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Old 07-03-2004, 06:15 PM   #1
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lcrews HB User
Upper back and Rib Pain

I have had pain that wraps from my upper back (under scapula) around my ribs to my right side. I have had CT chest, MRI spine and bone scan, all of which are normal. I have also done physical -therapy for the pain and muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories haven't helped. I have questioned Post Neuralgic Syndrome or Fibromyalgia but haven't gotten any answers. THe pain is sharp and severe especially when I breathe deep or cough etc. Any ideas or similarities?

Last edited by lcrews; 07-03-2004 at 06:18 PM.

 
Old 07-03-2004, 08:59 PM   #2
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twisten HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

I can't help with your questions, just wanted to give you a quick welcome to the boards. I'm sure someone with some knowledge of what you are going through will be along shortly to help you.
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Old 07-04-2004, 02:36 AM   #3
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kristinita9 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

I have had pretty much the same kind of pain for appr 7 years, except mine is almost always on the left side. Starts behind the scapula then wraps around the rib cage to the front.

For years my primary doc said it was costochondritis, it would 'flare up' 3 or 4 times a year and last at least 3 weeks or longer with pain starting out gradually, becoming almost unbearable, then start to ease up and go away till the next flare.

I was seeing doc at a Veterans Clinic/hospital. Had a ton of rib xrays, full body scans, labs, MRI of cervical & thoracic spine....with no real reason found. Bone scans did find two healed rib fractures on left side; have no idea when they orig happened.

Long story, shortened, was diagnosed by rheumy with Fibro & Chronic Myofascial Pain. I do warm water pool therapy, lots of massage which helps with the trigger points, have had some trigger point injections, use heating pad almost nightly, also use Biofreeze and heat patches/wraps/ lots of pillows/props, try to watch my posture etc. I take Percocet & Neurontin and bought an excellent book on Self Treatment of Trigger Points and have become quite good at locating and eliminating TP's on my own.

My massage therapist believes that the pain that begins behind the scapula is likely caused from a TP back there; which of course is hard to reach to work on; makes sense to me though so will continue with what I'm currently doing to try to control the pain; it's non-invasive, should cause no further harm and keeps me away from Docs as much as possible. Besides I surely don't feel there is anything 'fatally' wrong with me or I think I would have been dead from this years ago if that were the case.

I've done a lot of internet research over the past years and am really amazed at the number of people who have this same kind of scapula/rib pain, they suffer alot and for a long time it seems to me....I hope you find some relief from your pain.....Happy 4th Of July.

 
Old 07-27-2004, 02:29 PM   #4
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tigrrboxer HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

By the way: what are trigger points?

And does anyone else cough badly? All the articles refer to coughing as a possible cause...

 
Old 07-27-2004, 03:36 PM   #5
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raven46588 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

hello' i hope im doing this right. i am new to this site.just a question to ask you.im 46 year's old 'a female. i have notice on my left side the bone below my beast is larger than the left one . it is visbile than the left one is. could you please help me? it as a little stick pain when i take a deep breath are cough so if you could me me figure it out its been like that for 6 mouths now. thank you (raven46588)

 
Old 07-27-2004, 05:14 PM   #6
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Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

undefinedundefined
Quote:
Originally Posted by twisten
I can't help with your questions, just wanted to give you a quick welcome to the boards. I'm sure someone with some knowledge of what you are going through will be along shortly to help you.
hello i hope i can say this right hard to explain. the to dones under the breast. my left one is bigger than the right one . i can move the tissue and i can feel the bone is bigger then the right one im going to see the doctor tomorrow just wondering if im worrie to much are can it be somthing serise? its been like that for six mounths and as a pain like a little needle stick when i take a breath any advise would help me than you (raven46588)

 
Old 07-27-2004, 05:15 PM   #7
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raven46588 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

undefinedundefined
Quote:
Originally Posted by twisten
I can't help with your questions, just wanted to give you a quick welcome to the boards. I'm sure someone with some knowledge of what you are going through will be along shortly to help you.
hello i hope i can say this right hard to explain. the to bones under the breast. my left one is bigger than the right one . i can move the tissue and i can feel the bone is bigger then the right one im going to see the doctor tomorrow just wondering if im worrie to much are can it be somthing serise? its been like that for six mounths and as a pain like a little needle stick when i take a breath . any advise would help me than you (raven46588)

 
Old 07-27-2004, 05:17 PM   #8
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raven46588 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

undefinedundefined
Quote:
Originally Posted by twisten
I can't help with your questions, just wanted to give you a quick welcome to the boards. I'm sure someone with some knowledge of what you are going through will be along shortly to help you.
hello i hope i can say this right hard to explain. the to dones under the breast. my left one is bigger than the right one . i can move the tissue and i can feel the bone is bigger then the right one im going to see the doctor tomorrow just wondering if im worrie to much are can it be somthing serise? its been like that for six mounths and as a pain like a little needle stick when i take a breath any advise would help me thank you (raven46588)

 
Old 07-28-2004, 08:16 AM   #9
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grayhill HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

I have similar pain under my right ribs wrapping around to my back. I have had MRIs, X-Rays, and lots of tests. They did find one small herniation around T-9, but it's so slight everyone doubts that it is the source of all my pain. I've done physical therapy several times and am now trying biofeedback and acupuncture. Massage seems to help as well. I'm also on pain relievers and musle relaxers at night to sleep...and faithfully use my heating pad!
I guess I don't really have any answers for you but wanted to let you know you are not alone and to keep searching for answers and relief. I've been in pain for three years now and pray for a solution. In the middle of all this I discovered I have endometriosis and am using acupuncture to treat that as well. When the acupuncturist treats my rib pain as liver pain the treatment seems to help for a few days. Interestingly, endometriosis is treated as part of the liver meridian in acupuncture as well. Hmmm.
If anyone has any ideas fro treatment or causes of this kind of pain, please post!

