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Upper Back Pain

Evan MerculiefEEvan Merculief Posts: 3
edited 05/07/2014 - 7:26 PM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am almost 19 years old and am experiencing a sharp pain in between my shoulder blade and spine on the left side. I had a herniated (yes herniated, more than bulging) disc about a year ago that pretty much took me out of commission for any physical activity. I missed the first month of my senior season on the golf team, couldn't even run in P.E or anything. Very frustrating. I went to physical therapy for about a month and a half and it helped about 95%. I haven't felt the pain to full extent since, but I still feel it subtlety. Anyway, I am feeling this same pain on my left side, between my shoulder blade and spine. I have ruled out a muscle strain. I have taken ibuprofen, heated/iced and stopped lifting weights for about a week. That should be long enough. The problem didn't change at all, I then went back to the gym to see if I could work the muscle out which is possible sometimes. Nope. I am afraid I might have a bulging disc, and I do not want it to herniate! The question is, two bulging/herniated discs within a year and a half at 19 years old? If it's muscle it has to be the rhomboid, right along the spine and in between the shoulder blade. I know for sure it's not the lats or the traps. The only reason I'm not 100% sure its a bulging disc is that it doesn't feel exactly the same as my herniated disc that was in my lower spine. That could be because a herniated disc is more severe, or this is in a different area? I don't know. I have heard of degenerative disc diseases. Can anyone help?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,760
    is what discs are you talking about? and what diagnostic tests did you have to identify them?

    Based on what you told us, what have been the action plans laid out by your doctor? Normally, there should be a set of conservative treatments aimed at minimizing the pain and discomfort and also trying to allow your body to heal without aggressive treatments.

    What medications has your doctor prescribed for you.

    Age does not always come into play when you talk about spinal situations
    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
  • Well, back when I had the herniated disc my doctor first diagnosed it as sciatica. Which was wrong, and had me doing certain exercises that didn't help it. They performed x-rays only because those are in house and they didn't really show anything. They referred me to either see a physical therapist or go get and MRI. So I then went to a physical therapist who said it was a herniated disc and within a month to a month and a half I was pretty much healed. The area I am feeling pain now is the thoracic. I haven't been to the doctor yet as this pain has only been going on for a couple weeks, if I had to go see someone it would be the physical therapist though. Today I did certain exercises in the gym that target the lats and traps, thus strengthening the area around the disc. That's how I fixed the herniated disc, a lot of core workouts along with muscle stim and so on. I'm also taking some ibuprofen and it feels good right now. It usually flares up after work, so I will see if what I have done today is starting to help. If not I will just go back to the physical therapist and get worked on. I am just curious if this just a string of bad luck or something else?
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,760
    But please keep in mind, no physical therapist is capable of identifying the problem as being a herniated disc or not.
    They may have a clue, but without formal diagnostic tests, there is no way to really know for sure.

    Its also very difficult to distinguish the pain from being in any one of the three main spinal areas. What gave you the indications that your problem is thoracic vs cervical? Especially without any diagnostic tests

    There is also a major difference when you indicated that your doctor misdiagnosed you. First thought it was sciatic, but then said it was a herniated disc. Honestly, at this point, I would have to question the doctor's medical ability. Just start to research here on the site about herniated discs and sciatica and you will understand what I am talking about

    I can understand that you are hurting, but much of what you have posted leaves me with a lot of questions as to what is your root problem.
    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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