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Old 04-30-2005, 07:25 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 183
lilcee HB User
Pain on my left side - please help!

I've been having a pain on my left side - mostly up under my ribs. Sometimes it feels like someone stuffed their fist under my ribs or I have a baloon under there. Other times, it just hurts and my ribs are very tender to touch. Mostly on left sid.
I've been to the Dr and she said she thought it was costochondritis. She ruled out heart. I started going to a new chiropractor and he had me going there 2 or 3 times a week and said it was a pinched nerve and he could fix it. Well, I got worse and I quit going because I figured after all that time (about 15-16 treatments or more) if he couldn't help me, he wasn't going to. Now I hurt all the time and I've been depressed because I can't do the things I want to do.
It hurts to lay down and any pressure on my ribs makes it hurt more. After I eat, sometimes it's worse, like maybe when my stomach if full - that it presses on a nerve? I don't know, just guessing. It hurts to sit too. My whole left sides hurts sometimes - even up into my shoulder and my left arm.
I've never been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but wonder if I have it. My sister does and I have a lot of the symptoms. Is this pain one of them?
My husband and I are going on vacation in 2 weeks and I would really like to enjoy it. Anyone have any suggestions for relief?
One other thing, I've had this before and it seemed to go away, or ease up, but after going to the chiropractor, it got worse again. Kinda like all the cracking was irritating it. Does that sound like costochondritis?
Also, a year or two ago, I had a pain so bad I couldn't straighten up. I went to the er and they took all kinds of tests, xrays, cat scan of my stomach and found nothing. sent me home with pres. for muscle relaxer and pain med. The problem is, this keeps coming back and I can't find a dr that can help me.
Sorry this is so long. Any help would be appreciated. I'm tired of having pain. Nothing is helping and I feel like crying all the time.
Thank you

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Old 05-01-2005, 03:17 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,515
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

Hi Lilcee. I, too, am fighting a rib pain problem. Had xrays, MRI, blood work. All came back "normal". Mine started w/a cold & cough. They thought I had shingles at first because the pain was so bad, or that I had cracked a rib coughing. Slept on a loveseat curled up in a ball for 3-4 weeks, cause I couldn't lay in bed. Vicodin didn't help much for the pain. At about week 6 or 7, I was really getting fed up with drs. (Saw PCP 2x, an orthopedic, once to ER cause of pain.) I called my dr and said if there's nothing wrong with me, then where do I go from here. What about physical Therapy? I was willing to do anything to get rid of the pain, as mine was on both sides of my ribcage (even bras were torture to try & put on, so I didn't). So I went to PT and they examined me, and said my posture needed correction(scoliosis) and I also had a rotation in the ribs...which meant they were out of place. Finally after 4 wks of PT (lots of stretching) the pain is getting better. I also thought it could've been costochondroitis (and maybe that was a part of it...I was never officially diagnosed, so I don't know anything for sure). But PT seems to be helping...and if nothing else, it's helping correct my poor posture.
Have you had any xrays or MRI this time around? They didn't show my problem, but I understand ribs are a fairly overlooked area. Have you tried heat packs, cold packs?
I found heat worked better for me and helped relieve the pain. And ibuprophen worked as much as the vicodin did. Those heat wraps that stick to your body are good, when you can't just sit there with a heating pad, which I carried back & forth to work for about a month or so. Keep plugging away for answers, though. Don't let the drs slide if your in pain and it is recurrent. Pain is a symptom that something isn't right, and needs to be addressed. Hoping you're feeling better soon and can enjoy that vacation. I spent my 2 weeks vacation ,"celebrating" my 50th bday doing PT!!!

Old 05-01-2005, 03:21 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

Hi lilcee
Sorry to here about your pain.
I have all of your symptoms and alot more. I too have been in the E.R for stomach pains without them finding a cause for my stomach pains.
I have just been recently diagnosed with a herniated disc at T6/7 and I am putting most of my symptoms down to that. I am not 100% sure that all my symptoms are due to that as I have not yet been able to discuss all my symptoms with my spine specialist.
Tha only advice I can give you is don't give up keep fighting with the doctors for them to get to the bottom of your pain. It is not any fun being in pain and can sure make you depressed and angry at times.
And always know that we are here on this board when those times are about for an ear to listen too.
If I was in your position I would ask my doctor to refer me to an ortho doc
and see what he thinks, as the pain might be comming from somewhere you don't expect. Like referred pain.

