Questions; input appreciated

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The Editor
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/22/2011 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Greetings,

I have some questions that I would like some input on. I do not have "classic" back trouble (sciatica, etc). However, I have discovered (via ct scan) that I have arthritis on my spine, and I seem to have particular trouble with my mid-back up to between my shoulder blades. So, I would like to describe my pain and see if others can relate and maybe have any suggestions. I have been to a cardiologist that has ruled out (I hope) heart trouble.

I get pain in my mid to upper back. This pain is a bit different as it isn't really a sore feeling, more of a burning, raw sensation that is not surface, but deep. The pain seems to travel around to my chest. I have an aching/burning sensation on my xyphoid process, as well as what can be best described as a deep burning or raw sensation in two fixed locations on my chest. These areas are about 3 inches below either side of my collar bone, or about halfway between my nipples and collarbone. It feels like the pain is deep and not superficial. If I lay on a hard surface with a heat back wadded up and put directly under my mid back, that seems to help. I also get a fair amount of pain throughout my chest when I stretch or twist, as well as pain radiating throughout my abdomen. Lately, I have noticed another odd one; on my right butt I get a feeling as though I sat in hot water, and then it goes away, only lasts a few seconds to maybe ten seconds at most and then goes away. It doesn't hurt, it's just weird. Can anyone relate, or am I a unique case?

Regards, Brenden.
 
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CRPSpatient
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 12/22/2011 4:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brenden,

It is certainly possible for back problems to cause chest and abdominal pain. I have compression fractures in my spine from T4-T8 and T10-T12 and I get terrible rib and chest pain with it - sometimes so bad that I have trouble breathing.

Obviously though - anything with the chest in particular you need to be careful so I'm glad you've seen a cardiologist. Did you have a 24 hour Holter study done (where you wear the ECG monitor for 24 hours) to catch any tiny abnormalities that a normal exam and ECG might miss. Have you had imaging of your chest and/or abdo done?

Hopefully someone else will have some suggestions for you :)

Laura
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 12/22/2011 4:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Brenden!

Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum!

Well!….I happen to agree with Laura a bit…in that,…..it maybe that any spine trouble in the cervical area may indeed cause pain in the chest. I suffer from this, and have the burning sensation you speak of at times. I believe mine is caused from muscle spasms, and causes a burning feeling kind of like when you over work a muscle to the point it burns.

I also suffer a cramping in the chest….if I lay in my bed as it is tilted up for long periods of time. For one... that has suffered a heart attack back on 2002, it is a worry of mine, and so much so, that I have at times taken a Nitro pill and or spray (I have both)….just to make sure.

Mine feels more like pleurisy in the chest area, and I also suffer from "Angina",...not fun at all! My Dr believes it all is caused because of the DDD and bulging disk in the cervical area. Are you seeing a PM, and if so did he happen to script a muscle relaxer for you? I see no mention of med's being scripted to you. How much pain are you in on a scale of 1-10?

It sounds like your Dr may need to schedule an MRI as well, as it will show a better picture of the problem. If you were to have sciatica nerve problems…this generally would be caused from lumbar spine problems, but since you are experiencing upper cervical problems…that would be the place your Dr may want to check out.

Of course these are just suggestions, as we are not Dr's here. We are!…. however, a Chronic Pain support group, so feel free to visit us anytime for support.

Good luck, and I hope you can find a cause for the suffering, and that it can be treated.

Take care,

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am" author unknown

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 12/22/2011 2:58:48 AM (GMT-7)


Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/22/2011 6:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and Welcome,

I too have chest pain with my back problems. The Dr's all say that it is from DDD, spinal issues (in general), costrocondtitis, and the dreaded fibromyalgia. Because of the exact points you described, Iwonder if you have fibro too. Please take the time to do an online search of the fibro trigger points and see if the spots are the ones you have bothering you. The ones in my chest are the WORST for me with the fibro. I did the heart work up several times before they made these decisions and I still follow up every year with some heart related testing due to family history of heart disease.

I also agree with the others about the muscle spasms!!! Mine do everything from jumping and sending little zaps of electricity out to full out lockdown! Soma eased this for me quite a bit....although I had not realized it until I read your post. The jumping and electrical zaps have virtually ceased since I started taking the Soma four times a day. The hot water was usually the beginning for me, with soreness and tenderness following.

I hope this gives some help, but I'm certainly not a Dr (as you can probably tell by my lack of spelling and butchering of the medical terms), but I (like so many others here) have been through my fair share of medical tests for "unknown" conditions. Most of the time the tests exclude things rather than give a firm diagnosis, but it's worth it to know what you don't have (I guess).

All my best!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

The Editor
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/22/2011 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all your replies.

I am 46 and male. I did have a holter test done 3 years back. I have had 2 stress echos, the last being a year ago. I had a thorough ct scan of my torso earlier this year, that's when they told me I had some arthritis. I woul like an MRI but I have no insurance right now. I take meds for blood pressure. The only prescription med I take for pain is Tramadol, 50 mg. It help a little.

I am a little worried that this couild be RA, since that is an auto-immune disease and since my father had MS my understanding is that that makes me many times more likely to develope some kind of auto immune issue.

An odd symptom that I have started having a year ago is that any time I drink alcohol, doesn't matter what kind, within about 10 to 20 minutes I start to get very sore, all through my abdominal muscles and up into my shoulder, neck. It is a soreness, not a sharp pain. However, if I lay down flat on my back, the soreness eases up. It is the weirdest symptom and I can't find anyone else that shares it.

Regards, Brenden.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/22/2011 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never heard of the alcohol issue being a problem. I can no longer drink even socially, as it doesn't mix with my meds. I found alcohol made me feel bad anyway and always made my hypoglycemia much much worse than it was before I drank. Even one beer caused problems with an overall feeling of sickness and the sulfites in wine were horrible! Liquor (in my younger years) was just the thing to cause me to be MEAN and ugly to people....so needless to say I gave it up a LONG time ago. Both my husband and I get mean when liquor is involved so we vowed to never drink it again. He's not CP, so he still likes his beer for enjoyment. I miss the taste because I did honestly enjoy a dark beer now and again, but I don't miss the feeling of sickness afterwards. It just wasn't worth the problems for me and now could be a fatal mistake.

I hope you find your answers soon!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 12/22/2011 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My main area of pain is, as the OP, in my mid-upper back, between my spine and shoulder blade. At its worst, it is a burning stabbing pain in a few specific points plus a deep cramping pain in my upper traps and burning in my arm. I'll sometimes also get a pain that migrates around to the front, right where my heart is. Despite my other cardiac issues, it is presumably referred pain related to my C4-T4 scoliosis.

I have no real answers for you, but can at least let you know that there are others with some similar problems.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray
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