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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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Hi everyone!

I'm hoping to find some direction in regards to what to look for and the questions to ask my doctor when it comes to the pain in my upper spine.

I tore a ligament in my knee in Jr. High and it took 4 months for a diagnosis and then finally surgery to correct it. Ever since, I've had back and neck problems due to one leg shortening up and causing me to limp for months. I've seen different chiropractors for the past 13 or so years. A little background history on me (if it's any help) is that I'm a migraine sufferer, I've also had issues with tolerating heat ever since I was a child and for the past 10 years or so, I've been dealing with being over weight.

About 7-8 years ago, I worked in retail and was on my feet for 8-9 hours a day on a hard floor. Considering I already had back/neck problems, this wasn't the best career move, but I digress. Anyway, a new issue whole entire back would start to tingle and burn after being on my feet all day.

When I was pregnant with my 3rd child, I found that when I tilted my head back (like when rinsing my hair in the shower) or moved just right, I'd get a stabbing pain in my upper spine area on the left side. It's higher then between the shoulders, but not in the neck area. It only happened a handful of times and I chalked it up to back and hip problems that I tend to have during pregnancy. But the pain never went away even though it's been almost 2 years since my 3rd baby was born. In fact, it's gotten worse! I can always feel "something" in that region and it burns daily in that area and it doesn't matter if I'm standing or sitting.

I saw a neurologist about my migraines about a month ago and I also asked him about this pain since my family doctor said he could address that as well. When I told him (well at least what I could tell him before he interrupted and blew me off) he said it might be a pinched nerve and that was it! No suggestions on how to relieve the pain or recommendations for an x-ray or anything!

I'm in Canada where we don't get to choose our doctors. To make matters worse, I live in a very small Province and there's only 2 neurologist and I can't really seek much in the area of second opinions. My only other thought is to see my chiropractor, but I can't really afford it since my husband is off work due to an injury he suffered in a car accident.

I called my doctor's office and asked what I should do since this issue wasn't really addressed and it still was causing me pain and the receptionist said to call the neurologist and see what they say :confused: I really don't want to do that because I feel it would be a waste of time considering the royal blow off he gave me the first time.

Anyone else have a similar pain and been diagnosed? I'm just looking for ideas to suggest to my doctor so that we can cut some guess work out. My mother has suggested maybe a herniated disc?

Thank you for any advice you might have!
I finally went to the chiropractor and he seemed to think one of my ribs in my back was seized to my spine. It most likely happened during my 3rd pregnancy and since I never had it addressed (2 years later) that it just became a chronic pain. He thinks he can loosen things up with a few visits.

Anyway, thought I'd update in case anyone else had a similar pain.
just a big suggestion here before you actually have ANY real adjustments made by your chiro? get an MRI of that c spine and the upper T spine as well. when you cannot actually 'see into" the inside of that spinal column,down to the actual cord and the surrounding areas,you just really have no clue as to whether or not even doing any adjustments could possibly create even bigger problems for you. this would have been the case with my issues i had up in my lower c spine. if i had had adjustments before getting that very informative and needed MRI,i could have suffered some pretty significant consequences.

you could very well have a herniation up there or a host of other possible problems that can just be there in our spines. an x ray would only show the hard boney structures and a possible herniation,but not that very important inner look into the column/spinal cord area itself. THIS is the area that NEEDS to be looked at just based upon your ongoing symptoms. i just would not trust any chiro doing anything on me without getting that inside look first with that MRI. i know canada has its own way of doing things,but with the ongoing symptoms you have had for quite some time now,you just really NEED to find some way to obtain it. the thing that really concerns me with certain possible issues we can get in our spines,with you it has been going on a very long time,ya know? that would indicate that there very well "could" possibly be an actual spinal cord issue going on up there. there are certain types of spinal cord problems that can be congenital,meaning you have had it since birth type of thing? it could be the way your natural column was formed or something can also have been formed within that spinal cord itself. this was my problem. my "birthmark" was actually inthe middle of my spinal cord and was not found til i had an MRI when i had herniated a disc up there. it just showed itself on the MRI. it was a form of a vascular malformation called a cavernous hemangioma? did not have a clue it was there but i did have very strange and odd things that would occur within my body for no apparent reason. some of this stronger wierdness actually started when i was PG with my first child. the type of formation i had can also have little bleeds from time to time,when they occur they can create strange things to be felt in your body. i am just wondering since this has been a very long time if there is not something like this actually going on in you too. you just cannot see these things unless you have that MRI that shows them. i really would push whatever doc you can ito allowing you to just obtain that MRI up there,at least it would show any possible issues and rule things in or out as possible underlying causes of your ongoing types of symptoms.

this just does sound very much like something just is not right up in the upper spine in you to be having the symptoms you are. something is being affected up there in some way. just getting that MRI really is needed. depending upon what does or does not show would kind of dictate what steps should be taken next. but i would push for this and also try and hold off on that chiro adjusting thing til you know without doubt just what it is you may have going on up there. it could explain alot about your symptoms so it should just be done.

i do wish you luck with getting that MRI done very soon,you simply need it at this point. please keep me posted,Marcia
Thanks feelbad!

I do have an MRI scheduled in June. It's taking me 6 months to get it so I'm hoping it will shed some light because it will be difficult to try to get another one!

I'm going to call my doctor Monday and/or the neurologist and see if they can expand the MRI from just a scan of my head to one of my spine as well.

Thanks again for your reply :)
i would very much PUSH your doc to definitely include the c and t spine areas since you are going to be in there anyways. this really does need to be looked into much more in depth just going by the symptoms you are having. it may explain alot. do whatever you have to do to get that area looked at with the MRI, preferably with a contrasing agent. it just helps to highlight certain areas that don't always show really well upon plain MRI. i am really wondering why your doc ONLY wanted to do your head/brain,when your symptoms really are very pronounced within the spinal area? seems kind of,well,stupid? its too bad you have to wait THAT long just for an MRI. i know things of a medical nature tend to move very slowly in canada,but geez,thats a pretty long wait. is there some way to possibly get on a sort of cancellation list up there where you maybe could get this done much sooner? just a thought. i do wish you luck with this. please keep me posted. make certain to keep an ongoing list of all symptoms,espescially anything spinal related. it will help you with trying to get that upper spine included with your doc. marcia

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