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chablis3 07-29-2007 07:04 PM

Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
I am hoping to get some advice and input concerning my problem. I have been experiencing a burning type pain under the breast area and also in the upper back area. I am wondering if this could be caused from bad discs in the back? I have had MRI's, epidural shots, Cat Scans, and nothing could be found. My neurologist says it might be "nerve pain." I have had two series of epidural shots, which haven't helped much. I can't seem to get a decent explanation as to what "nerve pain" is, and what might have caused it. All my neurologist says is it could be a touch of fibermylagia.....as well as nerve pain. I am confused, disgusted, and at my wits end! Has anyone else had this type of pain? I would appreciate any advice and thoughts, as I don't know if I should be seeking another type of doctor, and if so, what kind of doctor? Thanks so much for reading my post, and I will welcome some advice.

Arthr Itis 07-30-2007 04:58 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Welcome to the spiney board! Along with a bunch of other pain my upper back is messed up too. So far they haven't found a reason for the pain, but it's only been 5 years or so. The burning, stabbing, aching is common and it does go into the chest. Sometimes it even mimics a heart attack! Hang in there we are all in this together. Fred

chatterboxsd 07-30-2007 12:00 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hi, Chablis,
Welcome to the board. I have that exact pain. I had a herniated disc and surgery for it in Feb. and that pain got worse after! I just had an injection Friday. So, I don't have great advice for you, but I have some sympathy! Have you consulted with a pain specialist? If nothing else, maybe they have some more ideas on how to make you more comfortable. If you find something, please let me know!

Hang in there,
- Margaret

chablis3 07-30-2007 05:15 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hi Margaret and Fred; Thanks very much for answering my post. I feel better knowing that the pain I am experiencing isn't that unusual. Last night I woke up around 3 a.m., and did, indeed, think I was having a heart attack. It was scary! I got up and took an ibuprophin, and was able to go back to sleep. But, I called my family doctor and was able to go in and have an ekg done. He said it was fine, but wants me to have a stress test next week. Not the kind you walk on a treadmill, but some kind that they put dye into you and then check your heart. I am nervous already, and not having that until next week. However, my doctor said if I do have a "nerve issue" going on, that is something that is hard to diagnose. So, my question was, "Then how in the heck does a doctor know if it is nerve damage?" He didn't answer that!!

So, on Wednesday I am going to go have another round of epidural shots and cross my fingers that I will get some relief. The first two rounds didn't do a heck of a lot, so I am skeptical, but will try anything. I have so many issues; bad disc's in both back and neck, bad knee, the muscles in the back of my legs hurt.......pain all over the place, and no answers or relief for the past six months. I can't imagine going 5 years like you, Fred, or having pain after surgery like Margaret. After surgery, you think you are going to feel better!

I appreciate your thoughts and your welcome to the board. I will keep you posted, and will faithfully read all the posts on here to keep informed of everyone's experiences. I know I will learn a lot. My best to you both and hope to talk again.

Thanks,
Judy

MKA290 07-30-2007 11:10 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
I have the same thing. Some doctors told me it was fascia, which I believe is the standard response when a spine surgeon does not know what is causing this pain. My guess is that it could be a thoracic herniated disc which mimics chest pain. I believe only about 20 neurosurgeons in the US are experts in thoracic herniated discs. The rest simply do not know!

feelbad 07-31-2007 04:21 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
I am just a bit confused(nothing new there) in your first post you stated that 'nothing could be found' as the possible trigger for your pain,but in this last one you mentioned herniated discs within your neck?believe me, herniated discs within your neck most certainly can be causing any number of various types of pain issues.what did your neurologist actually say about the possible correlation?if i were you,i would actually see a good neurosurgeon and not neurologist just for a consult as to what could be causing what.they just have a much much clearer understanding of how discs/nerves can create pain.i have had to see plenty of both ologists and surgeons and the neurosurgeons just really have a much better overall working understanding of the c spine(they actually go in there).if you have anything more than just a headache, you need the expertise of a good neurosurgeon.

