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undiagnosed chronic pain HELP!

AER86AAER86 Posts: 3
edited 08/03/2015 - 4:45 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
First time posting to anything like this. Really hope I can get some advice. Apologize in advance for long post, just want to make sure it is accurate account. I had my twins Oct. 2014, one naturally one emergency csection. Bled too much during surgery. Had to have blood transfusion. Almost healed from that a month later and had to have gallbladder removed. Surgery went wrong and developed severe pancreatitis. Was in hospital for a week and had multiple ERCPs to try to fix problem. One month later in Dec. I developed a deep itch/sharp pain just to the left of my spine and between shoulder blade right above bra line. Dr says it was a sublexation and sent me to Chiropractor. The itchy pain went away after first adjustment. But it was after that that I noticed pain on and directly near the upper spine between shoulder blades. The pain is a constant 3-5. If I wash dishes, sit on the floor with my babies to play or change, any activity that is prolonged, within 5 minutes my pain spikes to an 8 or 9. I have a high pain threshold so 9 is definitely I'm about to die lol Not only do I have the spine pain but I get a numbing/tingling pain that is far spread from the spine to the shoulder blades. Anyways, I was told it was because I had to take care of my twins and 3 yr old by myself and to continue chiropractic visits. I saw the chiropractor for 4 months and still no relief. On the contrary the pain progressed to more often and I realized I started waking with severe achiness/stiffness. My Dr is actually a DO. She did two adjustments herself. Then finally ended up ordering XRAYS and sending me to pain management. Xrays show normal in the Thoracic region. I have disc degenerative disease in the very lower spine. The pain management only does injections and told me my pain is too far spread for injections. Told me they think an MRI would come back normal and said it's not necessary. Said it sounded like muscle spasms. Advices PT. So I went back to my Dr. was given a script for Tramadol, which does nothing for the pain, and sent to PT. Almost finished with my month of PT and still no relief as usual. I have been suffering severe depression and anxiety none of which they prescribe me anything for. Not that I want meds but I do want this suffering to stop. I'm generally a strong willed optimistic individual but the last 8 months I have not been :( I feel like the Drs are not taking me seriously. Like I only want drugs. Which once again is not the case. I want to find out what's wrong so I can fix it and stop the pain. I find it hard to believe that muscle spasms can be continuous for 8 months and muscle relaxers don't do anything for the pain. Anybody with any kind of advice or knowledge would be so much appreciated.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 08/03/2015 - 2:07 PM
    So sorry for what you're going through.

    I'm not familiar with a doctor predicting MRI results, so then not ordering test.
    I don't know, but would you want to get a second opinion from another pain management doctor?

    There are other tests doctors can do, also.
    My pain management doctor wanted to read the CDs of MRI and any other testing I had done, wanted to read them himself...not just read the impressions that accompanied CD.
    Then he ordered other testing.
    One of the tests was the EMG, nerve test, which was very revealing of my spinal issues.

    Depression and anxiety often accompany chronic pain but shouldn't be accepted as normal.
    There are some meds that are good at treating pain and depression and helpful for some people.
    I, myself, sought out a psychiatrist for help with my depression and anxiety.
    It took a little trial and try again, or adjustments to medications to feel relief, but very worth it to me, as I feel so much better.
    My PM doctor is aware of all doctors I see and all meds prescribed.

    Please keep us posted on how you're doing!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • grammaof9ggrammaof9 Posts: 263
    edited 08/03/2015 - 5:12 PM
    So sorry to hear about your chronic pain. My pain management doc is wonderful and seems so concerned about helping with with the source of my pain. MRIs, therapy, shots if necessary whatever he needs to do to help me. Now I'm 61 not sure if that make a difference but maybe you just haven't found the right doc. I don't think there is much worse then pain on a daily basis. It wears you down and thank God I didn't have this while raising and caring for my children. It must be very hard getting thru the day. Lots of info on this site for you to research and possibly help you.
  • Johan SchmidtJJohan Schmidt Posts: 1
    edited 08/05/2015 - 5:52 PM
    I am 44 years old.
    Been having this pain for the last 25 years.
    Feels like a ball of fire constantly burning between my shoulder blades.
    I have gone for X-rays and MRI but all normal.
    Visited Chiropracters and Physio therapists.
    It helps for a while but after a few days it's all back.
    Can anyone help?

