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Having upper to mid back pain and shoulder pain. Feeling uncomfortable. How to get relief from the pain?

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Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 922 Questions
I am having upper to mid back pain and kind of off centered to the left, around my shoulder blade area. I am unable to pin point the exact location. It feels similar to the aching lower back pain when I was pregnant, only higher up. Its not sharp pains, it feels like an ache or burning feeling maybe. I feel it most when sitting or driving. At that point it sometimes becomes so unbearable and I have to walk around or rest on my bed. Almost comparable to the feeling of being bent over, doing something at an uncomfortable level with no support for a period of time, with a feeling that if my back was stretched I could feel some relief. The problem is, I am sitting during this time. I also can not wear my bra, it brings on that same feeling when im standing.
Posted Mon, 13 Aug 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I am a medical specialist with an additional degree in cardiology. I read your mail with diligence. There are several conditions which will have to cosnidered about your problem to come up with a specific diagnosis and treatment. Let us do that.
Conditions that put pressure on the spinal nerves also can cause pain. These include:
1.Osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage that cushions the small facet
joints in the spine breaks down. When this happens, the back bones rub
together and cause damage and pain. Osteoarthritis is caused by the normal
wear and tear of the cartilage as you age.
2.A fracture of the vertebrae, which can occur when a lot of force is put on the
spine. This force can be from a car or bike accident or a direct blow to the spine.
A compression fracture occurs when an injury to the bones in the spine causes
them to break and collapse (compress) on each other, such as from a THIS
3. Have someone look at your back. An odd-shaped spine, such as with scoliosis or
kyphosis. This can make your back hurt. When you look at a normal spine from
the back, it is usually straight. But when a person has scoliosis, the spine
curves from side to side, often in an S or C shape. It may also be twisted.
When a person has kyphosis, the upper spine is rounded and looks like a hump.
4. A herniated disc. This occurs when one of the small, spongy discs that cushion
your spine bulges or breaks open and presses on the nerves in the spine. A
herniated disc may be caused by normal wear and tear of the disc as you age.
Or it may be brought on by activities that you do over and over again that
cause a lot of vibration or motion (such as using a jackhammer) or by a sudden
heavy strain or increased force to your back. In most cases, a herniated disc
occurs in the lower back or neck. It can occur in the upper or middle back, but
5.Spinal stenosis. The spinal cord runs through an opening in the bones called the
spinal canal. Spinal stenosis occurs when that opening narrows. In some cases,
bone, ligament, and disc tissue grows into the spinal canal and presses on the
nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. The tissue can also squeeze and
irritate or injure the spinal cord itself. In most cases, spinal stenosis occurs in
the lower back and neck. It case of mid spine it is rare so RARE POSSIBILITY
6.Degenerative disc disease. This is not really a disease but a term used to
describe the normal changes that occur in your spinal discs as you age. Over
time, the discs in your spine break down, or degenerate. A loss of fluid in the
discs or tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer of the discs can occur over time.
The breakdown of the discs can cause back or neck pain, arthritis, spinal
stenosis, This problem can occur anywhere on your spine. But in most cases, it
occurs in the discs in the lower back and neck. RARE POSSIBILITY IN YOU.

As you are taking strong analgesics it is right time that a specialist do a complete physical examination and order the needed investigations, So that conclusion can be arrived at and treatment started. Good Luck.

With Best Wishes
Dr Anil Grover,
Medical Specialist & Cardiologist
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having upper to mid back pain and shoulder pain. Feeling uncomfortable. How to get relief from the pain? 28 minutes later
Thank you for your prompt attention. I take the hydocodone twice a day, morning and afternoon. It has no bearing on the ache. I have never had any back issues prior to this. However, this has went on for almost 2 weeks. It went away, then returned. Foolishly, I picked back up were I left off, activity wise. I have a 3yr old.. And the world doesn't stop. So naturally the ache started back. I have noticed some numbing in my hands/arms at night. If I get my arm caught under a pillow, for example. I also "think" I feel a numbing sensation in my lower back when I do not seek comfort quickly, for whatever reason. i am careless with my activities and how I approach them, as far a picking things up. I am currently on vacation and hoping this is something I can take care of when I get back. I hear stories of women and heart attacks and things of that nature and I get panicky. I feel fine mentally and physically until I sit down. Some days better than others. i do have a catch or pull in my outside left upper thigh, close to my hip. I am unsure if that is related. At 35, I feel like I am falling apart. I also have a meniscus tear, left knee. Which explains the pain meds. So my question to you is this; if I feel "ok" then I should be fine, correct? My body would let me know if I wasn't? As far as my back, I do not have any noticeable soreness at the touch. But it's also hard to reach. Thank you for your help. I appreciate the time you have given me. Take care
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Thank you for your prompt reply and kind words for me.
You are right on the point when your body tells you that "you are OK" you are. Obviously, you would be taking cortisone under supervision, with that and you would have breastfed your 3 year old. All this could of led to deficiency of micronutrients in your body. Discuss with your doctor whether you need any supplements now. And also what are your limits of bending and stretching. For, greatest XXXXXXX on earth is watching your children grow, you sometimes tend to overdo (with respect to your health). Also, that catch or pull outside your thigh which suggests compression of a nerve in certain position do you need any belt or support or exercises, your spine doctor can tell you after examining you. These are the thoughts which come to mind when you say if something can be done or when you express rather depressing thought of "falling apart". Get that junk thought out of your mind. Positive thinking is key to health, that too in the time period you need it most for your child. All the best. Anything else you want to ask please do write, I will be happy to answer.

With Best Wishes
Dr Anil Grover,
Medical Specialist & Cardiologist
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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