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nothing on mri

playbytherulespplaybytherules Posts: 1
edited 10/19/2015 - 12:29 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Back pain began a little over three months ago. I do a lot of heavy lifting at work, sometimes requiring multiple people to lift and move, sometimes one person accidentally drops while the other hangs on. It has happened to me multiple times. It was just under my left shoulder blade. I let it go for about 2 weeks thinking it would get better on its own before I made an appointment for the chiropractor and informed my job I had put in under work related in the forms I had to fill out.

The chiropractor examined me and said he believed one of my ribs had pulled away from my spine and rolled forward. He adjusted me four times before saying he was unwilling to continue. It seemed each time he adjusted me it felt much better for about a day or so before going back to the same level it had been at.

Went to the work comp doctor with my safety coordinator and they decided I had strained a muscle. They decided it would more than likely heal in a week or so and that I should return to work on light duty. Doctor prescribed me a muscle relaxer and scheduled a follow up in 2 weeks.

At the follow up appointment I explained that the muscle relaxer's didn't seem to be making a difference and that the pain seemed to be getting worse. The doctor requested physical therapy and prescribed the same muscle relaxer and Ultram ( I requested something for pain)( one every eight hours three times a day), and scheduled a follow up in three weeks as the first two physical therapy sessions wouldn't be until the third week. During the two physical therapy sessions they did deep muscle massage and electro stimulation. They felt that I hadn't strained a muscle but had tore it.

At the next follow up with the doctor I was asked if it was improving and I said that it was getting worse. The doctor adjusted the Ultram to two every 8 hours three times a day. Scheduled a follow up in three weeks which was about the time the PT sessions would be finished as I had only been approved for eight. The remaining PT sessions involved more deep tissue massage with electro stimulation, a cortisone cream rubbed on and shot in USING some sound wave technology and daily exercises. The exercises seems to make it worse but I knew that was something I'd have to work through. I usually would get home from work and ice the location, do the exercises and than re-ice. At this point I was also using a heating pad.

At the next follow up with the doctor I explained that it still was getting worse and that the Ultram wasn't doing anything for the pain. The doctor told me I could take up to eight a day every four to six hours as need for pain and requested I see an orthopedic surgeon. That day I had taken two Ultram when I first woke up and two around seven hours later during lunch. At around five pm I took another two and another two at around ten as I was determined to get some form of relief. I stayed up until around two icing and heating. The next morning I took another two add went to work. At around eight that morning I was not doing well at all. I was splashing ice water on my face and chest and after smoking a cigarette on the verge of throwing up. I was put into a room where I continued to put ice and ice water on my face while blacking out. I began having chest pains but was very out of it. I was woken up and told it was time to go home, I drove home immediately and passed out and slept for twenty plus hours. The next day was a Saturday and my fiancé told me the doctor had called Friday wanting me to come in for a blood pressure check. I called the office and talk to someone else, explained what had happened and they told me I should come to the ER. I went to the ER where they did blood tests and piss tests and heart checks, said it was very dumb for me to have gone home and to bed. I explained everything that was going on and they said it was likely an overdose on Ultram, they prescribed my Norco and sent me home.

I have never liked pills, they always make me nauseous to the point where if I'd get a migraine I'd likely lay down than take anything for it. So for me to be taking ibuprofen and Ultram and the muscle relaxer was making me crazy, felt like I was 80 years old and it didn't seem to help. Taking one Norco really made the constant pain turn into a nagging annoyance and I was very confused as to why I hadn't been given something that helped sooner. The doctor was very uncomfortable prescribing me more though more was prescribed. It seemed to work very well for about a week maybe ten days before it wasn't working much anymore.

When the orthopedic doctor visit came around I was very hopeful, thinking finally we are going to get to the cause of this. However he came into the office, didn't ask me any questions or examine me in any way. He told me he was going to give me a trigger point injection and that was that. He than told me I wasn't going to be prescribed more Norco. I told him that if it was helping with the pain the way it did in the beginning I might argue about that but because it wasn't I wouldn't. He told me and I'd have to just deal with the pain until the trigger point began working. I went back to work that day and when I got home I went right to sleep (kind of the routine as I can barely sleep more than a few hours a night). I woke after maybe two hours and the pain was so much worse than it was before. I sat on my porch as I often do and the pain was shooting up and down my back while I sat as still as possible and cried. The next day the whole left side of my back was in pain though it wasn't as bad as the night before. It still hurt worse than it did before the injection. The increase in pain lasted for three days. I came on this site or another like it and read that was normal for some people, and that after the initial few days the pain would decrease and get better. It really sucked but if it was going to fix me it would be worth it. After that period the pain was back to the level it was at before the injection which was amazing at that point.

After about ten days I requested an MRI and waited another ten days to get it approved and have it done. It came back normal. At this point it is now on both sides of my back in the same location and when I do the PT exercises it usually ends when I get a shooting unable to breathe pain directly on my spine. I'm in my twenties, and I spend most of my time in my bathtub. It is always painful but it gets worse throughout the day ( whether at home or at work). And based on the one visit I had with the orthopedic doctor, coupled with me asking for pain medicine and the negative MRI I feel extremely hopeless as to the treatment I'm going to receive at this point. I go back for the follow up and now also the MRI result discussion in the next few days.

If this was a muscle it would have healed by now (over three months)? Work is torture at this point even though all I do is walk around complaining about pain. I've been cleared for light duty so any days I take off need to be covered, I've used up most of my vacation time and PTO on the days it is really bad. I feel I am going crazy at this point because I would have bet my hands the MRI would show something. I spend my days between trying to sleep and sitting in my bathtub. Waiting for the results I felt I might have lung cancer and what I am feeling is some form of pain displacement but I'm pretty sure that would show on the MRI.

Sorry this is so long I just wanted to be thorough. I feel hopeless and screwed out of life
this sucks


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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