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Back Problems Message Board


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Hello Marcia and everyone! I am sorry it took me so long to reply; things have been busy and hectic! I am sorry my first post was a bit confusing! I have a tendency to ramble on and just type whatever comes to mind, and I probably jump here and there trying to explain things! I do have neck issues; but all my doctor said was "boy, your neck is a mess"! I didn't even question the results of the MRI, as I was just so happy there wasn't any brain tumor/cancer, etc! At that time, I took steps to help the weird headache feelings I was having, such as going to a chiopractor, and then the trigger point injections. My neuoroligist did say that the squeezing, burning pain at the base of my skull was indeed from the discs in the neck. So then, I was satisfied with that diagnosis, although I still have some trouble with the funny feelings in the neck and lower skull area...as well as a buzzing sensation in the ears.

Then about 5 months ago, after doing some heavy cleaning, moving furniture, etc., I developed a "stitch" in the right side. Ignored it for a week or so, thought it was a pulled muscle. Then I went to my family doc again, and he sent me to therapy. Went for about 3 weeks with no relief. Then had another MRI of the back, and stomache (thought I might have gall bladder issues,), and those two tests came back ok, according to my family doctor. I do have the actual copies of the film, but not the written report. This "stitch" developed into the full fledge pain that I had first described as to the burning sensation in the chest (below my breast area) and the upper back area. It is still there, but not quite as bad as in the beginning.....just had another shot last week for both my neck and the upper back area. The MRI of the back area did not show anything significient other then some degeneration of the discs in my back and some arthritus. So, now my neurologist is saying that I might have nerve damage, or perhaps a touch of fibermayalgia. Boy, am I confused!

But wait...here's more! The past two weeks I have had terrible cramps in my legs, and such pain in the muscles in my calves. As well as pain in the lower middle back now. My pain is just moving all around the place, and nobody knows nothing!! Your idea, Marcia of seeing a neurosurgeon is an excellent one; I have never thought about that. I have an appointment with a rhemotologist next month, but I am going to look into your suggestion. The neurologist doesn't seem to be doing me much good with those shots.....as ibake&pray said, they don't seem to do much good.

I hope I helped clear some thing up in this post! Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and confused, I forget what doctor I went to, what tests I had done, and when!!

One more short thing; I am also taking Atenolol (bp medication) and just read that can cause muscle aches and pains. I am currently cutting my dosage and am going to wean off it for a bit to see if that helps my legs. Worth a try for a little while.

KKmom, Marcia, and ibake&pray....I really thank you so much for your help and thoughts. It does help to have somebody to "complain" to, and to listen to me! My best to you all, and hope your doing ok.

Judy
[QUOTE=CHKUEHN1;3145840]Hello everyone!
I just had to respond to this topic because this is the first place I have found someone who is experiencing the exact same upper back problems. (I have been looking for more than 3 yrs for an explanation for my symptoms)
I have had 3 MRI's of my C & T spines and of course it does depend on the Radiologist interpreting the report. I am a Radiologic Technologist so that is not news to me.
My first MRI (2004) showed a focal left paracentral HNP at T7 which was touching the cord; and mild disc bulging at C5-6 & C6-7.
My second MRI (2005) showed left sided disc protrusion & osteophyte spurring at T7-8 with effacement of the left anterior aspect of the thecal sac. C5-6 central protruding disc w/ mild effacement of the thecal sac. C6-7 protruding disc w/ mild effacement of the thecal sac & mild stenosis.
My most recent MRI was in June of this yr. The HNP at T6-7 unchanged. Small anterior osteophyte formation at multiple levels of T spine. C5-6 mild to moderate posterior central disc protrusion w/ mild stenosis. The disc protrusion may contact the anterior aspect of the spinal floor.
Before my first MRI, I was sent to a cardiologist and had a full cardiac work-up because of my symptoms. Some of my tests were slightly abnormal so he suggested a heart cath. I declined because I really didnt believe it was heart related. I spoke to one of my Radiologists who recommended that I have an MRI. (which I did) Then I went to an orthopedic Dr who recommended that I have an epidural and also gave me a rx for Neurontin at bedtime to see if it would help with the burning, tingling & numbness I was feeling beneath my left breast. I decided against the epidural at that time. I have been on Neurontin for about 2 yrs now and cannot say that it has helped me at all. Last wk I went to a pain management Dr (who I know personally) and he did a Thoracic epidural. He also suggested that I stop the Neurontin and try Lyrica. I started the Lyrica 1 wk ago and started weaning myself off of the Neurontin but I cannot tell that the epidural helped at all. I went back to him yesterday and he said I had terrible muscle spasms all the way down the left side of my back. He didnt think I should do another epidural. He did about 20 trigger point injections. He said if I havent noticed any difference with the Lyrica yet that its probably not going to help so I am going to stop taking both and see what happens. (I have swelling & wt gain with both) He gave me Norflex (muscle relaxer) and Lidoderm patches to try. He also noted that I have mild scholiosis and thought maybe a chiropractor could help alittle. He recommended that I have deep tissue massage therapy and try to be aware of my posture. I do notice that I tend to slump my shoulders forward and thats when I will have the most symptoms. I hope & pray that somehow I can find some relief. Maybe the muscle spasms are compressing & inflaming the nerves which are giving me the symptoms in my chest and rib area. The epidural gave me some terrible hot flashes that still havent quite gone away. I also had some unexplainable low blood sugar issues for a few days after the epidural. I knew the steroid can cause blood sugar to be elevated in diabetics but never heard of it causing it to drop.
The Dr that I work for has been giving me vicoprofen to take as needed when I just cant stand it anymore. When I take it, thats about the only time I feel alittle relief.
Anyway, it really is helpful to know that Im not alone with these crazy symptoms. Hopefully, one of us will be able find the answer for us all. :) (sorry so long)[/QUOTE]


