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diagnosed with torn disc between my 5th and 6th vertebrae but normal MRI

cameelahhccameelahh Posts: 1
edited 12/19/2014 - 12:45 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm 22 years old and am active duty in the Air Force. I have a very active and physical job but I haven't gotten hurt since I was a teen in high school playing sports. I've never had injuries to my neck or right shoulder. Pretty much out of nowhere in the month of July I started getting sharp pain in my right shoulder blade. It was constant and there was nothing I could do to help the pain. I figured it was just an overworked muscle and took vacation time and relaxed. I still had chronic pain and fairly regular headaches at the base of my skull. So from July until late September I just took the pain but decided I needed to see my doctor. The doctor gave me anti inflammatory and muscle relaxants for a sprained shoulder and referred me to physical therapy. After meeting with the therapist he concluded that I had a torn discs between my 5th and 6th vertebrae and started a traction regimen for me. At this time I stopped taking the meds because they had no effect whatsoever. The traction the first two times helped for about a day or two if I was lucky. After that I had the same pain even during the traction itself. I told my therapist and he decided traction wasn't helping and decided to do dry needling. The first two times the needling helped for the max of four days. Then it didn't help at all. And it caused more pain along with all the pain I already had. He said he didn't know what else to do and referred me back to my doctor. I was finally able to get an mri last week after asking for one since September. I got the results today of it being normal. I was so angry. Not only did the therapist treated me for something I didn't have but now I have no answer for this horrible pain. Now back track a little. So in July I only had pain in the shoulder blade and headaches. Now over the past six months it has gotten worse and spread. From my trap to my neck. My neck down the right side of my spine along the shoulder blade. The front of my rotator cuff is tender. This pain is constant. Nothing helps. The sauna is the one thing that relaxes me enough to alleviate some pain. I was given voltran cream and lidocaine patches and neither even help. I want an MRI of my shoulder but I'm not sure what way to go. Maybe get an EMG of my neck? It's gotten worse over the months and the pain is beginning to be unbearable. I would love any advice or even feedback from similar situations. I'm at a loss of what to do next.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • that needs to come from your medical doctor. Physical therapists are there to provide treatment recommended by your medical doctor, not to diagnose conditions.
    Your medical doctor should be the one to go over the results of your imaging studies with you, not a physical therapist. Take the MRI and report and go see your doctor, who can give you the results of your imaging and then if necessary send you to see the proper consultants ( doctors ) for further treatment or diagnosis.
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