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Severe pain in middle of back. Not shown up in tests. Took muscle relaxants. Suggest treatment to get rid of pain?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1997
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I am a 23 year old female, 120 lbs, in pretty good shape. I get severe pains in the middle of my back on the left side of my spine. The pain is there when I wake up and remains until I go back to sleep. It is not everyday but an average of 3 days a week now. I have gone to 2 different doctors who have done urine tests, x-rays and a catscan(for possible kidney stones). All of which have come back showing nothing. The doctors have said they don't know what it is and send me off w/muscle relaxers and anti-inflamatories. I do not want to keep taking drugs to numb the pain. I want to get rid of the pain. Last doctor said since I could bend over and touch my toes, a MRI would be a waste of money. I told him that that day I could bend over but the day before I couldn't. He just said "I don't know" and sent me on my way!
Posted Wed, 30 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Detail answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thank you for your question.

If it is back pain only with no legs pain or numbness then MRI scan may be not indicated yet.

However if you can afford the MRI scan then get one for the most painful part of the spine (thoracic or Lumbar), it will be quite useful to role out any serious problems in spine.

Try physiotherapy to strengthen your back muscles, and use simple analgesia such as Paracetamol with Codein +/- anti-inflammatory if no contraindication.
If the pain does not improve in another 6 weeks then consider MRI scan.

Wish you speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Severe pain in middle of back. Not shown up in tests. Took muscle relaxants. Suggest treatment to get rid of pain? 17 minutes later
The pain has been going on for over 6 months getting more frequent as time goes on. Started 1 time a week and is now averaging 3 times per week.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
some questions to you please

Detailed Answer:
Glad to hear back from you.

Does the pain go down to your legs?
Is there numbness or tingling in your legs?
Is the pain in the thoracic spine area or Lumbar spine area?
Is the spine itself tender or tender on the muscles around the spine only?
does the pain get worse early morning or towards the end of the day?
does the pain wakes you up at night?
have you lost weight recently?

Get back to me with the answers please

Kind regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Severe pain in middle of back. Not shown up in tests. Took muscle relaxants. Suggest treatment to get rid of pain? 13 hours later
Does the pain go down to your legs? No
Is there numbness or tingling in your legs? No
Is the pain in the thoracic spine area or Lumbar spine area? Middle of back on the left side of the spine.
Is the spine itself tender or tender on the muscles around the spine only? Around the spine
Does the pain get worse early morning or towards the end of the day? The pain is about the same all day. Pain scale 8 - 9. It is a continuous, sharp, spasm type pain.
Does the pain wakes you up at night? Not all the time but it has on occassion
Have you lost weight recently? No
 
 
Answered by Dr. Moustafa Saeed 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Physiotherapy

Detailed Answer:
Your answers are reassuring.
You need to have physiotherapy to the core muscles in your back at this stage.

I will still recommend MRI scan of thoracic spine , as you had pain for 6 months and it is continuous. It is not waste of money; we will be able to learn more about the structural aspects and if any abnormality is found. Treatment will be based on MRI results.

Please get back to me if you need further details.

Wish you speedy recovery
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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