just exactly what did your MRI state about your biggest c spine issues?do you have your own copy of the reports?if not,get them and see what it states in the summary at the end?do you have any posterior bulging in any c spine disc that could be making some level of actual contact with your cord at all?"something' really appears to be irritating the heck out of a nerve or nerves somewhere up there,or you would not be having the symptoms you are currently experiencing,there just has to be a trigger ya know?i really do think just seeking out a full eval with an NS really could help you better define the real issues within your c spine.most NSs will just look at your films themselves and really don't go by what any radiologist read states.they just have much more experience in seeing the smaller things that could be causeing much bigger symtoms.it wouldn't hurt at this point.you need answers and it does not appear that your neurologist really knows whats up,a good NS most likely would.this would really be my next step for answers if i were you.i DO wish you luck in finding out why this is occuring,beliebve me, i know how you feel right now.please keep us posted,K? marcia

kkmom 07-31-2007 08:54 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hello there, i just wanted to welocme you to the boards and see how you are feelimg today? take care:)

chablis3 08-02-2007 02:07 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
MKA..thanks for responding....you are so right! I think most doctors, unless they are very highly qualifyed in their field........don't know what to do with a patient like me and you. I did have a epidural shot, as well as trigger point injections in the neck.....but, I gaurantee you, MKA, the relief from ha pain will only last a few days.

However....we will keep fighting......thanks again and hope to chat again!

Judy

feelbad 08-02-2007 05:50 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
hey judy.if you could try and answer some of the questions i posted to you(other post),it would really be helpful for me to try and help you.do you actually have the MRI report?was one ever done on the thorasic area as well?with any given MRI report you also have to consider that they are only as good as the person who is doing the reading.even docs can blow off certain things they see in the hard films as "not a pain generator"if they just do not fully understand the level of what a particular finding truely means.i had two NSs tell me that my cavernoma inside of my cord couldn't possibly be causing this really incredibly freaky pain/pressure crap i was feeling underneath my R shoulder blade,but when i saw the head of neurosurgery at the U of MN,it was a whole different story.he knew right away where it was coming from.it all depends on overall knowledge and experience of the docs/specialists you are seeing.knowing what was actually stated on your MRI would really help alot here.thanks judy,Marcia

ibake&pray 08-02-2007 07:19 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
[COLOR="Navy"]Judy,
You will find that alot of us here don't put much value in the shots as we have found that they don't do alot of good. They tend to be more of a band aid type of fix than anything else. It seems to be something that they do to get you out of the door when they are at a loss as what to do next.

Marcia is pretty savy in what she is talking about. If I were you I would take her suggestions about seeing a first rate doc. It might make the world of difference for you.

Pleae keep us posted.......[/COLOR]

chablis3 08-05-2007 05:48 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hello Marcia and everyone! I am sorry it took me so long to reply; things have been busy and hectic! I am sorry my first post was a bit confusing! I have a tendency to ramble on and just type whatever comes to mind, and I probably jump here and there trying to explain things! I do have neck issues; but all my doctor said was "boy, your neck is a mess"! I didn't even question the results of the MRI, as I was just so happy there wasn't any brain tumor/cancer, etc! At that time, I took steps to help the weird headache feelings I was having, such as going to a chiopractor, and then the trigger point injections. My neuoroligist did say that the squeezing, burning pain at the base of my skull was indeed from the discs in the neck. So then, I was satisfied with that diagnosis, although I still have some trouble with the funny feelings in the neck and lower skull area...as well as a buzzing sensation in the ears.

Then about 5 months ago, after doing some heavy cleaning, moving furniture, etc., I developed a "stitch" in the right side. Ignored it for a week or so, thought it was a pulled muscle. Then I went to my family doc again, and he sent me to therapy. Went for about 3 weeks with no relief. Then had another MRI of the back, and stomache (thought I might have gall bladder issues,), and those two tests came back ok, according to my family doctor. I do have the actual copies of the film, but not the written report. This "stitch" developed into the full fledge pain that I had first described as to the burning sensation in the chest (below my breast area) and the upper back area. It is still there, but not quite as bad as in the beginning.....just had another shot last week for both my neck and the upper back area. The MRI of the back area did not show anything significient other then some degeneration of the discs in my back and some arthritus. So, now my neurologist is saying that I might have nerve damage, or perhaps a touch of fibermayalgia. Boy, am I confused!