Sorry I can't answer your Questions as to what might be wrong with you but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wish you all the best

Old 05-01-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
nean612 HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!


Hello, you sound a lot like me...i also have the "balled up fist" under my rib cage, and it goes around to the back (mine does). I had access to an ultrasound machine and when i put the probe on the spot on my back where it hurt, there was my left kidney. I had no bladder problems. Dr first thought shingles, (no rash), after 2 months and it not going away i had spinal xrays, normal.....he wanted to inject cortisone...I said NO WAY. And got a second opinion, he was stumped, too. i had more xrays, abd u/s, urine tests, blood tests, abd cat scan...all normal. I have been on so many anti inflammatories, ultracet ( which did help), and vicodin when the pain was horrible, and xanax (.25mg helped when the pain flared up....helped with stress, and i could Finally sleep...he also put me on 3 different types of antidepressants (those make me crazy...i am on the ceiling....i could not sleep for 3 whole days while on one of them)..he said it was just my body getting used to it....ha!!!!! I was at the point of suicide. So those are a big No No for me. Then he retired . Next dr kept me on the xanax, ultracet, and vicodin for what i called break thru pain)....well the ultracet started to make me want to he said to use the vicodin as i needed......He had another gi ct scan .... thought it was spenic flexure (trapped gas) No gi signs. 6 weeks ago i picked up a box, and now have toe numbness that comes and goes, horrible sciatic pain....and still the wrapping pain.....
Sorry that this is so long, but if you find out what it is...let me know......I see a spine dr tomorrow, so maybe he can shed some light on this. I have had this wrapping pain for about 3 years.
take care

Old 05-01-2005, 04:05 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
nean612 HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

I was wondering what your signs were when you were diagnosed with herniated T6/7?

take care


Old 05-01-2005, 04:16 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,515
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

Hi Nean, Think you meant to ask Lee6Kids that one. My MRI showed nothing abnormal, other than a 1cm high rounded area of the T1 and T2 signal in the T9 vertebral body, which they said was a benign hemangioma. (Spinal tumor made up of blood vessels....yikes!) They say it doesn't cause pain. even though I always have pain in just that area!
Gosh! I sure hope every finds some good help with all these problems. Good luck to you all!

Old 05-02-2005, 05:27 AM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

Hi Nean
My symptoms consist of
Headaches for 7 years 24/7
Stiff and sore neck and shoulders for 7 years
If I lift my hands above my head my arms go numb for 7 years
Heavy legs for 7 years
These next symptoms have been with me for 2years or less
Pain running down my arms
Loss of movement and feeling in one arm for 4 months
Tingling and numbness in my fingers and hands
I have the spider crawling over your skin feeling alot all over my body mainly my top half.
Pain Between my shoulder blades 24/7 kinda like you want to crack your back feeling.
It hurts to breath too deeply and sometimes it just hurts.
After I eat I feel sorer and it makes the breathing and pain in my chest and back worse.
I have nausea mostly in the afternoon
I get stomach cramps that buckle me over but only for short bursts
My bladder sometimes will not empty ( can't pee at all )
Pain running down my legs
Aching feet
every bone in my body cracks and creaks
Loss of movement in my legs
Numbness in my legs sometimes
My legs sometimes give out on me when I walk or am standing.
My back throbs from top to tailbone. I can actually feel it throbbing

Sorry it is so long but I have tried to think of nearly everything for you. No doubt there is some things I have missed out. I hope this is of some help.

Old 05-03-2005, 01:03 AM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 62
nean612 HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

I saw a spine dr today and he ordered an emg??? Have you had one of these done??
Hope you are feeling better


Old 05-03-2005, 04:18 AM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Pain on my left side - please help!

No I haven't had one done. I am still waiting to have my first appointment with my spine specialist, I have 2 months 2 wait so I don't really know what sort of treatment or tests will be available for me.
How do you feel about having one done?
Hope you are having a good day.

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