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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:28 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
New to this so here goes. Woke up one day and felt extremely sore between shoulders, and was tender to the touch on T3 vertebrae. That was 3 months ago now and no change in pain. I have seen chiro, physician, P.T. and massage people and nothing has helped. I've had x rays, ultrasound, meds, heat, ice, electro stim. and massage and still no solution. "Doc" said I had pulled my back muscle, which is exactly what I had mentioned in the first place, except for this was really painful! Also, when I lift my arms above my shoulders, my whole upper back is in pain. It feels to be more on the left side and sometimes a shooting pain comes across my left collarbone area and up my neck to my left ear. It also is painful down my neck when i turn my head 90 degrees to the left. So, now I turn to you people for help, because these medical "professionals" around here are only concerned with a quick buck and not solving root causes.
A quick bio: male 27, construction worker for 8 years, no smoke, drink little, active, and always healthy, until now. I have never had back problems before and just want to get to the root of the problem here so I can get back to life!!!! I also live in ALASKA and healthcare here sucks big time. High prices and low services. I am frustrated to say the least and feel there arent many places left to turn short of flying down to the states for treatment. Anybody with info that could help would grately be appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!


  • You mentioned a doc - is this a general or specialty - ortho/neorology/pain management? It can make a difference. Have you had a mri?

    i do understand your frustration, and we can't diagnose you - went to school for a long time, but no medical degree. But what we can share is experience...

    Just food for thought - have they considered anything in your neck, neck can effect upper back, maybe a muscle tear not jsut a sprain...referred to pain management to help as they try to figure out your problem.

    wish you luck, and in the meantime, this site is a wonderful place for encouragement and support.
  • The doctor i saw was a pain management specialists. I'm not sure if I should see an ortho or who? And no, I have not had an MRI as of yet. Thats probably my next turn. I've had my neck adjusted a few times with the chiro but never really felt there was an issue there. I do feel some tightness down the sides of my neck, but it feels like the brunt of the pain is in the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades and upper mid back. The only place tender to the touch is my T3 vertebral protrusion, which I can poke and feel pain. This is the only place on my spine I can touch and notice pain, every other joint feels normal.
    BTW, Thanks for your support pfm!
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  • Have you been able to get an appt for an mri -

    Just a thought....it did not solve my problem, but muscle tears and bad sprains are very painful. I did receive botox in my trap muscle...theory was significant muscle tears and over time i have rigid muscles. It did improve that muscle, less tingling in my back along the spine (imagine that - that a mucles could be causing tingling!) - but unfortunately, it hasn't stopped the "pole b/w my shoulder blades' feeling.

    i hope that the mri gives direction for you and the doc - best advise be patient and honest with your doctor.

    Update us when you can
  • Hi tinner23 I read your message and feel your pain. I have had thorasic back pain for many years with many different interventions complex and simple. I wonder what kind of massage you received? Was it trigger point therapy by a experienced person or a rubdown which can be calming but does not deal with myofascial pain. I think a MRI is good advice but beware of what it reveals.
    I am not a medical professional and only add my advice because I have had T2-3 back pain for so many years. My twice a month treatments are expensive and not covered by insurance. I had to go once a week for a number of months because I had used medications/botox/lidoderm patches/morphine pump for so many years to hide the pain. The MD's push physical therapy but if you have myofascial pain then PT will only make it worse.

    Good luck,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347

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    At this point, I go along with baffled and looking at muscle related problems or a pinched nerve. If you have not had prior spinal problems, I would be looking at other areas. No one here can really provide you with a medical diagnosis, just advice based on personal experiences.
    Muscle pulls/strains can be very painful. The fact that yo mentioned that the pain increases when you left your arms, make me think muscle again.
    I knew a few members here that came from Alaska and they had some good doctors, the only problem I heard from them it was a LONG drive to see any of them.
    Sometimes it takes a while to properly diagnosis a back problem. First you need to have the clinical examinations, where the doctor tries to determine the origin of your problem by watching you walk, bend, etc. At that point Physical Therapy may be in order to address what the doctor believes the problem to be. If still the doctor has not been able to isolate your problem, the start of diagnostic testing would start. They would be the ones to determine what tests should be done. It could start with X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs, EMG, Discogram, all the tests that the doctor believes will isolate your problem.
    This can take time, it doesnt always happen overnight.
    Meanwhile, I understand that you are in pain and discomfort.
    If your condition warrants it, the doctor would prescribe some type of pain medication and/or muscle relaxer.
    As frustrating as it can be, identifying exactly what your problem is can be as difficult as putting together a hundred piece jigsaw puzzle with 3 pieces missing.
    Good luck, Keep striving to get your problem identified, so that the proper course of action will be taken.
    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
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  • So I got a trigger point injection in my muscle just left of the pain area on my spine and it didnt do anything at all. So, went and got an MRI and heres what the results i received today. Apparently I have Spinal Epidural Lipomatosis, or "excessive accumulation of intraspinal fat causing cord compression and neurological deficits. The first thing the doctor asked me was if I was taking steriods. I guess this (SEL)is caused by exogenous steroid use or jacked up endocrine glands producing too much steroids from within the body. I guess my next step is to start asking my worthless family members if this has been in the genes ever through the generations. Has anyone else dealt with this? Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated here while I wait for the doctor to research this matter since he didnt have a clue. I'm also researching...
  • I am curious about steroid use causing pain. I have Addison disease and have been taking corticosteroids since I was 12 years old. I am 35 now and suffer from really bad upper thoracic pain, stiffness and tenderness. I recently had a artificial disc done at my c5 c6 which helped the pain at that level but now I realize that the majority of my pain is in the upper thorasic. I have done lots of imaging done on my cervical spine but the surgeons I've seen for some reason haven't even looked at my thoracic they just seem to want to believe that my cervical problems are the cause. I am currently tly trying pt one last time trying to get my upper back to loosen up but it seems like a losing battle. Both of the surgeons are highly recognized and highly arrogant and don't seem to listen I've told them of my adrenal insuffiency and long term steroid use and they didn't express any concerns that it could be a factor. I am going to continue to research the connection between the steroid use and spine problems and might have to get a third opinion. It is unfortunate that these highly skilled and knowledgeable surgeons don't seem to want to follow through and really find the cause of my pain.
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