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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
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=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
CHKUEHN...sounds like you have had so many tests and tried so many things; the darn shame of it all is that none of us seem to have found any results. It is amazing how we all seem to have been through many of the same things, same meds, same injections.....with no results. I just cannot imagine what we are doing wrong!!! You mentioned muscle spasms, and I am thinking that I might have the same thing happening. At night I wake up with the feeling that my heart is jumping around, and I have the burning in the middle of my chest when this happens. Perhaps that is a combination of acid reflux happening along with a spasm. Seems like when I get up and take an anti-acid tablet, the burning goes away somewhat. I am trying to diagnose myself at this point. With me, I wonder if the pain in my back and legs has caused me to have acid reflux from the stress of the pain. Going for a colonoscopy and the test where they stick the scope down your throat next month to check into that. Takes forever to get in to see all these different doctors. I also had epidural injections as well as trigger point, both in the middle back area and neck area. I tolerated them well and did not have any hot flash feelings. Actually, the trigger point ones helped my neck problems and alleviated the strange numb head-achy feeling I was having somewhat. I have been having these injections for awhile now; going about every 4 months or so. The two injections I had in the middle back, spaced a few weeks apart, were for the pain around my middle area and legs, and these haven't done much so far. I guess our spines and nerves can do just about anything to us, causing so many different kinds of pain. The trick is finding out where, how and what to do about it! It is good to have a group of people offering suggestions and advice, and sharing experiences.

Take care and good luck.
Judy
[QUOTE=chablis3;3146552]CHKUEHN...sounds like you have had so many tests and tried so many things; the darn shame of it all is that none of us seem to have found any results. It is amazing how we all seem to have been through many of the same things, same meds, same injections.....with no results. I just cannot imagine what we are doing wrong!!! You mentioned muscle spasms, and I am thinking that I might have the same thing happening. At night I wake up with the feeling that my heart is jumping around, and I have the burning in the middle of my chest when this happens. Perhaps that is a combination of acid reflux happening along with a spasm. Seems like when I get up and take an anti-acid tablet, the burning goes away somewhat. I am trying to diagnose myself at this point. With me, I wonder if the pain in my back and legs has caused me to have acid reflux from the stress of the pain. Going for a colonoscopy and the test where they stick the scope down your throat next month to check into that. Takes forever to get in to see all these different doctors. I also had epidural injections as well as trigger point, both in the middle back area and neck area. I tolerated them well and did not have any hot flash feelings. Actually, the trigger point ones helped my neck problems and alleviated the strange numb head-achy feeling I was having somewhat. I have been having these injections for awhile now; going about every 4 months or so. The two injections I had in the middle back, spaced a few weeks apart, were for the pain around my middle area and legs, and these haven't done much so far. I guess our spines and nerves can do just about anything to us, causing so many different kinds of pain. The trick is finding out where, how and what to do about it! It is good to have a group of people offering suggestions and advice, and sharing experiences.

Take care and good luck.
Judy[/QUOTE]

Judy, just caught that part about waking up with burning, feels like like heart jumping around bi, I have had that also, except my heart will race like crazy, I have acic reflux, I try real hard not to eat at night, but yes feels like muscles are in spasm to, I hurry up and grab the rolaid compleate, scary feeling huh, wakes you up right out of your sleep. My sister in law was in the hospital for cancer and she had terrible gas pain (sometimes a good belch helps relieve some pressure) she said it got so bad she doubled over, they gave her gigerale(canada dry or vernours) worked like a charm she said. I am going to get some to keep in house, also said the hospital gave her gingerale mixed with prune juice to go to the bathroom, worked to, said taste ok, figure all these people on meds. might like that little suggestion.
Sammy
Chab,I understand what you are trying to say, really can't say, I do know it happens so fast out of the blue at times, usually with the pain or muscle spasms. Doc say thinks bodies way of responding to pain, although I do know If I don't watch what I eat (bad @ night) It can really kick in, I know I am swollen in rib and Chest area always thought maybe has something to do with it. All I know I hope it stops, if I discover whats wrong & conrtolled that and the reflux and tachycardia went away I would be able to say it is directly linked. I am holding hope. Sammy
I cant say that the trigger point injections that I had on Wed have helped. :(
Tried the muscle relaxers a few times but I dont think they helped either. I've had a very stressful week and I can tell it affects the back pain. Im really frustrated that there's no clear answers/solutions to my pain. Hopefully someone here will finally find a good Dr who can provide the correct treatment and we can all benefit.
hey CH.bone spurs generally wont 'cause' pain in and of themselves,only when they are directly affecting a nerve or grow into the foramen and start causing stenosis within it,or of course if they are affecting the cord itself.they would have to be directly affecting one of the above for you to actually feel that they even exist.just how severe is your herniation.that alone could be the issue,espescially if it is covering the dermatome that correlates with it.i myself have had at least about one hundred TP injections(between 15-20 per visit) just over the past few years since my hell began back in 01/02,some worked some didn't.can you actually feel the TPs back there,little wads of tissue/muscle there?these are generally caused by the ongoing inflammation going on within the nerves at your herniation site.the nerves get inflammed and in turn start irritating the heck outta the muscles back there.that is what actually creates TPs.i,if i got any relief at all,would usually get it from the injections around day two or three.sometimes they work and sometimes they don't do squat.it kind of depends on if you actually have real TPs and if they were responsible for actually generating pain for you.a tennis ball placed between your back(inside a sock)and a nice solid wall so you can roll it around and into those TPs really works rather well to calm things down for me when it gets kind of ugly back there.its always worth a shot.its about the closest i could come to to replacing the hands of my therepist when my ins co said i was not making enough 'progress" to justify them continuing to pay,despite the fact it was working so well for my pain.i guess the pain relief part doesn't matter to the ins co.

