Medical Specialty >> Rheumatology

Doctors Lounge - Rheumatology Answers

Back to Rheumatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Severe burning back pain and shortness of breath

 mabrams01 - Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:21 pm

I am a 50 year old female who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 13 years ago. The onset of my fibro was severe fatigue and a slight burning in my mid back. After that I would get small mouth sores and oral yeast. My symptoms leveled off after a year and a half to achy in the morning, which would resolve after a shower and being up for an hour. These symptoms were more of an annoyance than debilitating. Several weeks ago I started with a cough and felt short of breath (the cough is now gone) and then a severe burning sensation in my back in and around my spine, mid back an upper back. I then felt dizzy and had numb feeling mid way down my left arm. Although I didn't have an official temp my temp was 99.5 during this time, when my normal temp is around 98.6. Two weeks after all these symptoms appeared the severe burning sensation in my back literally went out. This burning was moving around and I felt as if something went out. I was fine for a day and then a much milder burning sensation appeared but the shortness of breath and pressure in my mid and upper back area remain. My doctor so far has sent me for chest xrays, ct scan of chest which shows some non specific thickening in my lobe ( doctor says it could have been caused by bronchitis as a child). I have also had an ultra sound on my thyroid in addition to a radiative scan. All normal. My blood work is normal except that my potassium level dropped slightly since my last blood test. They are sending me back to determine if was a lab error. The symptoms that remain are burning in my back, pressure in my mid back, burning in my upper back and a feeling of not feeling well. I also have some cervical spine compression from some herniated Disks which causes neck pain and arm throbbing. Arm throbbing has resolved but neck pain persists. I do have a rheumatologist appointment but don't get to see him for another 4 weeks. My doc seems to think it sounds like muscular inflammation. I am concerned because of the array of symptoms I am having. Any thoughts Thanks
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:28 am

User avatar Hello -

It does sound as though you are suffering from a muscular inflammatory problem, and it is probably related to fibromyalgia, just based on your history. There are other possible explanations, but they would be obscure and given the known history and your description of the discomfort, I would favor fibromyalgia as a cause.

Regarding the chronic problem, have you ever been prescribed a pain-blocking drug such as gabapentin or pregabalin? This might just help with the current burning, which of course also could be simply shingles or post-herpetic pain, for which the previously mentioned drugs are also effective.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep us updated.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us