CHUEHN1,(wrote earlier must not have gone through) OMG, sure sounds alot like my symptoms, dont know if you seen the MRI results I posted at one time,so here is a brief decscription:Osteopenic changes noted in thoracic spine. C5-6Mild broad based posterior disc protrusion without compromising exiting nerve roots, C6-7 Mild hypertrophic changes & minimal disc bulge.Degenerative disc disease and spondylosis also noted in the cervical spine. Do you know if MRI reports specify how for down or what part of spine included in test? This only mentions the T1&2, also it states Axial images obtained from the levels of C3-4, down through C7-T1. So was any images done of C1 & 2, really confused never even thought about it until I read your message. yours seems to show more than mine, although my sister was in pain for 4yrs. had MRI in beginning of problem showed nothing major,much later (years when her problem appeared on another MRI), big problems to, go figure. I am disgusted, going for EMG monday,although Neuro says not expecting anything to show, bone scan of shoulder area tommorrow. Looking into shoulder, which does not explain other symptoms, My chest area,rib(under breast) arm and shoulder,upper back really hurt, can go up neck all the way to hip,all left side. Mostly upper Left torso, numbness & tingling in hand,fingers, sometimes left foot (burning feeling, or hot spots) ,left leg can feel heavy & so forth, pain really starting to radiate in upper to mid back. No bra since May. Went through whole cardiac work up, including heart cath(when it started (approx:21/2 years ago) & again last week. When I moved in my new house,I know for a fact I hurt myself moving in and continued to get bad through work,I am a home healthcare aide,used to do some major lifting & I am not big. Been to so many docs. so many opinions right down to being told to get psych, help, of course now that it is out of control new Docs office paying aliitle attention, I am not really blaming them I just feel they need to listen alittle better. PT pointed out most of problems, totally swelled in neck, shoulder, major & minor Pec. Area & under ribs. Can't tell you how many docs. thought at first it was shingles., interesting thing when ever sugar tested lately in office or ER it was up, said it could be from pain, you ever have yours checked before all this, even though I was on steriod pack, mine was off before that. I will tell you just discovered while I was on steroids still in pain, went in got and extra injection of steroids in hip, along with script for low dose of oxycodone, felt better for couple days, soon as steroid finished (same day) muscle spasms like crazy and pain, has to be the inflammation, doc. just started me on lyrica couple days ago, I also tried the lid.patch,did nothin. Pain really radiating in upper and mid back lately. Off work for now & really worried about my job. First visit with Neuro, seen him all of 2 minutes, never even asked hardly any questions, not even for PT report, not real encougaed there, plan on trying to corner him next appointment. did not even want notes my doc. told me to make (of symptoms & take to him). by the way my cardiac test were slightly abnormal to, mentioned once again maybe pain, be careful it is not your heart, all these meds. & Pain can't possably be good for it, stress to. I am praying for results to. Cannot bare it much longer ruining my life. PT was only one who said with those symptoms has to something Neuro., he sent me back to doc, because could not control swelling & pain, can barely lift my arm most mornings because of shoulder hurts so much, pulls chest area and it is off and running, heart starts racing if not controlled and send my vitals rith off chart. Any of this sound familair to you? PLEASE write back, maybe we can compare & see what happens. Sammy
Hi chablis3 & everyone, interesting news, went for EMG, very upfront & informative DR. Told him why I was there, right off the get go he said he could see I was in alot of pain, said it always shows in the eyes. DR. said EMG's did not always pick up nerve problems & he was pleased I went for bonescan, He started the test on the left arm, OMG, not a comfortable test when your in Pain to begin with. nothing showed in the arm, he was curious I believe because of my symptoms, so he had me roll over on my side and did the thoracic area, well he was alittle shocked because the EMG was picking up slight readings, which he said is very rare in that area. He said he would have bet it was in the neck area & believed it would have showed else where, said these symptoms can come from c6-7 area and/or thoracic area.
Needless to say he said I was a very confusing & complex case. I asked him if a slight reading was a good indicater of helping find out the problem & he replied absolutly. Before I left he said he was glad the bone scan was done & he would recommend having a myogram (I believe that is the test he said) done. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a clue as to getting some help with this problem. Anyone else have A bone scan & EMG done (curious about EMG in thoracic area)? Funny thing arm does not hurt in the spots the EMG was done but boy my back so tender there & sore. Maybe we are getting a step closer, hope so cause sure in pain & getting tired from all the meds, fighting not to get depressed. Sammy PS. Almost forgot he also noted alot of inflammation, said steroids I was on should have helped that, Well still inflamed,bad. He said must be feeling alot of pain from that.
Hello Everyone! Just dropping in to see how everyone is doing, and so sorry to hear that we all seem to still be in the same boat; with our pain and our frustration! My back, neck, side, are still giving me the same problems and pain. I finally have my rheumotoligst appointment on Friday (after waiting a month and a half to get in). He probably won't have much to say, but I want to check with him to rule out any fibermyalgia. Then, next week I go to the new back doctor; the one that went on vacation for two weeks after my first visit with him. But, I have to tell you all about my vacation last week! Went to Wildwood, N.J. for a week, and wasn't feeling real well when we left. I ended up in the emergency room with a bladder infection, our little dog got sick and we had to take him to a vet, and my sister's cap fell off of her front tooth! What a vacation! I have been having re-occuring bladder infections for some strange reason; been going on for over a month now.