But wait...here's more! The past two weeks I have had terrible cramps in my legs, and such pain in the muscles in my calves. As well as pain in the lower middle back now. My pain is just moving all around the place, and nobody knows nothing!! Your idea, Marcia of seeing a neurosurgeon is an excellent one; I have never thought about that. I have an appointment with a rhemotologist next month, but I am going to look into your suggestion. The neurologist doesn't seem to be doing me much good with those shots.....as ibake&pray said, they don't seem to do much good.

I hope I helped clear some thing up in this post! Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and confused, I forget what doctor I went to, what tests I had done, and when!!

One more short thing; I am also taking Atenolol (bp medication) and just read that can cause muscle aches and pains. I am currently cutting my dosage and am going to wean off it for a bit to see if that helps my legs. Worth a try for a little while.

KKmom, Marcia, and ibake&pray....I really thank you so much for your help and thoughts. It does help to have somebody to "complain" to, and to listen to me! My best to you all, and hope your doing ok.

Judy

chablis3 08-05-2007 05:50 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
I apologize for the long post; I did not realize it was so long, and I promise I will not do that again. Sorry, moderators; in the future I will make my posts shorter.
Thanks

MKA290 08-05-2007 07:45 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Chablis- I have appointments with some highly recommended doctors coming up. I asked one of my docs about his experience with thoracic surgery and he gave me a complete attitude. This meant he didnt do too many of them. We have rare and painful injuries. I will dig this country for the surgeons who can handle us and will let you and everyone know. I will also let you know who to keep away from if the board will allow.

chablis3 08-06-2007 08:04 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
MKA, thanks, that info would be great to know concerning good surgeons. Funny thing, my husband had a ruptured disc that caused a pinched nerve about 12 years ago. He was lucky enough to find a good man here in Delaware and was operated on, and hasn't had a bit of trouble since then. Amazing how some people do so well and others don't after surgery. I sure feel bad for the people that can't find a good doctor or surgeon. But, I have been using my sisters "tens unit" for the past few days, and my back and legs are beginning to feel better! No cramps last night...yea! I have no idea how this thing works except that it discharges little shocks, and I am thankful it has helped me a little.

Have a good day and take care.
Judy

sammyo1 08-06-2007 08:22 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Oh my gosh, I have been on the other board and just poped in to take a look on the back board (been on spinal column board) I do indeed have some of those same symptoms, and more. Also been rushed to ER for cardiac work up, nothing, currently seeing neuro surgeon for first time tomorrow, after many doc's. My new doc believes may very well be herniated disc, really bad pain, started in left upper chest, shoulder, neck and back area, and low & behold moved in hip and pain in left leg, just recently both legs and really radiating down back. Can hardly move my arm shoulder at times and lost alot of range of motion in left shoulder. Pain is so bad no much of any thing is working. Hard time even walking last couple mornings, could not believe it, doc got me into neuro surgeon almost over night, thank god, he believes it is something that cannot wait anymore. I am praying they find out for sure, but yes the pain had moved and has me alittle baffled, pins and needles at times in hand and one foot, really bad pain and swelling under breast in ribs. Been going on long time and came back this may and never left, worse every day, honest, I know I hurt it a couple years ago between moving and lifting at work, should have got it looked at right away and did not, all kinds of weird symptoms popped and had me stumped for along time, mimicking other health problems. Anyone else out there with anything like this, your replys would be a blessing. Thanks Sammy

feelbad 08-07-2007 07:58 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
hi sammy,have you actually had an MRI done yet on your c and upper T spine?i am willing to bet,given your symptoms that you DO have some issues up there that are creating all of the strange things you are feeling.it would make sense,really.i too am amazed that your doc got you in to see a NS that quickly,it IS very fast compared to the like one to three month wait that the majority of patients have to wait just for that initial appt.hopefully this NS will be able to help you.but an MRI with contrast,if you have not actually had one yet will most likely show something up there,just given your symptomology.it almost sounds as tho you also may have some level of sympathetic involvement too.this would most likely(if true) place your main problem somewhere down at the c 7 T 1 area of your spine(tho that SNS chain actually runs the length of your column,but the main 'junction" area is at where the C meets the T)?i guess you will just have to wait and see.please let us know what you find out.good luck,marcia

