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Old 09-10-2010, 04:10 PM   #1
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chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

I have had pain in my thoracic spine over a year, been to a chriopracter, through physical therapy a couple of different times, just had a plain x-ray exam recently (not MRI or CT) and it came back normal. I don't get it. I hurt in my spinal bone always same spot every second of the day, I could have thought it was a muscle issue if the pain wasn't in my bone. How can my x-ray be normal? I have had excrusiating pain from this. I don't understand it. Could my low Vit D be causing the bone pain? Can that type of bone pain make pain radiate because this goes up into my neck, jaws, and eyes, and gives me horrible migraines sometimes. PT helped my pain, but it never made it completely go away. I know something is wrong there, I just cannot believe the x-ray didn't show it.

 
Old 09-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

It sounds to me like it is time to see a spine specialist. An x-ray is not going to show something like a pinched nerve or herniated disc. Pain this bad needs to be looked into as it will just get worse. You could start by seeing your family doctor if he/she will order an MRI for you, then if something does show up, you can start looking for a thoracic surgeon. He would be the best to recommend things that could help.

I would avoid chiropractors for now; at least until you get diagnoses as they can do more damage manipulating your spine when they don't know what is going on.

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Carol

 
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

i so totally agree with carol, stay away from anymore chiro adjustments until you can obtain a good solid look into that whole area down to that spinal cord and nerve roots with ONLY an MRI(nothing else gets deep enough). you simply have no real clue with only mere x ray just exactly what could be underlying in those deeper levels until you get that in depth look, esp with YOUR levels of ongoing symptoms.

the mere fact that you stated this is a 'constant' and never goes away should clearly tell any doc that you simply DO need that MRI at this point. something that is constant like what you are describing generally has a 'consistant' and ongoing solid generator? it shows that you just DO have a "something' that IS impacting 'something' all the time that never lets up or lets it go? an MRI with a good contrasting agent should be able to pick up something that is a 'constant".

i had the very same type of situation and did find out that my unrelenting agony underneath my shoulder blade that was just 'there' always never giving up was from whats called a cavernous hemangioma right INSIDE of my freaking spinal cord. these are very rare to have form there so chances are that is in no way what you may have going on. but just showing you how when something is simply 'there' and constant, it usually is stemming from 'something' more solid impacting 'something that gives you that 24/7 type of impact and symptoms? and this was ONLY seen upon MRI. you just really need to have that area and i would actually ask to have that c spine included along with your brain if possible just given the way your pain is? generally, not in all cases, anything below the level of an impact when spinal related will be affected and not the other way around going UP like you have? but depending upon what nerves are being impacted in particular ways, it "could' be felt above the level of impact? its just much much more 'common' to feel impact AT the problem area or below when spinal, but not impossible. it all comes down more to exactly what real body areas are actually involved, nerve, blood vessels, muscle and fascia too? our fascia simply is like one very huge spiderweb like covering/sheet that is one very interconnected covering that covers/wraps all muscles, organs and blood vessels. since this pretty much covers(wraps around) everything in our bodies in that interconnected way(literally from head to toes), that fasica can be a huge way of creating or causeing our symptoms and pain in one particular area to actually radiate up, down, side to side, in just about any real way? esp muscles to muscles and then group to groups? many people suffer horrid pain 'just' from myofascial damage that can radiate everwhere in some cases, i do have this in my upper back and neck. thats just how the fascia 'is' in our bodies and what can occur when anything is inflammed?

given the fact that the blood vessels too are wrapped in fascia could also be setting off the migranes in you too since the trigger for migraine IS first a severe constriction of the blood vessels within the brain, and then the very sudden over expansion of them when the blood comes rushing back into them? that IS the pounding part of the excruciating pain of migraine. i too have been getting migraines since i was only 13 and am 49 right now, so i DO know how ugly those just in themselves can be.

but i would at this point simply tell your primary doc that you just have to find out what IS creating this non stop ugly pain for you and please send me for an MRI? this realistically IS the best and about the only good baseline testing way of seeing what simply NEEDS to be seen in your spinal at all. but go at least up above that T spine and start at the c spine and go down into the worst area of your pain and below. that c spine just should be looked at too considering your symptoms. it would either show something too or rule it out? but definitely get at the very LEAST that whole entire thorasic level done. this just has to be checked out first before anything else.

you also really do not know at all here whether or not the chiros adjustments could have made whatever may just be there even worse or better either so that is another reason to get this scanned, and that PT? same thing there too. depending upon just what your real underlying generator just 'is" any PT can also make things worse when no one bothers to look deep enough into a known 'base' of pain and 'forcing' movements, just like with chiro??

just DO get that MRI done first and let the findings determine who your doc should refer you to from there? hopefully this 'constant thing" will just show itself really well upon MRI. but i would really really push your primary here to do this for you at this point, your symptoms simply dictate the "need" here. i wish you luck with this hon and hope this can be done very very soon just so you finally have an answer and KNOW what it is that keeps assaulting you 24/7. please DO keep us posted. Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-14-2010, 06:57 AM   #4
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

Your pain may be muscular rather than to do with your spine. Even if you feel the pain is at your spine it can be muscular. If you want to avoid manipulation of your spine by a chiro or osteo then why not try a sports massage therapist or a remedial massage therapist who will try the areas around the spine and help you to strengthen your back and supporting abdominal muscles. Have a look at the institute of sports massage website for more info or
www.northants-sports-massage.co.uk.

