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Posted by maria (Bos) on December 17, 2000 at 08:36:14:

In Reply to: Morning pain in mid upper back posted by Carol on December 16, 2000 at 21:56:58:

Hi Carol.
You were right about one thing Carol that you dont really get any good answers as to what's causing
the back pain. Unfortunetly it's really a guessing game sometimes.

I have DDD (arthritis) from C2-C7 (as well as C6-C7 is herniated) and L4-S1. The C disc (the discs in your neck)
cause a lot of pain on my shoulders, between my shoulder blades, my arms, and neck. Unlike you, when I wake
up in the morning my pain is at it's least. It gets worse as the day progresses. Regardless of what is
causing your pain, have you changed pillows lately? Whether you have DDD, herniated disc or muscle
spasms, your pillow could be playing a big role in your pain especially if you find it to be worse in the
morining. It's hard to say what you have with the symptoms you've described, but I can tell you mine and see
if you can relate to any of them.
I can't look up or down without feeling pain starting from my neck and it radiates to my shoulders. My head will only go so far before.
You can not touch the area of my neck because it's so tender. My arms become weak and numb
a lot through out the day and night.
I have a lot of pain between my shoulder blades. The pain is usually a burning pain, with sudden
movements, or stretches it feels "electric".

Have you tried ice packs? If you put ice packs on and you get some relief, it might be a muscle spasm.
My physical therapist recommended I use a bag of frozen peas, leave it on for 15min, put it back in the
freezer for 15min, and keep doing it until you find it's starting to help you. (don't eat the peas after you've
used them :o)
Ask you husband to press with his thumb around the neck area to see if their are any tender spots.
Have him start pressing 2-3 inches from each side of your spine towards your shoulders, not your spine.
If you feel pain in any area away from your spine, most likely it's a muscle spasm. Hopefully that's all it is,
because that can easily be treated with some muscle relaxers and physical therapy.
Sitting down for so many hours a day can really do some damage.

Your doctor is probably going to be really conservative in the beginning stages of your treatement.
I don't think he will order any X-Rays or MRI's which is too bad, because an MRI can really tell you
what is going on.
If he doesnt offer you anything more than a patronizing tap on the shoulder, go see some one else.
Don't let any one tell you theirs nothing wrong with you, because you knwo your body more than any
one else.
Hopefully he will order you an MRI, but he would only do that if he feels that this is not a muscle spasm
and that this is a disc problem.
Ask him about antiflammatories (eg Relafin), or muscle relaxers.
Ask him to get you into physical therapy, and preferably McKenzie (sp?) PT. ( you might have to search
online to find mckenzie therapy in your area)
Ask him about injections, and at what stage would he recommend it.
If he doesnt make any suggestions at all, ask him to refer you to a specialist. (orthopedic, neurologis,
physiatrist, spine specialists, anything!!)
Back pain that has been going on for longer than 6 mos, indicates theirs a problem. Please don't let him
brush you off as a hypocondriac. Most physicians do. It took me a year to get someone to finally listen
to me, and get some tests done. A year of constant pursuing.
I truly hope your doctor will be more aggresive than most doctors, and I hope he makes some suggestions.
I find myself going to my doctors appointments with a list of things I found on the internet and telling him
"okay, what about this...., or how about this....,"

Good Luck Carol, and I'm sorry for the book. I pray that you get some answers, and help.
Please let us know how your doctors appointment goes. I am anxious to find out what he has to offer you.

Be well
Maria


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