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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: prolonged back/neck pain-please help


 gt1924 - Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:11 am

I'm a 29 year old female. About 4 years ago I got a few weird looking spots on my back in the middle of the left side and also had severe pain in that area as well. Went to the doctor because I thought I might have shingles. Doctor said could be but there were only a few spots and also thought my lung was inflammed. I can't really remember exactly what it was. Pain in the left middle area just above the bottom of rib cage in my back. It hurt/burned for over 3 weeks with 5 intense days were I didn't want to move, lay down, sit up, ect. No matter how I was, I was in pain.

It has continued over the last 4 years with off and on pain, only 2 other times being as intense as the first time. I've pretty much learned to live with it. Now my neck is starting to hurt on the left side. I have never been able to just turn my head and crack my neck until about 5 months ago. Now if my neck/shoulder area is bothering me I crack my neck. Sometimes it fees better and other days no matter what I do it increasingly gets worse through out the day until my shoulder starts to hurt and continues down my arm. once I go to bed and get up it feels better until the day gets going.

Now my left middle back is starting to get worse again and more frequent along with the neck pain. I do smoke about a pack a day and have been smoking for 11 years. I know I need to quit but now I am concerned that this pain my all be linked together with some kind of lung problem.

The only surgeries I've had are open carpal tunnel release on both hands about 1 1/2 years ago and a dislocated hip from a car accident 9 years ago (right side). I also have a heart murmur that was looked into about 13 years ago and was told I had a misshape ventrical. My dad has lung problems. I think it is COPD or something like that and my mom was just recently diagnosed with haveing a spine problem where her vertibre are crushing togther and giving her leg pain.

Any possible suggestions or causes would be appreciated since I don't have insurance and don't want to spend too much on unneccesary doctor visits.

Thank You,
Tammy
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:51 pm

User avatar Your initial symptoms do sound compatible with shingles. This is typically one sided and quite painful with a burning type pain. Often there are blister-like vesicles in the area of the pain. There may or may not be very many.

Your neck pain may represent a pinched nerve from a slipped disk. It is less likely for you to have a slipped disk lower down in your rib cage area, though not impossible. It is also possible that you are having some pain associated with the shingles if this is what was initially going on.

It's possible that you have some underlying irritation of your lung causing the pain as well. From your description I am less suspicious of this but it should probably be investigated.

I would recommend that you follow up with your doctor to have your neck and back evaluated.

Best wishes
 gt1924 - Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:04 am

Thank you for your response.
Tammy

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