like a painful stretch that goes through to my upper back area. This knot in my chest has been there since at least 2012. I don't sleep at all due to pain and not being able to get comfy. I also have gastro issues and cannot take any NSAIDs and I wonder if this is related.
    I am desperate for answers and at least a support group. Each doctor/surgeon says my case is rare and they don't know what to do with me.
    My question is how do I determine if the hemangiomas are what is causing my pain? The MRI report did not give the size of either one, but the fact that one of them sits at T1 where my curve is and my pain makes me wonder if it needs to be examined more thoroughly.
    I have had injections in the past, helpful but now pain is worse....I have been through rounds of muscle relaxers and pain meds to no avail.
    Thanks for any and all advice!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I was wondering what Doctor is caring for you now?

    My primary doctor referred me to pain management doctor, which was best thing for me!

    MRIs, and other testings, are not diagnosis in themselves.
    They are tools to help doctor with his physical findings and coming up with diagnosis.

    Sometimes it can take some time.

    My PM doctor did a variety of other testing. He has taken the edge off of my pain.
    I was also having great trouble with days without sleep.
    It was crazy making, I was irritable!..and wanted to tear my hair out.
    He was able to address that, too, and though my sleep not "normal"...it is so very improved.

    Pain management doctors would be able then to monitor your spine and properly treat your pain levels.
    In my experience, he will also call upon consults as needed.

    With your rare syndrome, and re what can be causing your pain, may take time.
    But while you're being monitored and testing, hopefully your pain levels and sleeplessness can be addressed and eased.
    Spine-Health Moderator
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