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Scoliosis, MS, or Anxiety?

bmarieb27bbmarieb27 Posts: 1
edited 08/06/2015 - 3:20 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am a 26 year old female, generally in good health with upper back, neck, shoulder and rib pain with some neurological symptoms. I have had back and rib pain that's been really noticeable for over a year. The back pain is upper back, deep between the shoulder blades. The neck and shoulder pains have been about six months and its gradually getting worse. I get numbness and tingling, muscle spasms (painless) and cramps, and poor circulation in my legs. The rib pain could be abdominal as well, it is situated under my left rib cage and its a burning or tearing pain. I have been working with my GP on all of this. We have investigated possible digestive disorders and diseases and everything came back good. Some suspicions of neuromuscular issues, but never really took it further then that. So far I have had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood tests come back good, chest x-ray and ct to look at internal organs, and at this point most say I am just having anxiety. My doctor hasn't examined my back or anything else since. I have had some attacks of vertigo, lightheadedness, blurred vision, near fainting spells with myotonic contractions in my legs, loss of consciousness, excessive thirst and panic that follows the attack. Recommendations have been to do some physical therapy exercises, drink more water, light exercise, eat more fiber... I really want to investigate MS and I want them to look at my back closely. The pain is debilitating at times, but because I have this anxiety label I feel they don't take me seriously. I get too nervous to be firm and I guess some outside validation would be really helpful, but I can also see if maybe I am looking to closely and thinking too much about it. So yeah. Please ask questions for clarification.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

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, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
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- 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.

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I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

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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

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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 it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s 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 : 08/06/15 09:20 est


  • I just wanted to let you know that I sympathise. I've been an anxiety sufferer for years and I the early days I was consumed by it and had all the physical symptoms you do. It took a long time to accept that anxiety could cause me to feel that way and to produce such physical manifestations but it really can.

    I am struggling with back pain which has been there for about 8 months and is getting worse. It took me a long time to go to the doctor because I don't want to feel like I'm wasting their time and no one wants to feel like people don't believe them!

    I finally went yesterday and have been referred to the spine clinic for assessment. Because I had left it so long (and spent my time with GOOGLE telling me that it must be back cancer) I have worked myself into such a state that my arms and legs feel week and I am unable to focus on anything but the worse case scenario. In my case I was honest with the doctor that my back issues were my main concern and that although I have other symptoms I'm aware they could be just my anxiety.

    I would be honest with your doctor about your fears and worries about this pain and take it from there. They maybe able to reassure you xx
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    You mentioned your loss of consciousness. Curious about doctor thinks about that.

    I had time awhile back , I had short term loss of consciousness, whereas I was following backwards, frequently throughout the day.
    When my falls began, I did receive testing to rule out MS. ....and whatever other things in my brain.
    My Primary care doctor had referred me to neurologist.

    When my testing came back clear, doctor sent me to depression treatment for two weeks out patient.
    It didn't help me with my symptoms and did increase anxiety as I focused on no one believing me with not finding anything wrong.
    Retrospect, the care for depression greatly benefited and better prepared me to deal with my symptoms and health issues.

    I totally understand you wanting further testing to rule out conditions that if discovered could be treated and lessen your symptoms.
    And I know it can be intimidating to speak to the doctors, etc.... Maybe if you brought in a written list of concerns when you see doctor, so the anxiety of the appointment doesn't interfere with you communicating with doctor.

    I have on occasion chosen to bring family member or friend with me to appointment...mostly to help me remember doctors thoughts and advice. I also gave whoever was with me, permission to ask questions and or tell any information I may have missed, re my welfare.

    You have been through so much and probably tired, but you need to take care of yourself and continue searching for answers.
    Have you seen any specialists? It sounds like you have gut instinct to check out your spine and rule out MS.
    Does doctor say why he is against that?

    You're not alone with dealing with the not yet discovered cause or source of your symptoms.
    Hang in there! And please keep us posted!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Dehydration can cause many of the symptoms you are listing. I know that seems too simple to be possible but I had a friend who had some similar symptoms. She had been feeling a little unwell, had been having some issues with muscle cramping, a little vertigo, occasional blurred vision and light headedness etc. She thought she might be coming down with something but she didn't take it too seriously. We were all away on a caravan/camping trip and having a lovely time when she suddenly had to sit down. Within seconds she had collapsed into a feint. She was rushed to the hospital and we all feared the worst because she had become so I'll. It turned out that she was severely dehydrated. It was pretty hot weather (summer in QLD, Australia) and even though she thought she had plenty of liquids, she hadn't actually been drinking enough water. They put her on a drip for a couple of hours and she was much better. After that she made sure that she drank lots more fluids and she has been fine ever since.

    This may not be part of your problem but given that you have been advised to drink more water, it could well be responsible for some of your symptoms. If it is, and you can solve that part of the puzzle, the doctors might be able to figure out the rest.

    Worth a try ...
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