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Many decades of upper back pain finally diagnosed at 58 years of age-congenital cause

garlambaggarlamba Posts: 1
edited 11/18/2015 - 11:05 PM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Introduction: I have had upper back pain on and off since the age of 20. It seemed worse from standing in one place for a while as in cooking and preparing food. I had one severe episode at about age 20 while preparing food for a friend's wedding, a severe burning pain that brought tears to my eyes. Then about 5 or 6 years later I woke up with a really sore upper back and it never went away after that. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who ordered xrays. They showed mild scoliosis and he told me that scoliosis is not painful. I worked in an orthopedic hospital at that time in the recovery room. This is job required a lot of use of my upper back. J left afted 6 years and went to a desk job. I tolerated the mild back pain for many years and it seemed to progress around the age of 50. I should mention I have a leg length discrepancy and neuromuscular deficit of my right leg since birth. So around age 50 I started getting hip pain , low back pain, neck pain with severe headaches and worsening upper back pain, not all areas were painful at the same time, but the pain seemed to migrate. I took a look lot of ibuprofen, CCC which helped, but ended up with severe gastritis and possible peptic ulcer. I sought care with 2 neurosurgeons and a pain management doctor. He diagnosed me as having Fibromyalgia. An MRI showed a small syrinx in the lower cervical spine in 2010, and some degenerative disc . Additional MRIs were finally done in 2011 and 2014. showing my spinal cord is tethered at the base at S3, and my spinal cord splits into two in the lumbar spine and then rejoins. It can cause a lot of problems and pain, including bowel and bladder incontinence and lower extremity paralysis from damage to nerves from the spinal cord being stretched. I am on tramadol daily and have gone through several physical therapy sessions. Over the past 4 years the pain worsened despite being on tramadol. I would wake with such bad pain I could barely get out of bed and would go back to sleep trying to escape the pain and overwhelming exhaustion in the morning and frequent headaches and neck pain. Each day has been totally unpredictable. I m anage by taking extra pain medicine and lying down. In the past 4 weeks I have felt consistently much better and closer to normal . What's different? I pray a lot, go to bed much earlier, sleep on a 45 degree angle with a wedge pillow, and take 1.5 mg of melatonin before bed. I sleep on my back semi-upright. HOPE THIS is IS HELPFUL TO OTHERS


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    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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