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What causes/why am I constantly feeling a burning muscle pain?

maccupiccu9mmaccupiccu9 Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Chronic Pain

I've been going for therapy now for 8 weeks. An MRI discovered c 5-7 degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, and an annular tear on the c6 disc but doc said really, none of these are a big deal. I had severe inflammation and they put me on steroids for 6 days and the localized, severe c6-7 pain is now gone (AMEN!)

But I have this burning/ripping scapula muscle pain. Why would it be burning? Where would it be stemming from? The doctor said muscle spasms but that's it. No solution or cause to understand why I keep getting it.

The therapist is trying to work it out, Graston, and strengthening but honestly, I'm getting frustrated with it and going to therapy twice a week.

Anyone know what the burning/ripping pain is or why it's happening?


  • For me, personally, burning pain is usually nerve irritation or compression. Have you ever looked at dermatomes?


    These indicate where nerve pain might spread from a nerve compression due to the disc disease.
  • I had it following neck surgery & it led to a frozen shoulder. Muscle spasms were the culprit. Perhaps your therapy could be causing tears in the muscle, therefore the burning. Happened to me anyway.
    Have you tried alternating ice/heat packs? Ask dr if you might benefit from a cortisone injection to help calm the muscles. Are you taking any muscle relaxers? If not, try to get your dr to give you some. Try warm baths to help relax those muscles.
    Good Luck. I know the burning & its insane!
  • I feel for ya! Typically when I hear "burning pain", I instantly think of nerve pain, but I noticed in your post you mentioned "muscle" pain.

    I would recommend keeping a log of your pain, writing down

    ~ what you are feeling,ie burning aching stabbing throbbing, etc

    where you feel it,

    what makes it better, rest, ice, heat, stretching, standing, walking, sitting, TENs, diversion,massage, etc

    what makes it worse

    rate you pain on a scale of 1-10

    take your log with you to PT and have him analysis it to see if there is a pattern.

    Also take it with you to your doc appointment. Are you beening seen by a fellow trained ortho surgeon who specializes in the spine, or a neuro surgeon?

    What meds are you on? are you taking one for muscle spasms or for nerve pain?

    Let us know how you are doing! We feel for ya as this is an aweful pain! Wishing you the best!
  • Well that chart pinpoints exactly where the pain (yellow and purple) is in relation to what the MRI says so at least that's some "good" news. I'm one of those people who just at least wants to know why and what's causing it. I can handle (I guess) that maybe there's nothing to do for it. But at least I don't feel like some hypochondriac about it.

    My PT, who isn't a doc but I did ask her opinion on them, said muscle relaxants aren't good because they ruin your day. I have a 1 year old and work so if that's true, hubby needs to kick in for a day and leave me out of commission.

    The burnin/tearing pain has been there since day one of my pain. All of this pain started after giving birth to my child. They're assuming that a combination of pregnancy relaxant hormones plus carrying activities triggered it. No one knows how long the disc/spur/tear were there since I never felt any pain.

    Amazing how pregnancy can totally damage your body. First 7 months pelvic floor muscles were so damaged I couldn't sit down. Everyone thought I broke my tailbone. Nope.

    Now for a year I have this cervical pain. At the very least the c6/7 stabbing, can't even touch it with a feather pain is gone thanks to the steroids (which left me with nasty side effects; I can't take anything without feeling euphoric, dizzy, nauseous, out of it).

    Anyway, thanks for this info. It really helped. Just weird I'm feeling a bad burning pain as if someone took a hot plate and put it on my skin.
  • Oh and thank you. I haven't done ice/heat combo. I need to try it. It worked for the pelvic floor muscle issue after PT.
  • Oh and thank you. I haven't done ice/heat combo. I need to try it. It worked for the pelvic floor muscle issue after PT.
  • Oh and curious---does acupuncture help any of this?
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information on this site and as you already know, I think, the forum members are very helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.

    You might try typing Muscle Spasms in the search area at the top of the page. Some articles and other members' posts will show up and might help you.

    I think we can all relate to muscle spasms. It's amazing how these always come with spine problems. In fact for me, that's what started my whole deal was such severe back pain that I went to the doctor, then found out my cervical spine was a mess.

    I don't really agree with your PT that muscle relaxants always ruin your day. I tried a few different ones and my PCP and I finally found one that didn't make me sleepy but helped relax my muscles. I think it was Robaxin, but it could've been Skelaxin. I was on Flexiril for a long time and it helped and with time, the sleepyness lessened quite a bit. Since my TLIF, I've been on diazapam (valium) and it doesn't make me too sleepy either. You might see if you can find one you can still function with.

    There are quite a few people on here who've had success with accupuncture, but most have said that it's a short relief period, not long-term. So hopefully the muscle relaxants and/or ice/heat combo will help you get through these. I know others that have also tried deep tissue massage and trigger point injections, but not sure what the overall outcome is on those.

    I know how debilitating muscle spasms can be, as most of us can.

    Take care and keep us posted.
  • Hi maccu, I dont agree with your therapist on muscle relaxers either - so much of our pain is stress related, so why not take a muscle relaxant if you have muscle pain & maybe you can pull yourself out of this mess you're in before it becomes a bigger problem! I ended up taking Robaxin in the day because they didnt make me drowsy, just relaxed, thus reducing the pain some -
    read up on muscle spasms, it should help determine what to do. Acupunture, massages, injections, muscle relaxants, pain meds, etc, etc, have all been proven good short term pain relievers -
    hope you get some relief soon & dont stress out on it because it can make the pain even worse!
  • thanks for the chart...I have never seen this before...very helpful
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