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Old 04-14-2002, 07:06 PM   #1
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HalleyJ HB User
Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi All, I searched all over the net and can't find anyone with my symptoms. Upper left back pain and left side rib pain. Hurts to sit and lay on my back. The area is so sensitive, it hurts to wear a bra. I've had bone scan and Thoracic MRI & spine xrays. Drs. say all normal or at least nothing that would cause this pain. I have been told I have oesteopena of the spine and scoliosis and a slight bone spur. I've tried chiropractor, two sessions of physical therapy and a session of pool therapy. I'm now looking at my 3rd summer in pain in this area. I see my physiatrist the end of this month. Any suggestions as to what tests I might request or ideas would be appreciated. Only halfway comfortable position for me is laying on my right side with left arm propped up on pillow. Now that side is starting to get sore from lying on it so much. Ice packs, Vicodin and Vallium help some. Please respond with any suggestions. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-14-2002, 07:55 PM   #2
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Kamden HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

What did they do for you at physical therapy? 2 sessions is not very many. I recognize this pain as some I had in the past, and PT is what helped me. That is all I can come up with. Did they do soft tissue work on you? Also, what helped me is doing all the research I could on my injury, and then deciding who to go to for tests and treatment options. I hope somebody here can help you with more options. Good luck

 
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Old 04-14-2002, 08:33 PM   #3
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66Lilly66 HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hey Halley

I have had 5 weeks PT so far and still no relieve.
Starting this week my PT is going to try a TENS unit on me. I will let you know if that helps at all. Has your doctor ever mentioned "Costochondritis" as part of the problem? That is basically inflammation of Rib Cartilage. Try doing a search on that and see if your symptoms are similiar to others...
My Dr. did mention that to me as maybe being "part" of my pain, especially in the front chest/rib area. I know some of my symptoms are similiar to others, but not all.
This will be week 2 back to work, last week didn't go so well, but maybe this week will be better!!
Friday my massage therapist mentioned having my ribs looked at. She wants me to bring my x-rays with me next session, and she is going to see
if she can get someone in the clinic to have a look at them.She keeps asking me what do the Dr.s say? and I keep telling her they say keep doing what I am doing with therapy and meds. I can definately understand if there is something not right with my ribs, because when I first started to have this pain it was towards my back right in the rib area. Last Thursday I developed a really sharp pinching feeling on or just to the right of my spine. So I guess I will just have to wait untill I get into see a spine specialist or untill my rheumatologist appointment at the end of May.
Any ways take care and keep me posted.
Laurie

 
Old 04-14-2002, 08:43 PM   #4
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66Lilly66 HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

P.s
I know how you feel about the other side starting to get sore. My left is now having some of the same symptoms as my right but not as severe. Like you, I think it is because I put all my weight on the left now, especially while walking/standing. Also I forgot to ask if you have experienced any wierd sensations in your arm. I woke up last night and my left arm felt strange and all I could do to make the feeling go away is move it, it happened again this afternoon. It doesn't hurt just very annoying! Is there such a thing as Restless Arm Syndrome?
Bye again <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif">)

 
Old 04-15-2002, 02:46 PM   #5
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kamden:
<B>What did they do for you at physical therapy? 2 sessions is not very many. I recognize this pain as some I had in the past, and PT is what helped me. That is all I can come up with. Did they do soft tissue work on you? Also, what helped me is doing all the research I could on my injury, and then deciding who to go to for tests and treatment options. I hope somebody here can help you with more options. Good luck</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Kamden and thank you for your response. I guess I worded that wrong. By 2 sessions, I ment I've been sent back to PT 2 times. I saw therapist 6 - 8 times each. I am still doing the exercises she assigned last time I saw her, but no relief. You said you researched your injury. What was your diagnosis? or type of injury? Problem is, I don't have a diagnosis after seeing doctors and having tests done over past 2 years. Therapist tried ultra sound a couple of times and gave me demo of cervical traction to see if that seemed to relieve pain. It didn't. The excersises she is having me do now are known as "rotor cuff protacol". I guess I will just keep trying to find a diagnosis. Thanks again for your response. Halley

