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not sure what is wrong

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I was wheel barreling dirt for 8 hours and almost dumped a full load. Strained to keep it from tipping and felt a muscle pull and pop. I had no pain for 2 weeks and then it began. This was 8 months ago. Went to doctor who perscribed PT. I went for 6 weeks and they said there was nothing more they could do for me once they loosened the muscles up. I was then refered to a back and spine pain management doctor. MRI shows nothing wrong. 2 steroid epidurals and no releif. I have pain in my upper left back. Some numbing sensation in my left shoulder, gets worse if I don't adjust my back and get it to relax. I have a burning pain about the size of a quarter in my lower left rib area. The pain seems to be consistant in those areas but can flare up in others as well. Sometimes the pain shoots down to my left hip, not that often though. Any ideas? The Doctor is wanting to try some experimental drug thinking I have a virial infection.


  • This is the worse pain I have been in at work since this all started. The pain is wrapping around from my left back to chest. The doctor had my taking 1 med that numbed the nerves it only helped for a month now I am on something new. Don't have it with me but it's Lyc.... I believe. Suppose to numb the nerves as well. It's not helping at all. I don't want to sound desperate but I have seen this doctor on average once a week for the last couple months and I am so tired of being sore all the time. Should I demand he give me pain meds other than what I am currently on. I really don't know what else to do.
  • Hi Trexxx, When did you have the MRI? Recently? I had facet joint problems and I think it was from straining myself at work also. Have you tried ice for 20 minutes then later some heat for 20 minutes. I found massage and a couple of times accupuncture was relaxing. If it's muscle they sometimes tape the area or put a tensor. At first my Dr started an anti-inflamatory med like naproxen and then later I was on celebrex. And flexeril a muscle relaxant and also lyrica for nerve pain.I just remembered I had torticollis in my neck or rather the sternocleidomastoid muscle for 9 months and I was given valium also a muscle relaxer. But of course this is my own experiences. I can't really give any advice because I'm not a Dr. I hope you get some pain relief soon. Review your meds again the your Dr and tell him how long the pain lasts what makes it worse and maybe even journal your pain. Then give him the notes. I hope he would give you something for pain. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • I had the MRI done last month. And would have bet a paycheck I had a disc issue. (Thank goodness there weren't any takers on that bet. LOL)
    I was orinally put on naproxen months ago with my family DR. The pain specialist has not perscribed anything for inflamation other than steriod epidurals. Lyrica is what I am taking now since the other nerve meds stopped working. I was to take 1 in the morning and one at night (75mg). He told me on the 3rd or 4th day I could up it to 2 in the morning and 2 at night. Which I have done for 2 days now with no relief. And this is going directly from the one nerve med to Lyrica.
    All he can tell me is he is grasping at straws and is unsure what is wrong.He has talked about a chest X Ray (which I had done 6 weeks ago at a yearly physical at work)
    Maybe a cyst. Might do a GI and I think he mentioned a bone scan?.
    At this point he is waiting to see if the second epidural and Lyrica is going to do anything. And frankly I'm sick of being in pain waiting on something to work.
  • Trexxx - I really feel for you and your frustration and pain. I own a gardening business and I had the exact same experience as you after a day of work. That day I was and cutting edges around a gazillion flower beds and wheeling the bebris to the woods - Unfortuantely for me that is a typical day for me and we have been doing that since it all happened 4/07.

    it has been almost 2 years now - and sad to say I have no answers for you. I had to laugh about your bet....I bet the house that they would find something in my thoracic mri - and i would have lost too! The burning, the 'ground zero' of tenderness and pain, the pain that wrapps around to the sternmum is crazy! I have done the pt (3 times) and injections and even botox (my muscles are paying a huge price) - but no true relief and i am worse now than 2 years ago.

    Don't let this depress you - the way I try to look at this is No they haven't figured this out, but there are more people than just me with the same problem, so i know this isn't in my head. the thoracic area problems seem to be a tough spot for docs. Be patient, if they are willing to work for and with you - that is a good thing, sometimes they need to rule things out - and my hope is that this will get figured out.

    In the meantime, I know it has been helpful to me to quantify my pain to the doc's. Use percentages, the pain scale - to say it really hurts won't cut it with them. It sounds like he has a plan, with some more tests to see what is up.

    take care and pm anytime, i will be interested if you find out what is up - for my information and help
  • I hope your Dr gets going with the bone scan and GI consult. You're on half the lyrica I'm on 600mg and amitriptyline is also a nerve med and an anti depressant as well as cymbalta. If your Dr and Pm Dr don't order you pain meds find another Dr if the pain is too much. Also pain level of 8 you should go to ER. I'm also on a muscle relaxer. I hope you get some pain relief and they find out what's going on. Hang in there. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • He called in Famiclovir to take with the Lyrica. He is treating me for shingles. I have no rash or anything like that. When I talked to him on the phone this morning and I told him how much pain I was in at work last night he said he was putting me on this new med along with PT and wants a MRI of my neck so if it shows normal it means my spine looks normal and he would refer me elsewhere. WTF? He said it's getting out of control and I was like yeah really. Almost like he didn't believe me. Pissed me off but what do I do? I'll try this stuff until Monday. I have my MRI Monday and don't start PT again until Thursday. If it's not changed by my next MRI I'm finding another Dr. This is rediculous and whether he believes me or not I am in pain.

    Does anyone experience this pain while being checked by the Dr? It's seems like the tests he has me do don't irritate it like he expects. It is just there. You know what I mean?
  • Here it is Sunday night. I turned in my perscription for Lyrica Saturday morning and come to find out they have to talk to the DR before they will fill it. So I have been out since Saturday morning. I have my MRI in the morning and am stopping by his office on my way home so he can hopefully look it over and send me somewhere else. I squirmed around most the night last night not able to get comfortable. Felt like I was trying to balance a stack of plates trying to get my spine in the right position to ease the pain.(pain was going down my back) The chest pain is tearing me up. The stabbing in my chest stops me in my tracks.
  • sorry double post.
  • just checking in with you trexx - any info from teh mri? Also, from my experience, though they give you a med that is listed for a specific problem (the shingles) - it isn't that they are treating you for shingles, they are hoping that med will help you - I like, a lot of ppl here use a ms med - for muscles - now i don't have ms - but it helps with my muscles.

    let us know what is going on
  • Sorry been really busy. The pain management specialist sent me back to my family Dr. since the MRI was negative. The family Dr. put me on anti-inflammatory meds and muscle relaxer. Finally some relief. PT has been going well for the last couple weeks. Only thing is I have to be careful what I do. Shoveled alot at work last night and went to PT after work and the therapist was like oh wow you made a step forward and now have taken two steps back. Muscles in mid back and shoulder were knotted back up like when I first started PT. I go back to family Dr. Friday and see whats next. Overall I'm not in constant pain, just need to not over do things. Also the PT thought maybe with all the inflamation that it was possible that it would distort any sign or a torn muscle or ligament. So we'll see what happens in the next eek or so.
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