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Thoracic back pain

-Lozzi---Lozzi- Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I've just turned 16 and for the last year I have had severe thoracic back pain.
Had an MRI nearly a year ago and it didn't show anything.
Was told be a consultant that I might just have to live with it.
Recently it has got MUCH worse and have now been put on Naproxen. Helped at first and now it is having no effect.

GP is suggesting either i get referred to the pain clinic or have more diagnostic tests but have to wait till late November till I know which of these, if any, is going to be the next step.

Not getting any answers.

Was wondering if anyone was in a similar situation?



  • Lozzi,
    sorry you are experiencing these sort of problems at such a young age.

    It's always a good idea to get more opinions especially as you haven't really been told much so far.

    The problem with the pain clinic option at this stage is that you are being treated without a proper diagnosis. As your pain increases so will your medication and this cycle can continue indefinitely until you are a/ hooked on the medication, or b/ you develop a tolerance for the drugs which cease to be very effective.

    Pain is unpleasant but is also your body's way of telling you something isn't right and being heavily medicated can hide the reality of your situation.

    You might prefer to listen to your mp3 player than to the fire alarm but that won't save you if there's a fire.

    Be persistent. Make a nuisance of yourself, if need be, because unfortunately that is often what you have to do to get taken seriously.


    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • Thanks Mickkr

    yeah went to the doctor again today and the doctor basically implied they have no clue, this is the first time he has ever seen anything like this in someone my age and i might just have to live with it. Started crying which was very embarrassing. Other doctor has suggested when i see the consultant to basically refuse to leave till he refers me for more tests which i genuinely will- because i need answers.
  • hi welcome to our comunity :)
    im 26 now and also have thoracic back pain some time...still in diagnostic,still dont know why i have pain..but be hard,we are here for each other.
    feel free to ask everything you want..
  • Hey Lozzi,
    You are def not alone at all. I am 18, been dealing with a wide variety of issues for the past two years. Persistence is key if you ever want answers. you know your body best. even if your not in pain, but something just doesnt feel right, its because your used to the pain. Your only 16, you shouldnt have chronic back pain at that age. some doctors will forget that and just say "back pain is common." at an age like yours, you shouldnt have to be worried about whats wrong with you. be persistant. something else is going on that your body is trying to tell you through pain. dont give up.
    good luck =)
  • Lozzi,

    Do you know what caused your pain to start? Were you in an accident? Did you suffer some sort of physical impact/trauma? Did you lift something too heavy? What are you symptoms? Does it hurt all the time, or just when you do certain things or are in certain positions?

    Mickkr's advice about medications is excellent. There is a muscle relaxer called Soma. I used to take it at bedtime. It worked great for me for about six months. Now it has hardly any effect on me. Hydrocodone used to knock me out, and now it too has hardly any effect on me.

    beluga18's advice about persistence is also very good.

    I've had persistent thoracic back pain ever since I changed the battery in my car. I get a "click" in my back whenever I twist. I've had multiple MRIs. The only one that showed anything abnormal was the "upright" MRI, and even then it only showed a minor bulge. I don't know for sure, but I think that if I had been in the right position - that is, a position which caused me pain - the MRI might have shown something significant, but I'll never know now because I no longer have insurance. If you have an opportunity to have a "positional" or "upright" (same thing) MRI, find a position which causes your pain to act up, then when you go for the MRI get into that position. Don't just get into whatever position they tell you.

    It's extremely frustrating to have an MRI, myelogram or some other test and have the doctor tell you it looks "normal" when you know something is wrong. Argh! I think part of the problem is that they do most of these tests while we're lying flat on our back, and in many cases we don't have pain when we are lying perfectly straight and flat.

    Whatever you do, avoid surgery at all costs. If your doctor recommends PT, go for it earnestly. Really work at it. It can be very boring, but try, try, try. Don't think of surgery as a "quick fix". Your pain may be bad now, but it could be even worse after surgery, and you're way too young to have to live with chronic pain. I've been so miserable before that I got to the point that I just wanted it to be over, so I opted for surgery, hoping it would fix the problem. Then I regretted it. Before my first surgery (I've had three neck surgeries) an acquaintance warned me against surgery. He told me that me that once you have spine surgery spine will never be the same again. I wish I had listened to his advice. Also, a surgeon once told me, "I can't give you back what God gave you." Then again, everyone's situation is different. If a doctor does recommend surgery, be sure you get opinions from a few other doctors first. Don't jump into it or you could regret it. Believe it or not, there are some doctors who will operate on you even if you don't absolutely need it because that's how they make their living - by operating.
  • thankyou for the comment CM.

    no there wasn't any particular trigger. it hurts all the time but is randomly worse- seems to be no pattern. Gets so bad sometimes i can't go to school or do anything because the pain is so severe. One thing that does make it much worse is if someone touches the half of my spine- hurts soooooo bad.

    update- saw orthopaedic consultant, he referred me to pain clinic and for a bone scan.
    going to book pain clinic appointment tomorrow.
    went for bone scan and are now waiting for the results. hopefully something treatable will show up because then at least then there is a chance my pain will get better or at least get treated.
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