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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I posted this in the Back Problems forum, but someone pointed me here.

I'll make this concise since I know probably no one wants to read a small novel...I've had back pain between my shoulder blades for the last few days on and off. In addition, I find it slightly harder to breathe now than before (I have been slightly short of breath for no reason for the last few years; the backache augmented the breathing issue).

I was worried it was a heart or lung problem, but since I can feel pain when pressure is applied to the sore spot, I have to assume it's a spinal issue. I have not sustained any injuries to my back or neck ever, haven't been in any accidents, haven't fallen off anything. The pain began after a two-week stay with a friend and after having slept on a rather uneven, saggy, uncomfortable mattress every night during that time. At the end of those two weeks, my back ached like I'd had a cinder block dropped on my spine.

Prior to this pain, that part of my back was just stiff, but now I find I need to give myself a good spinal twist and crack a little more often than before. This is really the only thing that helps.

Right now, the pain is mild, but it's still there. I'm really not sure what caused this or what to do about it. I got a physical a couple days ago and my doctor said I didn't have scoliosis, but it hurt when she rubbed my back where it's been sore. Not a lot, but enough to make me wince a bit.

What would cause this upper back pain? Is it how I sleep? I really don't have money for a chiropractor - my mother actually paid for that physical I had since I have no insurance and no job. So I'm basically limited to stuff I can do at home for myself, and right now I've just been taking an Aleve each day for the aching.
This is a tough one since you have not been evaluted for spinal problems.
Spinal problems are not always caused from injury or serious injury.
Sounds like you may have some muscle type pain. Muscle pain alone can be extremely painful & last a long period of time. Have to tried ice or moist heat? They can really be helpful & ice has been one of my life savers. At times I believe the relief the two can provide is underestimated.
Does it hurt during inhalation, exhalation or both?

I do have problems with painful breathing & with inhalation, I cant get enough air in when I inhale, like my lungs wont expand & this all started with my spinal problems. I dont think its as common as other symptoms but it has been brought up by others here.

You can try sleeping on a firmer mattress, if yours is not firm maybe putting a board under it. Not exactly sure how that works, maybe someone else can help there. It won't hurt by trying this & the ice & heat. Try to limit any lifting & activity that may bother your upper back & see if there is improvement.
Without a good exam its hard to say & spinal injuries/problems can be hard to diagnosis even with all the testing & a good doctor.

You may want to keep a journal to see what adds to the pain or what improves it. Also pay attention to your neck to see if it can be adding to the pain. You may want to try a cervical pillow or a roll under the neck to see if it makes a difference. Remember pain radiates so it can be coming from higher up in the neck area.

Of course I'm just throwing things out there but its a starting point. If you do believe its spinal stay away from Chiros, as you have not clue whats going on in there & I would not want anyone messing with that area till you know for sure. Although chiros at times will do x-rays for cheaper then doctors. Not that much may show in an x-ray but you never know. Massage may help also.

Good luck & hopefully someone else will chime in here. Sammy

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