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Years of back pain and the MRI shows NOTHING REMARKABLE

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I have had Back pain for years, severe burning in the "T5-6" area, swollen muscles on both sides of spine, sharp pain every breath. I have been going to the doctor for a couple of years, shots of cortisone, pain meds, muscle relaxers, e-rays, and a MRI. The MRI summary said : Essentially unremarkable apprearance of the thoracic spine. But something is wrong. Pain is there & I don't know what else to do. I'm tired of the doctor's staff treating me like a junky everytime I go in for my pain medicine refills. What could be the problem? Does anyone have any ideas or similiar problems?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    is a very effective nerve medication. I started out with 300mg dosage per day and currently I am using 2000mg a day.
    It has been effective in allowing me to reduce narcotic pain medications and I believe it was one of major factors in allowing me to eliminate Oxycontin.
    I've been taking this for about 6 months and have seen zero negative side effects
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
    edited 06/17/2016 - 11:15 AM
    Have you looked into CMP? Your muscles on either side of your spine might have CMP trigger points (which feels like knots in the muscles.) They can feel small like a pea, or large like a marble.
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  • Welcome to Spine Health. I like your username, obviously someone that likes birds.

    I hope you have some time to go to the intro section and introduce yourself so we can all get to know you a little bit better.

    Always feel free to PM our moderators, Ron, Paul, Bruce and Miki.

  • Do not accept that answer.You know your body and if you are in pain there is a reason for it. Last year from the first of november til January 9th this year I was on a walker. I have had back trouble for years and had already had one back surgery prior to this incident. My left leg started bothering me and got worse and worse as the time went by. they did m.r.i's, myleograms, all kind of test and said there was nothing showing that could cause this kind of pain. I didn't go back to my original surgeon because He is out of town so the one that I went to here in my home town offered me the advice that in the old days people went to bed with this kind of pain and that in a few months it could get better. I had already suffered for 2 months!!! I decided to go back to the surgeon who did my first surgery. I am so glad I did. He did exploratory surgery and found the problem. I had a bone spur that was like a bent knuckle hiding under the main nerve root making it where it wouldn't show on x-rays or mri's. it had the nerve root bent up causing my pain. he drilled that spur down and lay the nerve back down. instant relief when i awoke from surgery. You just have to find the right doctor. I am just 2 days out of the hospital from my 3rd back surgery in 4 years. This one was for a ruptured disc L/4 L/5. I wish you luck and hope that you can find someone to find the problem.
  • Royce4142.

    Welcome, I'm sorry you are getting treated this way. I had to go through many doctors before I found my wonderful NS and PM team!

    My thoracic pain is a combination of overextending those muscles because of lumbar problems and esophageal issues. So when you wrote sharp pains in every breath can you describe it better. Mine is like locking air in my sternum area and so the swelling and inflammation carries over to the upper back as well. I'm still having more test to evaluate this symptom and others, also lesion at T4 growing.

    So, could you have upper gastrological problems and not know it? Do you have history of arthritis? Was your MRI done with contrast? I'm not a doctor, just throwing different ideas for you to research.

    What it all comes down to is finding a good doctor that is knowledgeable and willing to work with you. They are out there, just hard to find. What state do you live in?

    Take care and keep us updated if you can.
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  • I have a chipped disc pinching the nerve controlling my right arm, a herniated disc between L-4 and L-5 and something going on in my thoracic spine that is UNBEARABLE. I have vertebra popping out slightly, pain, pressure, and the worst pain I have ever experienced. I FINALLY convinced my pain management Dr. to MRI my thoracic spine and he called me today to tell me he found a "few abnormailities" but nothing that would cause as much pain as I have been having. I cried and cried....this was my worse nightmare. I am on so may pain meds that controls everything from the burning in my body, the other discs, but not this....I know in my heart this is serious but now I have a Dr. who is giving me second thoughts. I cannot work the pain is so bad, and have Medicaid so I don't have much of a choice (on Docs that is). I read the story about the bent knuckle hiding under the main nerve root. It sounds similar to what I am experiencing ...How does a 22 year old convince these limited Dr's that there is something serious going on....This has taken over my life. I cannot go to school, care for my daughter and am on so many meds my Dr. is almost mad at ME about it.This is unreal. I don't really have the money to go to Dr. to Dr. But I'm glad I am not alone :{
  • I know how you feel, for almost 2 years i have had lower back pain, inner right thigh pain, sciatica, some times pain across my stomach right side and a gland down there that gets iritated. This happens when ever i lift something and reach, sit on something to hard, to soft, for to long, sit and lift, all little things that arch my back, backwards. I got an MRI done and it showed buldging L4/L5 after struggling for a year being diagnosed, swimming 1k everything morning, walking an hour every day and physio i had enough and went to a neuro specialist, he told me my MRI dosnt match my symptoms.

    I am so sick of being pain and having nothing done about it, the doctors spend about 5 mins talking and your out the door and you get charged 50 buks a time, i cant afford to keep going back and not getting any help.

    I now have to go back for another MRI on my spine incase anything has changed...

    No one can explain the iriated gland either, been to gynos and there is nothing wrong...i know it get iriated every time i hurt my back though...so strange.
  • Royce4142......I totally feel for you. I am in a similiar situation. I had a L5-S1 microdisectomy 4 years ago and 8 months after the surgery I started to have radiating pain down my leg and severe lower back pain. I have just had an mri done and my worst nightmare has come true....the mri doesn't show much except that the l5-s1 disc is markedly narrowed and minimal scar tissue present. You are not alone....i also feel as if the doctors think I am a drug seeker. Very discouraging....I hope things start to get better for you. Take care.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    what your spinal problem may be. And the interpretation of the MRI reports and images can be seen differently by two different doctors.

    In the situations when it is clear cut and a herniation or other problem is so large, then MRI's are fine.

    It is amazing to hear how many people on this site talk about their doctor's view of their MRI as not being bad, but yet they are in alot of severe pain.

    In those situations, I would just ask the doctor to explain why you are having that much pain. And if you do not get a reasonable answer, then ask if there are other tests that could be done. Never insist or even suggest a specific test. Let the doctor come up with that.

    After all of that and you still are not satisfied, perhaps look for another doctor. And after all that is done and there is still no answers for your pain, you might need to seek out other help to better understand why you are feeling the pain
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • To Royce4142

    My medical history echoes all those above who've been told they're 'fine' or they're 'fabricating it' or they must be 'imagining it', accompanied by that cynical look, which you know is tacitly impyling ------- drugseeker.

    Whenever humans are involved, mistakes can be made.
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