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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Mid back and side pain

 robtreric - Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:29 pm

I have, for the past 10 days, been experiencing pain across my mid back. At times it goes into my chest and feels as if it is at the top of my rib cage. I had my gall bladder removed several years ago. The pain gets wrse if I move a certain way and especially when I try to lie down. Once I am down it gets better. My doctor took blood, ordered xrays and a urine culture. He has not called to give me those results yet. However, he did find some pus in my urine and prescribed Bactrin twice a day for a week. I have been on it for three days. The pain has not lessened and at times is worse. Does this sound as if I have a back problem or could it be related to my kidneys? I have never in my life had a problem with my back.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:38 am

User avatar Hello,
This certainly could be a kidney infection. If so, bactrim may not be "strong enough". With upper urinary tract infection which can progress to the kidney, we often prescribe another antibiotic like ciprofloxacin.

However, the pain changes with movement which is not typical of kidney involvement. Is there tenderness with palpation?

It may be wise to treat this as a dual etiology - UTI and mid back strain.

Most acute spine pain resolves in 30 days with heat or ice, acetaminophen, and gentle activity.

Another consideration for the source of pain is the lungs. Your physician probably ordered chest xray to rule out pneumonia. Your physician also probably asked you questions about any risk for deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) which can lead to pulmonary embolism.

Let us know how things turn out. Take care.
 robtreric - Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:26 pm

Thank you for your reply. I did get the results from my doctor. My xrays showed some arthritis in my back. My culture and blood work came back fine. However, the pain has continued and when another urine sample was taken there was still pus, and now blood, in my urine. I went for a CT scan on my kidney and liver. Haven't gotten those results yet. I am still in pain but not as severe as before. I have been resting and not doing any type of lifting so it may very well be in my back. I am scheduled to have both knees replaced in March. I am wondering if all of this pain could be caused from the severity of the condition of my knees.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:45 pm

User avatar Hello,

Folks tend to use their back more when the knees are hurting so increased back pain with increased knee problems makes sense.

Keep us posted.
 TripleA - Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:52 pm

I have had some severe blows to my back and side recently, two different times. After the first time, I noticed a hard bump in between my rib cage, and it is hard to breath, sleep and move. My mom gets hernia's, not sure if that is the correct spelling, but she says they come and go, and I have had this for over a week. my ribs hurt, and I can't slouch, or lay right. So it happened again, and i have bruising now on the sides where my ribs are. I am mainly concerned about the bumb and if something is out of place. PLEASE ADVISE!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:20 pm

User avatar Hello,
With trauma to the rib cage, it is important to have xrays taken to rule out fracture and puncture of the lungs. Also, you will need effective analgesics to control pain allowing deep breathing and prevent pneumonia.

Therefore seeing a physician would be good.
 loquacious lady - Fri May 22, 2009 5:14 pm

Hi Doc , I'm sorry to have to trouble you but I'm having persistent back pain due to a fall back in november last year.I went for a follow up check up with the orthopedics and somehow was schedule for a M.R.I scan.My result turn out to be normal but still i have the pain from my left lumbar sacral down to my left butt;more likely to be describe as a sensation of something pressing hard whenever i walked or sit.A pulling pain on my left thigh.It has been going on for more than six months.I was then asked to go for a bone scan and finally managed to detect an inflammation on my upper left joint.My doc then told me that a blood test is needed for further clinical investigation.Here are the results :
Full blood count
wbc:7.0 R interval(3.6-9.3) mcv:81 (82-98)
Rbc:4.28 (3.8-5.10) mch:27(27-33)
haemoglobin:11.7 (11.0-15.0) mchc :34 (32-34)
Haematocrit :34.6 (35.5-45.0) platelets:354 (170-420)
ESR:9 (3-15) C Reactive protein 0.5 (0.0-5.0)
urid acid 238 (150-400) Rheumatoid factor:49 (<20 )
HLa B27 antigen :negative anti-ds-DNA :negative
Anca ,cANCA ,pANCA :negative.

My doc says its an arthritis problem due to stress change and says i'll recover in 6 weeks time but now after 5 weeks 3 days I still have trouble moving around.They in fact gave me pain killers to rely on.Will you be able to help me cause I just find the explanation a little weird with the doctor.Which part of the blood test prove a hormone change for my case .I'm thankful to have come across this website and I'm sorry to have taken up your time doctor but i'll definitely need advises from all the people who are familiar in such cases.Thank you.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun May 24, 2009 9:51 pm

User avatar Hello,
Essentially, the blood work is normal - many asymptomatic folks have positive rheumatoid factor. May need to retest that in the future is hands and feet become stiff and sore.

Regarding the back pain, it may be worthwhile to see a physical therapist who specializes in backs or sacro-iliac problems. They would be able to better pinpoint the problem given a negative MRI.

The option consideration is the hip which can sometimes cause this type of pain. It would be worthwhile to rule out hip joint problems with an exam and x-ray. Actually the P.T. could clear the hip with initial examination while your family doc can order the x-ray.

It does sounds like the source of pain is mechanical in nature and should improve with rehab.

Take care.
 ronnie 1 - Tue May 26, 2009 3:39 pm

hiya, i am experiencing back, hip knee & shoulder pain. i was diagnosed 6 months ago with an over active thyroid & was put on 40mg carbimizole daily. 2 monnths ago my dose was gradually reduced as i am now slighlty under my dose is now 5 mg daily.within 2-3 weeks of taking carbimizole i started to get all of the mentioned .my doc thinks it could be carbimizole. i am also going through the menopause. any help would be gratefully recieved.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:16 pm

User avatar Hello,

Generally, high thyroid can lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Part of the care with high thyroid is checking bone density to judge risk of fracture especially as you are going through menopause.

Unfortunately here in the States we do not use the carbimazole so I am unable to look up adverse reactions so I need to defer to your family physician.

With all the joints (shoulder, hip and knees) hurting simultaneously, I think about a systemic cause including medicine. Other considerations if the problem persists after medication changes is some form of arthritis (rheumatoid or osteo) in the joints.

Take care.
 AmpleSound - Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:05 pm

Hello, I was bowling league on Saturday Night and took an awkward slide early in the first game. It left me with very sharp pain in my middle back (Thoracic) area as my chest muscles tighten up when I move a certain way and it's hard to breath until I move again. Am I able to just stick with ice and heat for a few days to see if it's a strain that will eventually go away? Or should I go see a Doctor to make sure there isn't worse damage? Or is there anything else I can do to try and ease the tension I feel back there?

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