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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: extreme pain in mid to upper back with numbness


 sport.fanatic - Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Hello, I am 20 years of age, male.
I have an extreme pain in my mid to upper back( thoracic region) up to the area of around my shoulder blades. The pain is on both sides of my thoracic spine region, but it is far far more painful on the left side. It hurts the most when I am twisting my body and also when I am tilting my head downwards towards my chest. This problem has been for 3 years now, but it has flared up bad just recently. Sometimes the pain gets so bad that the area of pain becomes numb. I only get this pain when I am standing, I can sit all day with no pain. I have seen my family doctor about this but all he prescribes is some anti-inflammatory oinment. I have seen a physiotherapist and he has given me stretches and strength training which have been little to no help. I have seen a chiropractor who all he does is crack my back and tells me to come back next week, the relief is only temporary (couple hours). I have had deep tissue massages which gives me relief temporary as well and I have as well have ultrasounds and TENS treatment (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). All of these treatments did not really help. Is my only option now to see an orthopedic surgeon and consequently surgery? What do you think is wrong with me? Thanks doctors, and I hope to hear from you soon.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
All of the things you have tried is what I would recommend. It sounds like a musculoskeletal problems in the muscles around the spine or in the joints connecting the ribs to the thoracic vertebrae.

The next step would be an MRI to look at the discs, vertebrae and nerves including spinal cord and canal.

You may also consider pain management who can do corticosteroid injections based on the MRI results.

Take care.

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