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Sever Mid back pain and a disc bulge

tushar_612ttushar_612 Posts: 5
edited 08/24/2015 - 12:52 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello All,

Hope you are doing better. I am a 30 year old male. Healthy and active. I have a desk job which requires me to be at the desk 12 hours for 3 or 4 days a week, alternatively. Working on computer( which could be the cause of my problem ).
3 years ago, I felt a disc bulge in my mid back, I was not able to lie straight on my back. I went to an orthopedic, but he said I am all normal but with calcium deficiency, as my X-ray showed very low bone density. I just lived with it, because it was not much trouble to me. 2 years ago, I had a sudden attack of pain in my chest area. Everytime I used to sneeze, or cough I felt as if someone if pulling my ribs apart. Or as if there was some kind of air pressure trapped in my ribs which travelled from left to right and all over. For some time , I really believed it was so. :) But now I know they were the nerves spanning allover my ribs from my spine. Anyways, I showed myself to my General Physician, and he referred me to Physical Therapy. These were his diagnosis:
1. Shortness of breath of unknown origin, most likely related to smoking and possibly chest wall deformity and secondary to soliosis and restriction on air movement.
2. Dorsal lumbar sprain/strain, muscular in nature, most likely postural issues are triggering his discomfort.
Blood Test Results: in 2013

Hemoglobin A1c 5.8 High%(Candidate for diabetes)
Vitamin D, 25- Hydroxy 15.7 Low )normal 30-100

I was prescribed NSAID and Norflex(Muscle relaxers)
The physical therapy and medicines did their job for a month, but unfortunately I moved out of state and had to discontinue that. Since I was much better than when I went to doctor, I did not continue with therapy in california. Biggest mistake of my life, I wish I could have known what awaits me a year down the road. Anyways, 8 months back while I was working in office, I felt a sudden pain in my upper back. Everytime I used to get from my chair, I used to feel as if I am stuck in slouched position. It was very painful and took me couple of minutes to bring my back straight, as much I could.
I went to an orthopedic finally, and he got an X-Ray and MRI done.

These were the results of the MRI

1. MR images reveal decreased discal height at the T8-9 level with minimal anterior bridging osteophyte formation but no evidence for interbody fusion, spondylolisthesis or lateral subluxation of t8-9 on nonwieghtbearing supine images.

2. Marrow Signal intensities are preserved from the T1 through the L3 vertebral bodies. Over this vertical span, there is no evidence for osseous infection, osseous tumor or significant vertebral body compression deformity.

3. With the exception of the above -described decrease in discal height at the t8-9 level, no significant disc disease is identified. There is no definite evidence for annular tear at any thoracic level and there is no evidence for herniation at any throacic level.

4. There is moderate bilateral facet joint hypertrophic bony overgrowth at the t9-10 and t10-11 levels without the marked lateral recess or foraminal encroachment at these or any other thoracic levels.

He told me I need to correct my posture or else would have to undergo a surgery. Which scared hell out of me. He referred me to a physical therapist.

I am going to physical therapist from last 6 months almost every week once. I am seeing some improvement in my pain and have made changes the way I do my daily activities. Even got a standing desk. But the pain is always present there. I can feel the disc bulge( or if it is some thing else) but there is a bulge in my lower back. Not sure what vertebrae it is. Despite the last six months work with Physical Therapy my back if still very immobile.
There are days when the pain is very severe and I just feel like walking away from my work(which I may do one day ). If it does not get better. Walking does seem to help a bit but sometimes it is painful too. I am not sure what is happening. I have scheduled a visit with the orthopedic surgeon again on Wednesday. Hopefully he can answer some questions. Also I am thinking about trying some other techniques as kinesiology tape. I am thinking of asking him to do additional tests on me( CT, EMG, myelogram), he seemed like a nice doctor and hopefully will agree to do additional testing
It would be very kind if there is someone who can guide me about what should I do on my part to get best care for myself. Sorry for such a long description of my problem but I felt like telling my problem in details. I hope you feel better as well from your pain soon. Thanks Tusharm

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  • Additionally I am hoping he may prescribe me NSAID and muscle relaxers so I can continue doing my job and hopefully save some more money if I eventually end up having to give up my job. Sorry if it is kind of depressed statement, but I have been thinking about it lately as my physical therapist told that my problems are arising because of my desk job. Although I feel the same symptoms even if I do simple daily things like washing dishes. My back just gets stuck(compressed and I have to do 5 minutes of decompression) to get out of the pain.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    So hopefully, some diagnostic tests can assist your doctors besides their clinical examinations.

    Here is a good thread that talks about the chronic pain steps Chronic Pain Step by Step Guide

    I worked with computers for over 35 years and fully understand what that can do to your back. I was involved with a multi disciplined study group designing the best ergonomic workstation. That was back in the early 1980's Working with furniture makers, physical therapists, doctors, programmers, etc we came up with the 'best' office chair. At the cost of $1,750, it was the ugliest thing in the world, but attempted to help with cervical, thoracic, lumbar, wrist, etc situations. I used it for 6 months and at the end, my findings proved that while it did help, it did not remedy the situation. The only true means of helping yourself while doing computer work is taking scheduled breaks. Getting away from the computer, walk around, stretch, etc. Take a look at How to get through 8 hour days by the computer
    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
  • Hi ,

    Hope you all are doing well. I went to a chiropractor today, to get my mid back some motion. He told me I may have ankylosing spondylitis. He gave some blood tests to be done, which I will pass on to my orthopedic. Hopefully it will be negative. Kind of worried. The symptoms match my condition. He also showed me my x-rays which were a picture match for the x-rays on book on ankylosing spondylitis he showed. I saw the same thing six months ago as well on my X-rays with my orthopedic but he thought that it was probably because the X-rays can be sometimes blurred. Not sure if two different doctors can get the same x-rays and they can both be blurred. I wish they can be, because this disease does not look like will end my agony any soon.

    Thank you.
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