sammyo1 08-07-2007 08:42 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
[QUOTE=feelbad;3141348]hi sammy,have you actually had an MRI done yet on your c and upper T spine?i am willing to bet,given your symptoms that you DO have some issues up there that are creating all of the strange things you are feeling.it would make sense,really.i too am amazed that your doc got you in to see a NS that quickly,it IS very fast compared to the like one to three month wait that the majority of patients have to wait just for that initial appt.hopefully this NS will be able to help you.but an MRI with contrast,if you have not actually had one yet will most likely show something up there,just given your symptomology.it almost sounds as tho you also may have some level of sympathetic involvement too.this would most likely(if true) place your main problem somewhere down at the c 7 T 1 area of your spine(tho that SNS chain actually runs the length of your column,but the main 'junction" area is at where the C meets the T)?i guess you will just have to wait and see.please let us know what you find out.good luck,marcia[/QUOTE]

Marcia, just got in from nuero surgeon,had MRI June 1 showed some problems, bone loss and minor disc problems, not enough to cause these problems they say, surgeon gave maybe 2 minutes of his time, more tests, bone scan on shoulder and EMG. not original nuero Doc wanted me to see, felt nuero would repeat MRI says changes can occur rapidly,no repeat mentioned, MRI with contrast, is that differant then a regular MRI? Don't want to be out of work long. Doc say shoulder problems can also cause alot of these symptoms in chest area. Of course can't wait to get rid of this pain. Don't get why so much pain in other area's unless it is do to swelling, and yes I am very lucky yo have gotten in, keep in mind though a good Nuero may be worth the wait. Hopefully this one will be better next visit. Anything paticular help your pain and discomfort? let me know Sammy

chablis3 08-08-2007 06:10 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hi Sammy, Marcia, and all. Just dropped in to check the new postings. Sammy, you sure sound like you have lots and lots of pain, and I am sorry to hear that. Just the pain I have around the middle chest area and back, as well as now my calves is driving me crazy! I especially feel bad when I get up in the morning. Like you, Sammy, I have gone to this doctor and that, had many tests, and everything turned out ok. Just some disc deteriation, and a bit if arthritus. My family doc sent me to a neurologist, and that is when I started having injections; however, he really didn't give me a definite cause of my pain.....just suggested that it might be some nerve pain going on also. I am going to take Marcia's advice and eventually seek out a neurosurgeon. I think Marcia is quite intelligent when it comes to these kind of things. I am going to a Rheumotoligist next month to see about the fibermyalgia thing and to see what he has to say....might as well give him a try! Might also see about having an MRI of my back area....I actually forget if I had one or not of that area with all the other tests I have had.

Take care, Sammy, and I wish you luck. I use the old "ice pack" trick when I get to hurting too bad. I shift it here and there; actually I should get 3 or 4 others to use with all my sore spots!!

My best to eveyone and take care.

Judy

sammyo1 08-08-2007 07:39 PM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
[QUOTE=chablis3;3144668]Hi Sammy, Marcia, and all. Just dropped in to check the new postings. Sammy, you sure sound like you have lots and lots of pain, and I am sorry to hear that. Just the pain I have around the middle chest area and back, as well as now my calves is driving me crazy! I especially feel bad when I get up in the morning. Like you, Sammy, I have gone to this doctor and that, had many tests, and everything turned out ok. Just some disc deteriation, and a bit if arthritus. My family doc sent me to a neurologist, and that is when I started having injections; however, he really didn't give me a definite cause of my pain.....just suggested that it might be some nerve pain going on also. I am going to take Marcia's advice and eventually seek out a neurosurgeon. I think Marcia is quite intelligent when it comes to these kind of things. I am going to a Rheumotoligist next month to see about the fibermyalgia thing and to see what he has to say....might as well give him a try! Might also see about having an MRI of my back area....I actually forget if I had one or not of that area with all the other tests I have had.

Take care, Sammy, and I wish you luck. I use the old "ice pack" trick when I get to hurting too bad. I shift it here and there; actually I should get 3 or 4 others to use with all my sore spots!!

My best to eveyone and take care.

