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Have burning pain in rib area. CT scan, ultrasound and blood work normal. What's wrong?

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Spine Surgeon
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 322 Questions
i have a burning type pain in the right rib flank area for almost a year ct scan and ultra sound discovered nothing blood work looks good. i have had shingles in the past , but i haven't had any skin rash or redness on or near area the pain seems to travel down sometimes
Wed, 2 Jan 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 6 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Shingles cause burning pain along the nerve distribution. Although the skin lesions go away but sometimes the nerve function takes long time to recover.

Therefore the absence of skin lesions does not rule out the possibility of shingles. If this is a persistent problem with significant pain then I would consider doing an intercostal block where we give a local steroid injection at the nerve site.

Have you tried Pregabalin with methylcobalamine tablet? That may help too.

If there are any doubts regarding the distribution of pain, I would suggest you to consult a competent doctor/spine surgeon who can carefully examine you and classify the real cause.

I hope this clarifies your doubt. Let me know if you have any other doubts.

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Follow-up: Have burning pain in rib area. CT scan, ultrasound and blood work normal. What's wrong? 6 hours later
the pain is along the ribs the bottom 4ribs running from right below the right shoulder blade down to about 2 inches from hip bone
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 10 hours later

Thanks for the inputs.

The way you describe this pain, it may not be related to shingles. Shingles cause pain which is usually horizontal along the nerve distribution.

What you may have could be a non-specific muscle ache. Please try some physio modalities such as IFT / TENS and also local measures such as ice application. I also suggest consulting a neurologist for a detailed neurological examination to rule out neurogenic pain. Neurogenic pain will need medicines as suggested in my earlier reply (pregabalin) to calm down the irritable nerve.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need further assistance.
If all your queries are answered, please close this discussion.

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