I'm really hoping someone will be able to shed some light on this subject, so any response will be greatly appreciated. I live in the UK so my healthcare is covered by the NHS and I had private medical insurance from my previous place of work, but I was made redundant last September.
I've been suffering with chronic upper back and neck pain which radiates into my head and arms for just over 3 years now. At first I attributed it all to stress (suffering with severe anxiety and depression at the time) and I still think in some part it was, but when I recovered and the stress/tension went away the pain didn't and continued to get worse!
I got some physiotherapy privately, which at first helped a lot but then made matters worse, at which point I ran out of cover!
After waking up virtually unable to move one day with sharp shooting pains in my upper back, I was taken into hospital and given several X-rays of my cervical and thoracic spine. The results came back and my doctor said that they'd uncovered a suspected old injury in the form of a calcified disc at the T2-T3 region. I was told this *may* indicate a herniated disc which had 'repaired' itself, given some painkillers and muscle relaxants and sent on my way.
After having been seen by an NHS physiotherapist, who interpreted the same X-ray as arthritis (but just between T2-T3!), I was referred to a musculoskeletal specialist, who then ordered an MRI…
The results of the MRI are that I have NO disc issues OR arthritis in the thoracic spine, but I do have several 'slightly protruding' discs in my neck between C4-C7, which *may or may not* be contributing to my ongoing pain.
I've hit a brick wall in terms of what the doctors can do to investigate and have just been given a vague diagnosis of 'chronic nerve pain' and no form of treatment other than pain medication. I have to wait another 3 months to see a pain management specialist.
What I'm really struggling to understand is how can something show up on an X-ray and then disappear on an MRI? (From what I understand an MRI is much more detailed than an X-ray) Call me paranoid but it's making me question if the MRI is even of my spine! I'm considering getting copies of both and going for a second opinion.