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Wondering if I'm the only one...

NovaLynnNNovaLynn Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi, I'm new to this forum and I'm not sure if my question applies here, but I'm hoping someone out there has some ideas for me.

For the past 11 years I have had periodic "episodes" of severe, debilitating pain in the very middle of my back. The last episode was so bad I thought I was dying. These episodes used to last around 2 hours when I was younger but now can extend to as long as 8 hours. I've done natural childbirth, and this is just as bad if not worse.

When the episode goes it just....goes. Poof! Gone in an instant. It's bizarre. I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon who located minor (very minor) bone spurs in my neck and has concluded that must be the root of the problem. He's also concluded that since these bone spurs are so minor that my pain isn't nearly as bad as I say it is.

I saw a chiropractor who told me that what I was describing sounded a lot like a migraine, only in my back. I can tell when an episode is on its way, just like a migraine sufferer. I have another appt. with the orthopedic surgeon today and I am at my wits end and starting to get very depressed over this.

In the past two months I've started having regular, throbbing soreness pain in that area as well. I've had a cervical spine MRI and back Xrays. Aside from the bone spurs, everything appears to be in perfect condition.

Please, does anyone have any idea what's wrong with me? Has anyone experienced anything like this before?


  • Hi I have not had the problems you are having but I wanted to tell you not to give up. I personally would get a second opinion. I think it is just plain rude for a doctor to tell you, that your pain is not as bad as you say it is. Pain is different to everyone. Dont give up hope it took 10 years for doctors to find my problems. Even after they found them they still have not found a way to stop the pain. I hope you find some answers.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Sometimes the most frustrated part is dealing with the unknown. You do know that you are hurting, you are in pain, but when they run diagnostic tests, they come back negative indicating that you 'shouldn't be having the pain and discomfort you are in.

    While I am a firm believer in getting second opinions, specifically when it deals with action plans. But I would not be so fast into reaching for that second opinion.

    If you have some trust and confidence in your current doctor, I would spend the effort into understanding what they believe the problem is and what are the actions they have in place for you. Jumping over to seek a second opinion in the beginning, is just another way of telling your doctor that you do not trust him/her. Now if that is the case, by all means seek another doctor.

    One of the troubles I have seen over the years is that people jump so quickly to another doctor. One common thing I have seen is that they do that because they dont like what the doctor is telling them, so they find another and another until they hear what they want to hear.

    Thats all fine and good, but the emphasis should really be placed on identifying what the problem is and what can be done about it.

    There are countless patients that go in for various tests and the results come back negative. Here is where you want someone on your side to realize that even though the results are negative, the clinical examination and observations do not match. It becomes almost like a puzzle and you want someone who is willing to invest the time in solving this.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thank you.

    Actually, I did ask my doctor what the plan of action was and he shrugged and said there wasn't one. I went home and cried for two days. The chiropractor I saw after that was able to explain more about my condition to me than any doctor ever has. He spent 30 minutes just mulling over my history. He's close to retirement age and I like that because its means he's seen a lot.

    I will continue seeing the chiropractor but I'm not sure where to go from here. The chiropractor recommends seeing a neurologist. We believe this may stem from a bad car accident I had as a teenager, but my pain doesn't coincide with nerve damage. The chiropractor also recommended doing as much research as I could. I've been trying to do that but it seems like most people who suffer back pain suffer chronic pain rather than "episodes" of excruciating pain and then normalcy.
  • Have you had an MRI of the thoracic spine? An MRI of the cervical spine won't show a problem with the T-spine. I would start there and see what the MRI shows.
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