 
Old 07-28-2004, 08:58 AM   #10
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Kayley HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

My pain is similar to all of yours. It is in my upper back and wraps around my chest wall, mainly on the right side. I have a small herniation at t-6 and t-7. At first, the doctors told me the herniation was too small to cause such pain, but since then, I've been to other doctors who told me it doesn't matter what size the herniation is if it's pressing on a nerve. You can have a huge herniation that doesn't even bother you if it's not impinging on a nerve.

When this first started, I was diagnosed with costrochondritis and had several intercostal blocks. Of course, they didn't work because that was never the problem. Since I got my true diagnosis, I've had a spinal stimulator implanted and removed and several ESI's. Now I have back pain in addition to the wrap around pain, and I didn't have any back pain when this first started three years ago. I want to tell everyone who has similar problems to be careful because I am convinced that either the needles or knives in my trapezes muscle was the cause of my back pain. I will NEVER consent to another needle or knife in that area again.

Right now I'm at a dead end as far as treatment goes. The only thing that would possible help me at this point would be surgery and that would only possibly help the wrap around pain, and not the back pain. I take Methadone and Dilaudid and my activities are severely limited. I will never give up hope that something will come along in the future to help, but right now I am afraid of everything because all the doctors have done so far is make me worse. Ice helps, but heat seems to make the pain worse.

I didn't realize there were so many others out there with similar problems. I do know it's alot less common than low back problems though. Good luck to all of you. I hope you find relief from your pain.
Kayley

 
Old 07-28-2004, 09:53 AM   #11
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lil Debbie HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

I too, have this pain but it is on the left side. I never had this pain until I had a discectomy of T-8 in October of last year. About a week after surgery I started having this pain. I started taking 300 mg neurotin 3 x daily.The pain was almost totally gone for about 3 months and it came back worse than ever. My neuro doubled my neurotin and it didn't help , so now I am on 600 mg every 6 hrs. He said it was nerve pain either from surgery or from the nerve being pinched before surgery and he didn"t know if it would ever get better. I am now in PM and am going to have some shots in T-9 to try to calm things. Information on thoracic problems is very hard to find so I guess we have to read every scrap that we dig up. Linda

 
Old 07-28-2004, 01:47 PM   #12
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raven46588 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by raven46588
hello' i hope im doing this right. i am new to this site.just a question to ask you.im 46 year's old 'a female. i have notice on my left side the bone below my beast is larger than the left one . it is visbile than the left one is. could you please help me? it as a little stick pain when i take a deep breath are cough so if you could me me figure it out its been like that for 6 mouths now. thank you (raven46588)

 
Old 07-30-2004, 11:15 AM   #13
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trowftd3 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

I, too, have pain under my scapula but mine doesn't wrap around. And I have pain under my collarbone( worse than the back pain). Mine started when I had pneumonia 19months ago. I continue to have the urge to cough(I try not to) and my pm doc thinks the coughing did something somewhere! I've had ct scans, mri, xrays, trigger point injections, facet block, steroids, anti-inflammatories and now oxy(which seems to be the only thing that works).
My doc says I have to wait for research to catch up to me!LOL
I asked about costochondritis and the docs said no way.
What is myofascial syndrome(disease?)? WHat are the symptoms?
Since the trigger point injections don't help I can't have fibro, right? And wouldn't I have other joint pain?
I'm not glad that you guys have pain too but am glad to finally hear from others with similar pain.

Good luck in your search for a 'cure'!

 
Old 07-30-2004, 11:19 AM   #14
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trowftd3 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

Kayley, I agree with your needle theory. I originally had pain under my scapula(with the pneumonia) but it went away. When I went for treatment I only had pain in my lung. After the facet block(which also gave me the worst headache of my life) I now have pain in my back again.
I agree---never again!!!!

 
Old 07-30-2004, 11:45 AM   #15
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sherry47 HB User
Re: Upper back and Rib Pain

Mel,

I haven't read the whole thread, I was just glancing at your response and the thing about coughing caught my eye. I have asthma and COPD. I went in to my doc very sick one time and I was hurting so badly in my chest area. My doc of course did xrays (pneumonia) but told me he has seen asthmatics crack ribs by coughing, so his xray was not only to check for pneumonia but to check for cracked ribs. So I'm sure coughing can cause some very severe pain and probably do permanent damage. OK, I hope my post isn't totally off topic LOL.

God Bless,
Sherry
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