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Upper back pain - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Back Pain
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3159 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
User :   i have been having pretty severe pain in the right side of my back for a little over a week. i thought i pulled a muscle, but the pain is changing and getting more severe
Doctor :  
User :   and i cannot recall hurting my back in any way
User :   it hurts to breathe and move my right arm. i cannot turn to the right at all, and im having trouble getting out of bed
User :   the pain started as the whole right side, now its localized to right around my shoulder blade
Doctor :   so the pain is in the right side upper back
User :   yes. when it began it was the whole right side, top to bottom
User :   now just around my shoulder blade
Doctor :   pain will be there through out or does it appear on the movement of the right shoulder
User :   its there all the time, but when i move the wrong way or take a deep breath it feels like a knife going in my back
Doctor :   do the pain shoot down your back or the right arm?
User :   no not at all.
Doctor :   what is your age?
User :   i have even visited a chiropractor and it didnt help at all. i am 28, also have graves disease
Doctor :   since when you have been diagnosed to have graves disease?

User :   almost 10 years ago
Doctor :   are you on any medication now?
User :   yes, i take levothyroxine. 125 mcg/day. my levels are pretty much under control
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
did you take any pain relief medications?
User :   yes, and it didnt help at all. i took aspirin and alieve
Doctor :   ok
User :   my husband is taking vicodin for pain from having a huge wart cut out of his foot and i was desperate so i took one and it didnt help
Doctor :  
User :   i had a lipoma removed from the left side of my back about 5 years ago, it didnt cause any pain but it was there so i had it removed. could it be another one?
User :   if you have one can you get more?
Doctor :   lipoma do not cause pain as such.
Doctor :   pain from lipoma occurs when it is compressing a nerve in the spinal cord
Doctor :  
and when it happens it does have pain which is radiating down the nerve along with some amount of weakness in the affected nerve
User :   i dont have any weakness at all. it just hurts to move
Doctor :   pain while movement indicates pain is musculosketeal in nature

User :   when it first happened i could barely speak because it hurt so bad
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
the most common cause of these kind of mechanical cause is muscle spasm, ligament strain in the back or of the intervertebral disc herniation
Doctor :   any muscle spasm or ligament injury should have been releaved by the use of simple medications and rest by now
User :   i have been sleeping with a heating pad and staying off my feet, but it isnt getting any better
Doctor :  
User :   if i hold my arm wrong the pain goes into my shoulder and down my back
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   did vicodin help you in relieving the symptom to some extent?
User :   not at all. i tried to pick up my daughter and i would have dropped her if my husband wasnt there
Doctor :   the pain in the back seems to be more severe.

Doctor :  
it needs investigation
Doctor :  
you need to consult an orthopedician and get an X-ray of the spine or to be specific MRI of the spine to localise the problem
Doctor :   since you are suffering from graves disease also avoid taking any muscle relaxants
User :   what would muscle relaxants do?
Doctor :   since your suffering from graves disease there will be some amount of muscle weakness and consumption of muscle relaxant will increase muscle weakness

User :   i have also been told i cant take cold pills like sudafed...same thing?
Doctor :   yeah
Doctor :  
all these will increase the muscle weakness
Doctor :   tab aleve (naproxon)
User :   could this pain have anything to do with fact that i smoke? like a problem with my lungs?
Doctor :   the pain symptom indicates more so with the spine affection.
User :   ok. it doesnt feel "deep" if that makes sense.
Doctor :   in lung affection it would have presented with cough and than fever and than pain
User :   i cough hard in the mornings....but the yuk i cough up is clear. i have checked it. i got used to that when i had pneumonia 6 years ago
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
the present pain is very unlikely that it is from lung in the origin
User :   i am very happy about that!
Doctor :   it looks more so with the spine as the pain is more so with the movement and it increase with the movement of the shoulder
User :   is it possible that this can happen with any known injury?
Doctor :   yes it can happen
User :   without any known injury i mean
Doctor :   most of the back pain problems do not have injury as the cause
Doctor :   muscle spasm or ligament strain is usually do to bad posture.
Doctor :   and most of the spine problems related to the intervertebral disc do not have any injury as the cause
Doctor :   Tab aleve
Doctor :  
this tablet contains Naproxen
Doctor :   this tablet may help you in symptomatic relief
Doctor :   this is over the counter medication and consume two times a day.
Doctor :  
avoid lifting weight
Doctor :   avoid doing any activity that causes pain in the shoulder or back
Doctor :   an X- ray of the spine would be desirable at this stage
User :   ok, i will do that monday. you have been very helpful! thank you for your time!
Doctor :  
is there any thing else i can help you with?
Doctor :  
please fill the feed back form
Doctor :  
thanks for consulting healthcare magic. bye for now.
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