I was given meds to take at the ER, came home, and then was having problems with the meds they gave me...ended up with my right leg swelling. Went to see my new family doctor (whom I like), and am now on different meds! Now he wants me to go see a uroligist! I feel like I am making a career out of going to doctors...and I know you all feel like that, also.

So, that's what has been happening with me, and I did read through all your posts to catch up with everyone. It is upsetting to hear that nobody has found any good results as of yet. I think I might try that natural remedy that John mentioned in his post. Sounds interesting.

My best to everyone, and take care; my thoughts are with you all!

Judy
CHK, I am so glad to hear you got some relief from the treatments at the chiopractors. Maybe a few more will have you feeling much better. I wish you luck and hope they work for you.

Sammi, I feel so bad for you. I just can't imagine why you are having all that swelling in the rib and chest area. I am glad you did turn around and go back to your sister-in-laws; being in that much pain and with your heart racing....that is very scary. Maybe you should have gone to the ER like CHK suggested; they probably would have done a CAT scan right then and there. Good thing you did go ahead and schedule one, though; maybe that will show something. I can imagine how your struggling to keep you job. You have a lot of pressure on you with the job and trying to find out what is causing your pain.

My latest is: Went to the rehab doctor and he reviewed my MRI. He did show me the film, and I do have a herniated disc in the lower back and also a couple of degenerating discs. The one is really bulging out. He suggested the epidural shots, and then today I went to see the doctor that gives them. So, Monday I am scheduled for the first one, then another one the following Monday. I have had these type of shots before, but only in my neck area and middle back. I asked the doc that gives the shots (a woman) about my leg pain and she said she isn't sure if that pain as well as the pain in my side under breast is from the herniated disc or not! She said the only way to tell is to have the shot and see what kind of relief I get. At least she was honest. So, here we go again and I feel like Sammy....my trust in doctors is going down hill fast!

Take care and my best. I wish you both well.

Judy
CHK....I never had any injection to relax me when I went to the neurologist for shots in my neck, and I got through it ok. This place I went for the lower back is a new place, and I guess this is their procedure. But, I really don't think I need it next time as I didn't feel any different relaxation wise! And, your right, they rubbed something on my skin and the shot went so fast, I didn't even notice it. The only thing I noticed different from this shot is that I did have a bad headache all night, and was a bit anxious. The next day I also noticed my face was red looking around the cheeks, but today that is gone. I am bad at keeping track of what was in the shots the neurologist was giving me....they might have been cortisone, where this one was a steroid injection. Maybe that is why the mild side effects this time? Yes, I also read that the steroid injections can make you gain weight, which I don't need, but I am not going to worry about that just now.....I am just glad I found a bit of relief from the pain!

Have a good day!
Norene, wow sounds like you swell up like me, what is the B-27 gene, and is what your speaking of hard to diganos? Because I'll tell you I have been doctor to doctor, the last couple days have been miserable, I am so swollen I could not get my dress off last night, my husband pulled it over my head by time he got it off I was in tears. I heard a crack in my scapula area thursday evening while changing the sheets on my bed, every since then the pain is out of this world, Same thing happened last week, heard a cracking or snapping sound same area that day the pain was unbearable. Does that ever happen to you? I have had it in the neck, I told my rehab. doc last visit about the neck & he said it was because I am so inflammed, all the pressure. Well what ever is going on it is getting worse. I swear I could feel the swelling all way up to my collarbone & even the right side by my scapula was hurting, that never happens. It hurts to breath, I am getting sharp searing pains in the chest area. Like knife pains, I know I am about as inflammed As I have ever been. My movement of the left side with the shoulder area is extremely limited when I am swollen up bad. I'll tell you if this pain gets any worse not so sure I can handle it. I don't know how to get through to these doctors how painful it is. They can see some of it, but I am going to tell him it is getting out of control. My ribs feel huge. Weird feeling. Thanks so much for the info. Exactly how were you diagnosed & by what doctor? Sammy





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