 
Old 09-14-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

Another thing to consider with your low Vit. D is that it might be from osteoporosis. Have you had a bone scan? Osteoporosis tends to start mid thoracic with collapsing vertebrae and then goes upward from there. and it can go down too.

You don't say your age but if you are post-menopausal, you need to have this checked...and it wouldn't be a bad idea to get scanned as a baseline.

Osteoporosis makes bones hurt. So does a herniated disk and other problems but even if it's isn't that, if it does need treatment, you need to know you have strong bones.

Jenny

 
Old 09-15-2010, 04:39 AM   #6
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

Well why then couldn't my doctor's office tell me something could still be wrong there in my spine an x-ray won't show? I read online it's supposed to show arthritis and osteoporosis. An x-ray won't show a herniated or slipped disc?? no way, oh crap..

I've had this pain over a year. I went to a chriopracter who cracked my spinal bones.. Later went to physical therapy, it took 40 sessions, but the pain stopped radiating upward but never completely went away in my back, however I got sucker punched a couple of good times at a football game a couple of weeks back by one of my daughter's friends. Abuse for picking, haha. Anyway, it made the pain start radiating again, get good migranes, eye pain, and horrible jaw pain that feels like TMJ, neck pain & back pain dull throbbing pain and my back burns all the time. Normally feels like someone punched me in my back. Radiates into the left of my left chest too. This pain has been so bad that I vomit and I have taken 6 Ambien at one time to stop the pain it was so severe. My doctor knows I do that if I get to the point that I can't handle it. It's happened many times. And that can kill you taking that many Ambien at once, however I must be too mean to die cause I never do..

It's very frustrating for me. I called and asked for an x-ray or medication to help and told them the pain was radiating again like that. He did a past x-ray on my neck & said it was in a spasm but I think he just said that so I wouldn't cry about it. LMAO..

Well I have had a 13 yr dx of Fibromyalgia and just got diagnosed with Mixed connective tissue disease. I think my doctor figures that is why I am having the pain. He did not give me any medication after the x-ray knowing how I deal with that pain on my own, and did not offer to do anything further, he's not going to do an MRI, maybe if I cry around, he might, but even if I did, it's likely with that normal x-ray, that medicaid won't even approve me to get an MRI.

I just can't believe it's a muscular issue, the bone itself at my spine stays so tender and sore. I saw my mom's doctor examine her back after a muscle strain, the point of pain was in her muscle, not her back. Mine is in my spine. I don't have limited range of motion but it does hurt my back worse when I lean forward. I have taken Flexeril and Darvocet before incase it was a muscle strain but it wouldn't heal. I've never had a muscle strain that wouldn't heal from that medication and ice packs. This doesn't feel like muscle strain either. My pain doesn't go lower but it does radiate toward the left, and I have had another place lower in my spine that caused very sharp stabbing pains but while I was going through PT and it eventually stopped.

Last edited by neveragain444; 09-15-2010 at 05:10 AM.

 
Old 09-15-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

My gosh, I actually shuddered when I read that a chiro "popped" your back! Please, please do not allow that again or you might end up paralyzed. Until you get a diagnosis no one should be manipulating your spine at all, not in any way including PT.

Again, I urge you to get another opinion. As I said before, an Orthopedic Spine Specialist is, in my opinion, the way to go. In my experience, they are much better at taking the time to fully listen to you, then ordering the necessary tests to find out what is going on. I know there are some awesome neurosurgeons out there, but I wasn't lucky enough to ever find one.

The longer you wait, the worse things will get. Begging this guy for an MRI isn't going to help if he isn't willing to go over the films with a fine-toothed comb. Best to replace him.

Good luck.

Carol

 
Old 09-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
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Re: chronic spinal pain but normal x-ray

I'm going to talk to my dr about it next time I see him because obviously an x-ray is pointless. Anyway, do any of you know anything about when your spine sinks in about the size of a baseball? My nephew has that problem in his upper lumbar spine and his xray didn't show squat either but I have never seen someone's spine cave in like that. It pops really bad too.

 
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