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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Upper / Mid Back Pain

 Schitzo - Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:58 pm

Hey all. I've got some pain in my mid/upper back. Probably if you went directly between my shoulderblades, and down 2" or so. It's not so much on the spine, but right beside it (maybe bout 2" to the side). I sometimes get a numb feeling there, and sometimes tingling. I've been to my doc who says it's probably just a pinched nerve, and that there's really not a lot they can do. The numbness and tingling don't really bother me though.

I believe it's probably muscle pain, as I normally feel it standing for long periods, when I sit or lay down the pain goes mostly away, and when I sleep at night I don't really feel it at all.

One thing I find weird, I can do an hour of cardio exercise at the gym, I can walk home from work (6k) and it's mildly sore, but nothing that would stop me. But ask me to stand at the cupboard and cut up onions or mushrooms or something, and it'll hurt like he**!

I am overweight, at my heaviest I was 350+ but have recently lost 80lbs (and still going). I was hoping my back would feel better by now!

The doc has asked me all the questions about my lungs etc.. He doesnt think it's my lungs causing the problem (only asked cuz the pain seems to be behind where your lung would be)

anyone else have pain like this? How long would it last if it's a muscle? It's been months for me...

27, male, approx 5,11". My job involves sitting at a computer all day, which usually extends into the evening.

 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:48 pm

User avatar Hello,

Muscle spasm alone can cause this pain.

In these cases, self care and avoiding the precipitating cause (proper posture) will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain.
Home treatment includes the use of analgesics, cold or hot therapy. If no improvement is observed in 48 hours then other causes should be investigated, like herniated disc.

The fact that you have also numbness and tingling makes the diagnosis of herniated disc- pinched nerve- more likely.

MRI is of choice in the diagnosis of spine related problems.
 Schitzo - Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:56 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

Does it make sence that laying down or sitting relieves the pain? i'd think if it was a herniated disc, that i'd still have the pain all the time. Also, if it is a herniated disc, do these things repair themselves over time, or should i expect it this for the rest of my life?

Regardless, i'm going to go back to my doc and get this checked again. This is a great service you people offer. Thank you!
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:24 am

User avatar Hello,

The back has a group of muscles that enable us to stand erect and to maintain the normal curvature and disc spaces.

Spasms in this muscle group results from many conditions.
Muscle spasm alone can cause this pain which in many cases may result of inappropriate posture for long time like certain types of work (long time computer users).

Muscle pain is always aggravated by certain movements and postures and is relieved by making them more relaxed in certain postures.

In these cases, self care and avoiding the precipitating cause (proper posture) will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain.

If the condition is not treated properly, they can cause more disk compression, even herniated (ruptured) disc if present.

What I worry bout is the associated numbness and tingling which usually results from a pinched nerve.
MRI is better done to exclude this problem.

Herniated disc can be treated in the majority of cases with medical and conservative treatment (non surgical).

Non surgical treatment include, physical therapy, certain exercises, weight reduction, epidural steroid injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and decreased daily activities.

Surgery for disc herniation is only considered if symptoms are not controlled after at least one month (6 weeks) of medical and conservative treatment, or in very complicated cases with serious symptoms.

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