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Severe upper back pain with muscle spasms. What's causing it???

amandafrost79aamandafrost79 Posts: 2
edited 05/13/2015 - 3:42 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am desperately trying to figure out what could be causing my upper back pain and constant muscle spasms. I'm in constant pain. I'll try to describe what it's like and maybe someone can give me suggestions as to what's causing it. Firstly, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I'm not sure if that's contributing. My back hurts almost constantly from the bottom of my shoulder blades up to the bottom of my neck. I get spasms radiating from my spine out, as well as spasms running down from the bottom of the left side of my neck, across the top of my shoulder and into my upper back near my shoulder blade and across my collar bone. I often have tingling (like fallen asleep) in my pinky and ring fingers on my right hand. It always feels like if my upper back could pop, it would feel better, but if my husband pops it, it makes it worse. It feels like my upper back (from under my shoulder blades to the bottom of my neck) is compressed or something. Also, I always tilt my head to the right side towards my right shoulder. It's pretty noticeable. It's uncomfortable to keep my head straight up and down. I sit really hunched over and it's uncomfortable to sit upright. I saw a new doctor today (who I hated) and he's sending me for an xray. I have no idea why the pain is so bad and what could have caused it. I was rear ended twice, and ended up in physical therapy for a bit after the second time, but they didn't see any bulging discs, etc in the MRI. Please help!!!! I"m living on anti spasm medication (baclofen) and pain medicine and I'm still in a lot of pain. Any suggestions as to what could be causing this??

So sorry for the really long post.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 05/13/15 09:44 est


  • This back pain started after a car accident I had about 5.5 years ago. At the time, they didn't see anything wrong in an xray, but they really only looked at my neck and it hurts further down . It's progressively gotten worse, and is deteriorating quickly it seems after my pregnancy with my twins, who just turned 2. I was told as a teenager that I had scoliosis and would need a brace to fix it, but that never happened. My doctor confirmed about a year and a half ago that I do indeed have scoliosis. He just looked at my spine while I leaned forward and could see that it was curved. I didn't have an xray at the time because I didn't have insurance. I just saw a new doctor in TN, where we recently moved, and am going to get an xray within the next week or two. He asked me where it hurt and told me to lean forward. I showed him a spot halfway in between the top and bottom of my shoulder blades. He said "oh, I see", and told me I needed the xray, but didn't elaborate as to what he thought it was. I currently take baclofen 20mg twice daily as needed and hydrocodone 10/325 three times a day. I have done physical therapy, and I still try to do exercises and stretches. I do have problems with a pinched nerves at times running down my left arm. I'm not sure what else I can say, as I'm looking for suggestions as to what to ask the doctors to look for, as in do I only need an xray? An MRI as well? I'm only 36 and don't want to think that I'm going to live with this kind of pain forever.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I would suggest that you no longer have your husband try to crack your back.....and also, not any chiropractic treatments until doctor says ok. As of now, you and doctor are still investigating the source and or cause. You don't want to worsen area or cause new injury.

    With car accident and then with pregnancy....I would think both could have effect on spine...pregnancy presures on body..on spine....

    You don't like new doctor. Is this a primary doc or specialist?

    My primary tried to work with my spine issues for couple years and then finally referred me to pain management.
    My PM/neurologist immediately started to relieve my pain and ordering more specific tests.

    I too had X-rays, MRI from primary...but PM ordered another MRI and all tests were clear and indicated spinal issues.....but EMG was most revealing test for me and for doctor. It revealed spine issues that I had not even given voice to.
    It helped doctor with more specific areas to treat and he could "see"the pain re med treatments.
    Test was painless to me.

    Your neck sounds like you are not having free range of motion. I would listen to your body. If it hurts..don't do it until you ask doc about it.
    Please explain all your symptoms to doctor and how you are responding to treatments and medications....effective or not..relief or worsened.

    Please keep us posted!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • looserllooser Posts: 1
    edited 05/26/2015 - 12:26 PM
    I have had this for nearly nine years ,had x rays bone density test ,everything came back clear and chest cray ,it's very sore .doctor doesn't know or doc in hospital ,i think it has something to do with acid reflux ,maybe
  • BelvecksterBBelveckster Posts: 3
    edited 06/22/2015 - 5:12 PM
    Savage said:

    My primary tried to work with my spine issues for couple years and then finally referred me to pain management.
    My PM/neurologist immediately started to relieve my pain and ordering more specific tests.

    When you say PM/Neurologist - - does this mean you have a Neurologist who also specializes in Pain Management? I ask because I'm at my wits ends with muscle spasm - just introduced myself and my post should be approved soon. I am consulting with a Pain Management doc next week but she's not a Neurologist. Just wondering if there are docs out there who do both.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I will pm you so we don't hijack this thread. :)
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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