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  • FCN2015FFCN2015 Posts: 1
    edited 08/05/2015 - 11:11 PM
    I first read about this particular problem from threads posted 5-6 years back which memtioned a disckogram
    as being the best diagnostic test. Since thoracic pain can also be reflective of health problems in the front of the body ( gallbladder, upper GI to or pancreatitis) had you thought about getting that area of your body assessed? I too am new to this forum and have been gradually worsening thoracic pain which chiropractic
    Helps only temporarily. I plan to talk with orthopedic surgeon who discovered Osteoarthritis in my knees first and get a bone density scan through my GYN doc. Maybe one of these such tests will help you.

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  • Thanks for all your replies!! I didn't even know until today. I guess I need to log on frequently to check? Anyways, from what everyone says I do think I should find a new Dr. I finally got them to order an MRI which is this Wednesday! Went to PT for almost 2 mths and nothing! I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist at the end of the month. So we'll see what comes out of that. I'm thinking that if I can get a diagnoses I can get proper medicine or a good plan. My PCP tried prescribing me Tramadol which just caused problems. I finally broke down and asked for vicodon (?) or percocets. I was prescribed 1 5mg vicodon a day. To me that was just a spit in the face!! I have constant 24/7 pain and 1 5mg pill is supposed to do anything?!?! I've been doing a lot of research and am curious if I have ankylosing spondylitis?? I have hashimotos disease which is another autoimmune disease. I just don't know. Praying I get some answers soon so I can try to get better. I'm almost 29...WAY too young to have this kind of diblitating pain
  • I'd suggest you have your PM doc do injections for diagnostic purposes, on the facet joints in the painful area. The fact that they have not suggested that is troubling.
  • andrekleaandrekle Posts: 2
    edited 09/01/2015 - 11:02 AM
    I everyone I am new to all this stuff so here I go. I fell into a hole at work one year ago. That evening I began to have shooting pain up my neck and down my arm. Whith in 3 day's a knot formed in between my thoracic spine and shoulder blade. After three months it got worse. It's so bad that it goes all around my rib cage. I finally got a mri, I have degenerative disc disease whith some protruding disc's pushing on the central spine wall without cord compression. I also have a sirynx. I don't really see any help from my doctors, all they whant to do is band aid it whith pain meds. I've had 5 months of pt and all my therapist have given up.i don't know what to do some days I can't hardly move. Every morning I wake my spine is throbbing. I pray for answers so I can regain my life. I am looking forward to any suggestions that may lead me to freedom of this knightmare.

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    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • paulyabe said:
    I'd suggest you have your PM doc do injections for diagnostic purposes, on the facet joints in the painful area. The fact that they have not suggested that is troubling.
    I was sent to a PM Dr before I started my 2 mths of physical therpy. They turned me away saying my pain was too far spread for injections. I'm not sure why but it was almost like they didn't take me seriously. I live in the middle of no where and have state insurance so my options for Drs are limited. I'm just curious though could you explain how injections would be diagnostic?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Take this as an example.

    Lets say you have lower back and hip pain. You've been to both a spinal specialist and an orthopedic specialist for your hip. MRI and X-Ray images to date do indicate problems in both area, but all the evidence was inconclusive. So now, then injections

    • ESI done on your lower back
        - Helps with the pain, then the problem may be your back - If you do not get[/u] any pain relief, then the problem may be centered on your hip
    Steroid Injection is done for your hip

    • - If it helps with the pain, the hip might be your big problem
      - If there is [u]no pain relief, then its probably with your back

    I had this scenario in the summer of 2013. Finally after these injections were done, I had the most relief from the steroid injection to the hip.
    That helped confirm for both doctors that the problem was definitely my hip.

    So, really its the way injections are administered is how they can be used as diagnostic tools
    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
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 485
    Sorry you have had to endure so much agony. Hope you get some relief soon.

    My sister had thoracic outlet syndrome years ago, having to have her top rib bones removed. ***EDIT****
    I just talked with my sister, and my bad! She only had her right top rib bone *partially* removed, and they removed a portion of a muscle in that area. She is still thrilled with the success of the surgery.

    The surgery was successful, though recovery took awhile. She's back to work, assembly line for car parts. By the end of the week she says there is a little inflammation up by collarbone now, but nothing like it used to be....muscle less restricted? She also had to take gabapentin at bedtime for quite some time to help her sleep.
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