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Burning Numbness T1-T4

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I have consistent, identifiable symptoms, the one MD I saw provided no insight and insurance denied coverage for MRI (wants me to suffer/try random treatments for prolonged period before agreeing to pay for proper diagnosis -- nice). Any thoughts, suggestions, advice regarding a potential diagnoses and type of doctor to see welcome and appreciated. Here's the deal: For the past 3-6 months I have been experiencing numbness and burning sensation in the upper thoracic region, say T1-T4 -- right where the back meets the neck and level with shoulders -- limited to maybe 3x3" area, whenever I sit and hold my head up. Especially at the computer, where the issue started after long days, now starts after 10 minutes, increases in intensity, occurs now when seated in car and on motorcycle after same amount of time, and does not repair overnight any longer (now takes about 24 hours of reclining, walking, not sitting before burning sensation goes away). No sensations outside of this area -- no tingling arms, legs, etc. No loss of muscular ability. New office chair and multiple attempts to be ergonomic at work (8-10 hour days in front of computer), stretch hourly now. Friends have suggested chiropractor (tried two), neurosurgeon and back doctor (tried one). Who should I see? What could it be? If I don't get relief, I don't know what to do. I'm afraid inaction is going to cause permanent damage since everyday actions cause increasing pain and I continue same actions everyday.


  • I am sorry that I didn't see your post until tonight. First of all Welcome to Spine Health. Since there isn't as much activity in the Thoracic forum, your post was getting buried on the list of recent posts. I hope that you are still around and didn't give up on us yet.

    So if I read your post right, you have seen two chiropractors, one neurosurgeon and another MD. Your insurance has denied you an MRI and you're frustrated. When you saw the chiro or the neurosurgeon, did either have any x-rays taken? Did either do an evaluation and if so what did they conclude?

    I've never heard anyone talk about having numbness in the area you are, but a burning sensation is quite predominate in the upper portion of the back with many people. Unfortunately the reasons for it are quite varied and the only way to figure out for certain what is going on, is to have diagnostic medical testing of some sort.

    Will your insurance pay for you to be examined by another spine specialist, either an ortho or neuro? What about seeing a neurologist?

    I wish I could give you the answers you are looking for, but the best I can do is offer encouragement and ideas.

    Hang in there,

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