what types of docs have you consulted so far?what have you been given as far as any realtreatment options?what is the extent of your herniation(what does it state in the MRI summary?)?depending on how severe the herniation actually is and just what is being affected would in turn kind of dictate the type of treatment options availiable to you.if you could actually post that info it would help alot.Marcia
Sammy, thanks for the reply, and glad to hear from you as well. Yes, I have been drinking lots and lots of cranberry juice as well as water. I hardly ever drink water, which is good for you, so your doing the right thing by drinking lots of it! I would love to have a glass or two of wine, but afraid to drink that good stuff! I also wondered if what I had been taking might be causing the bladder infection, but the only things I take are vitamins, blood pressure pills, and I did try a few Celebrex, but just took a few of those. I was also using a natural spray (sprayed under the tongue) that was supposed to help with muscle and joint pain. I did stop using that, though. I have to wonder if the bladder infection is from all the stress of being in pain? I am not sure if stress could cause bladder infections or not? Sorry to hear your so sore from helping the elderly couple; which was so nice for you to do. Hope you feel better soon. You sound like me; do things one day, and pay for it the next few days. Yes, do call a rheumotoligist right away as it does take forever to get in to see one. I'll keep you posted on my visit tomorrow.

CHK...I feel so bad for you having to deal with work and pain. That has to be tough, and I can understand why you break down on the way home. I have felt like doing that also, and I don't even work. It is terrible for both you and Sammy to have to deal with all that pressure and stress. I surely couldn't do it; I can hardly get my housework done these days.

Thinking about you both, and sending my best. Take care!
Hi Chablis, yeah it seems us spineys are always having pain..if not constantly, then on & off... I get various pains in my spine, arthritis pain, nerve pain, muscle pain, etc. as well as in other joints too. It seemed like my rheumy thought I had lupus & fibro but now all of a sudden it seems like he doesnt know. I know how frustrating it all is.

Sorry that you ended up in the ER on your vacation, that's a bummer. But at least they found something & youre being treated for it. I get alot of bladder infections on & off too and I have to have some bladder tests done next week.

THey can be caused by bacteria for various reasons - like bacteria getting in there from the outside; holding too long before going to the bathroom; or there can be several medical conditions that cause you to not to empty your bladder completely, which causes too much urine to stay in the bladder for too long, and then bacteria can multiply b/c it's not leaving your system. And there are certain diseases that put you more at risk for getting these infections such as diabetes, kidney problems, some autoimmune diseases, some spine problems can damage nerves to the bladder....

Sometimes I get weird bladder problems but no infection is found. To me many flares i've had seem to coincide with times I have bad spine problems (heriations, stenosis, sciatica). I mentioned that to my Gyno (who is sending my for my bladder tests)..I said might it be related to my spine problems & she said it could be, but wants me to have some additional tests done. So that is good, as least she is concerned about it; unlike my rheumy, who didnt think anything of it. And ditto on feeling like I have a 2nd career visiting doctors and labs and imaging centers!