 
Old 04-15-2002, 02:59 PM   #6
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Lauri, Sorry to hear last week didn't go well at work and I too hope you have a better week this week. Mine is a long two year story of so called "educated" guesses by drs. After xrays in urgent care, I was told my ribs were broken, then 10 weeks later my doctor told me I never had broken ribs and he thought it was Costochondritis. Three plus visits and the dr. never touched me or ordered tests. Just guessed and gave me pills. When I told him the pills didn't help, he told me to go back to my back dr. cuz there was nothing else he could do. I don't see that dr. anymore for anything. I tried 3 different combinations of medications that didn't help. I saw a spine specialist that ordered MRI. He couldn't see anything wrong with my spine & sent me to PT. I guess my first post says the rest. I certainly hope you get better soon. Keep me posted.
Halley

 
Old 04-15-2002, 10:36 PM   #7
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Kamden HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Halley, Since you have been to different doctors, and a neuro., and had an MRI done, I can only suggest once again that you research your symptoms. I had severe pain low back, buttocks, and going down one leg, and also could not be on my feet for long without pressure and pain. I read up all i could on my back after not getting much relief from chiro. and therapy, and found i had the exact symptoms of a herniated disk and spinal stenosis. I went to a neuro., and was diagnosed with those exact things. I had surgery on the disk, and the stenosis prevents me from being on my feet for up to a half hour from pressure and pain in low back. I also have degenerative disk disease. I will look in my book here for you and see what I can find if anything. Are they doing soft tissue work on you at PT? If it is in the muscles, exercises can aggravate it and make it worse, but that is if it is the muscles. I would say if you are getting no relief from PT, you really should stop that treatment and try to find out what is wrong and go from there on the treatment. I will get back to you if I find anything of interest! Kamden

 
Old 04-16-2002, 12:27 PM   #8
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Kamden, Thanks for your reply and willingness to look things up for me. I have been researching for over a year now but can't find my main symptoms, which are upper & mid back left side hurt when I sit or lay on my back. Pain also extends to my left shoulder and left breast. Once I sit or it starts hurting for some reason, the pain continues even if I change positions. Only way to get relief is to take a vicodin or valium and lay on my right side and totally relax. Most times the pain resumes as soon as I get up. Needless to say, I'm very unproductive these days. I have not seen a neuro yet. I have a call into my Physiatrist office to see if I can get an appointment before the one I have scheduled on April 29th. I see you also live in Minnesota. I've never been to Northrop, but noticed on map it is not far from Dunnell, MN. We used to go there often when I was little. My dad's aunt lived there in old farm house across from the creamery. My brother tells me there is a store where her house once stood. Better go for now. Please let me know if you find anything. Thanks again Halley

 
Old 04-16-2002, 12:29 PM   #9
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Kamden, Thanks for your reply and willingness to look things up for me. I have been researching for over a year now but can't find my main symptoms, which are upper & mid back left side hurt when I sit or lay on my back. Pain also extends to my left shoulder and left breast. Once I sit or it starts hurting for some reason, the pain continues even if I change positions. Only way to get relief is to take a vicodin or valium and lay on my right side and totally relax. Most times the pain resumes as soon as I get up. Needless to say, I'm very unproductive these days. I have not seen a neuro yet. I have a call into my Physiatrist office to see if I can get an appointment before the one I have scheduled on April 29th. I see you also live in Minnesota. I've never been to Northrop, but noticed on map it is not far from Dunnell, MN. We used to go there often when I was little. My dad's aunt lived there in old farm house across from the creamery. My brother tells me there is a store where her house once stood. Better go for now. Please let me know if you find anything. Thanks again Halley