Judy[/QUOTE]

Judy, I just wore out an ice pack, sprung a leak, need some new ones, I rotate between moist heat & ice, doc say moist heat but many times I prefer the ice. one night not long ago I sat up in the bed with moist heat on one area and ice on another, I could not move and fearing I would dislogde on, I actually got a good laugh out of that. I hate the mornings that is the worst time the day, can't wait to get them over with, had a pretty decent one today, got so excited I started 3 things at once and had to stop and make myself do one at a time, never thought I would be excited or trying to organize a closet! You have pretty much been told same as me, I am going for test ordered by neuro. monday. I would just be happy to know what the heck is wrong. Took pain med before I even got out of bed today, try it again tommorrow. Anyone hear know anything about Lyrica? Doc put me on it and not hearing such good things? Have The MRI done if you can, and when you get a chance let me know what other tests you have had, we sound as if we may have at least some simularities, thanks, Marcia does indeed sound pretty smart, so Marcia anytime you want to be buddies I like getting good advice. Sammy

CHKUEHN1 08-09-2007 09:10 AM

Re: Seeking Ideas on Burning Sensation; Chest/Upper Back Area
 
Hello everyone!
I just had to respond to this topic because this is the first place I have found someone who is experiencing the exact same upper back problems. (I have been looking for more than 3 yrs for an explanation for my symptoms)
I have had 3 MRI's of my C & T spines and of course it does depend on the Radiologist interpreting the report. I am a Radiologic Technologist so that is not news to me.
My first MRI (2004) showed a focal left paracentral HNP at T7 which was touching the cord; and mild disc bulging at C5-6 & C6-7.
My second MRI (2005) showed left sided disc protrusion & osteophyte spurring at T7-8 with effacement of the left anterior aspect of the thecal sac. C5-6 central protruding disc w/ mild effacement of the thecal sac. C6-7 protruding disc w/ mild effacement of the thecal sac & mild stenosis.
My most recent MRI was in June of this yr. The HNP at T6-7 unchanged. Small anterior osteophyte formation at multiple levels of T spine. C5-6 mild to moderate posterior central disc protrusion w/ mild stenosis. The disc protrusion may contact the anterior aspect of the spinal floor.
Before my first MRI, I was sent to a cardiologist and had a full cardiac work-up because of my symptoms. Some of my tests were slightly abnormal so he suggested a heart cath. I declined because I really didnt believe it was heart related. I spoke to one of my Radiologists who recommended that I have an MRI. (which I did) Then I went to an orthopedic Dr who recommended that I have an epidural and also gave me a rx for Neurontin at bedtime to see if it would help with the burning, tingling & numbness I was feeling beneath my left breast. I decided against the epidural at that time. I have been on Neurontin for about 2 yrs now and cannot say that it has helped me at all. Last wk I went to a pain management Dr (who I know personally) and he did a Thoracic epidural. He also suggested that I stop the Neurontin and try Lyrica. I started the Lyrica 1 wk ago and started weaning myself off of the Neurontin but I cannot tell that the epidural helped at all. I went back to him yesterday and he said I had terrible muscle spasms all the way down the left side of my back. He didnt think I should do another epidural. He did about 20 trigger point injections. He said if I havent noticed any difference with the Lyrica yet that its probably not going to help so I am going to stop taking both and see what happens. (I have swelling & wt gain with both) He gave me Norflex (muscle relaxer) and Lidoderm patches to try. He also noted that I have mild scholiosis and thought maybe a chiropractor could help alittle. He recommended that I have deep tissue massage therapy and try to be aware of my posture. I do notice that I tend to slump my shoulders forward and thats when I will have the most symptoms. I hope & pray that somehow I can find some relief. Maybe the muscle spasms are compressing & inflaming the nerves which are giving me the symptoms in my chest and rib area. The epidural gave me some terrible hot flashes that still havent quite gone away. I also had some unexplainable low blood sugar issues for a few days after the epidural. I knew the steroid can cause blood sugar to be elevated in diabetics but never heard of it causing it to drop.
The Dr that I work for has been giving me vicoprofen to take as needed when I just cant stand it anymore. When I take it, thats about the only time I feel alittle relief.
Anyway, it really is helpful to know that Im not alone with these crazy symptoms. Hopefully, one of us will be able find the answer for us all. :) (sorry so long)


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