I think you probably should have the bladder issue checked out to make sure nothing else is going on.
MKA, Oh I wish somebody would find out something,maybe it would give the rest of us a clue. My gosh I tried going without pain meds & muscle relaxer yesturday evening, never took anything in afternoon, determined to go with out it, talk about pain, laid in bed & slept.My chest/ribs,arm/shoulder & upper back& neck were killing me,could not believe the pain come on that bad not taking the meds. Sick & tired of it all, I feel like I am loosing my mind because no doctor yet has found what is wrong. Can barely lift my arm today & my ribs are so darn sore.
Has anyone even been given a clue yet as to what this type of problem could be? Has to be something. I am not putting to much faith in these tests the doctors run any more. Honest, if they find out what it is I think I would break down & cry in relief. I am afraid to be given the wrong diagnosis. I am also afraid of moving up to stronger pain meds, that is why I tried to go without yesturday(& to try to avoid the constipation). I will be taking meds today froget that crap. I am losing alot of money with work & can't wait for someone to find out what is wrong, rehab. doc appointment monday. I always think of you all & hope one of us can find out what the heck is going on, funny all of us & no one really has to much of a clue. Has anyone found anything that really gives them relief? Good luck MKA, Sammy
Hi Sammy; I am glad I don't have fibermylagia; I hear that is also very painful. Yes, the rheumotoligist is actually the first one to read my MRI report, as I haven't been in yet to see the new back doctor, who was the one that ordered the MRI in the first place. I actually took the film in to the rheum. guy; they gave me my film at the MRI place. I tried taking Lyrica...the neuoroligist I had been going to for eridural shots/trigger point injections perscribed it. I didn't like it at all because it made me dizzy. When I get a side effect like that, I won't take it because it scares me. I don't like that dizzy feeling! My hands were getting numb and tingly back then, and that is why the neuroligist perscribed it. So yes, it should help you with that part, but not the pain. If you can tolerate it, it would probably be good for you to take it. I wonder why your ribs are sore, and also the swelling in your chest area. Do you think you might have pulled a muscle when you were doing all that work over the week-end? I hope not; that's all you need on top of everything else!

I am so sorry to hear your sister-in-law has cancer. I lost my adopted grandaughter last year (21) to brain cancer. It is very upsetting to me when I hear of someone having cancer. I wish your sister-in-law well and I will pray for her. Oh yes, those pain meds can make a person cranky, and I don't blame you for hiding in your room! I do that sometimes, and I also don't feel like talking to people at times. The rheumotoligist asked me if I find myself getting tired and depressed......of course my answer was a big YES!

I hope you are taking it easy this week-end, and not doing much work! You need to rest up and realx a bit. Have a good week-end, and I will be thinking about you!

Judy
chab, I am glad I am not the only one who goes through that with the husband, mine to. Makes me feel guilty, but I am not much fun right now. Well went for MRI & was told when I arrived only one area on script from doc. was approved, they said someone should have called me. Talk about being mad! If nothing shows in the area done I am back to waiting, & since the inflammation/pain is in all the areas I can only hope the problem shows in the shoulder area the insuance approved for the mri. Up in the night could not move my neck or arm, my husband could not touch my back aroud the scapula area this morning, all those areas were suppose to be in the mri, including the chest, which is so inflammed it is hard like a rock. The tech.doing the mri had to weight my hand down with a bean bag went into muscle spasms when I laid down & he was afraid the arm would move during the test. Big fun! So I am praying what ever the problem is shows up in the area that the insurance company(that we pay so much for) allowed the mri on. So please everyone wish me luck. Sammy
chk, the facility told me they are seeing this more & more, where the insurance co. wants to have one area done first, then if nothing shows there they usually approve an MRI in the other areas. Stupid, it just wastes time, a problem in one area can cause pain in another, with out looking at all areas where the pain/inflammation exist it can be hard to find the where the actual problem lies. This doc. wants to look at the back scapula area, shoulder & chest(pec. muscle region), small enough area, a problem in any of these areas can cause pain &inflammation in the others. The facility should have called me before the test, I specifically asked them to if they had any problems, thats what makes me so angry. They will be calling to let me know what the insurance co. said & I will be asking if they notified the doctor when the insurance denied part of the MRI, I have seen more & more neglagence lately with medical facilities, you can understand one or even a couple, but heck it is becoming a regular occurance. So we will see what is said. Thanks guys for all you advice & understanding. Sammy





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