 
Old 04-17-2002, 07:04 AM   #10
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jitterbug HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi HalleyJ: Wow, you have practically the same symptoms I've been having for the past few months. Let me expand. My pain started on the left side of my ribs. The area feels "puffy" or swollen, very tender to the touch. The pain would wake me up during the night. Sometimes, I even experienced a spasm type pain. Then I started having a shooting paid in my back, on the left side, just under the shoulder bone. The pain would radiate to the entire upper back area. I had a nuclear gallbladder test done last week-don't know yet if there is a problem there or not. I've had a back x-ray, no anurism, slight scoliosis. Going to have a colonoscopy in June, could be bowel related. Started on Diovan for blood pressure and Effexor for anxiety. The back pain isn't as bad or frequent, same with the rib. But I'd sure like to know the real cause of the problem.
Keep me posted.
Jitterbug

 
Old 04-17-2002, 12:11 PM   #11
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Jitterbug, Sorry to hear you are having the same awful pain I've been having. I haven't been back to a internal medicine doctor for this problem since my last one about a year ago (after just giving me pills, no real exam) said there was nothing else he could do for me and I should go back and see my back doctor. I need to go to my NEW internal medicine doctor soon to discuss my cholestrol (sp) and plan to discuss this pain with him. Does it hurt for you to lay on your back and left side? I certainly will let all of you know if I find anything out. Thanks for posting. Halley

 
Old 04-19-2002, 11:57 AM   #12
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kcboyer65 HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hello
I am very interested in learning what you eventually find out about your condition. I fell recently and am experincing the same pain as you describe, but on the right side of the spine and rib area. The doctor gave me some anti-inflammatory meds and a shot in the sciatic area, which isn't helping or even near the area that hurts. I cna't lift my left leg to shift gears while driving or cross my legs or lean back in a chair without getting a sudden sharp jolt of pain. The same thing happens when it is touched...
Please let me know how you make out, as I too have seen very few mentions about pain in this area online.
KC.

 
Old 04-19-2002, 01:36 PM   #13
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi Kcboyer65, Did your doctor take xrays or do any other tests on you or just prescribe medication. If so, what were the results? I will keep the board posted. Halley

 
Old 04-30-2002, 01:37 PM   #14
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HalleyJ HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hi All, Well I saw the Physiatrist yesterday and after all my internet research, I was full of questions. Since I reported no improvement with last PT session and some pain being worse the dr increased my Neurontin from 600mg 3 times per day to 900mg 3 times per day. Said if that doesn't help, will try something else. I had shoulder xrays done yesterday and am waiting for results. I see a dr. he recommended on Friday to check the alignment of my ribs and adjust if he thinks that might be causing my pain. So as for now, I'm still in great deal of pain. I asked him about doing cervical MRI, but for some reason he wants to do one thing at a time. I know I should have been more assertive and said, "listen, your not the one in pain month after month because we are looking at one thing at a time". But I didn't. I will be calling his office tomorrow to start bugging them for results of shoulder xray. I have no intention of waiting until my next appointment with him the end of May to hear results. Thanks again for all your responses and I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again to all for your replies. Halley

 
Old 04-30-2002, 10:09 PM   #15
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66Lilly66 HB User
Re: Left upper back & left side rib pain

Hey Halley
Good to hear from you again.
Well, I called the Spine Specialist today to see when they are booking for......get this, they told me OCTOBER!!!!!
So right after I got off the phone with them, I made an appointment with a Chiropractor for an assessment. I am hoping he will be able to tell me something, which I can take back to my Rheumatologist at the end of May.
I knew it would be awhile before I would be able to get into the spine specialist but I sure didn't expect to hear Oct.( maybe my Dr. can get me in sooner!?!)I just cannot wait untill then, without investigating other options.
I hope all goes well for you, and PLEASE let me know if they find anything out, because our symptoms sure seem the same.
I will also let you know Friday after my appointment with the Chiro, if he finds/suggests anything.
In the mean time take care.
Laurie

 
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