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Posted on Mon, 24 Jul 2017 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I've suffered from back pain for 10 years. Primary cause is disc deg disease (I think). Had a MRI on my lumbar in 2010. It showed disc deg disease (ddd). I also had two disc herniation in my L4-L5, L5-s1 in 2010. Fast forward to January 2016 I started having pain in my mid back region that radiated to my ribs in my liver area. It also radiated into my lower abdomen occasionally. This went on for several months until may of 2016. I went to the ER and they did a catscan of my abdomen. That catscan showed I had a enlarged liver and spleen. I went to a gastroenterologist who performed a ton of blood work as well as a endoscopy. Everything was normal. He told me to come back in January of 2017 to recheck. Went back and he ordered a ultrasound as well as a liver and spleen nuclear scan. Everything came back normal as well as the liver was normal size. I was still having this pain and it was getting worse. I even went to urgent care several times because I thought I had kidney infections. I ended going to my gp who said maybe your back has gotten worse. He sent me to PT for 2 months and the PT discontinued PT because it was not working. She requested a MRI from my doctor for my thoracic and lumbar. I've known my lumbar has been bad for some time but the thoracic is what is really hurting bad. I mean bad. He ordered both thoracic and lumbar and I will post results. If u want to see pictures as well I can post the pictures. I have the DVD of my MRI. The pain now radiates on my left side as well but not near as bad as my right side. I have to wake up at 3 am to stretch every night and I have a desk job and it's excruciating to sit at a desk. I can't get into a pain clinic, which is what they recommended, for a month. My GP doesn't really know what they will do other than injections. I want to get your thoughts on this. I'm really young and it's very frustrating. I also called a surgeon but can't see me for over a month. I don't even want to think surgery and I'm hoping other things work. I can't sit straight up because it feels like I may break my back it hurts in these problem disc areas. That's the best way I can describe the pain

I know thoracic disc issues are rare. At least that's what the doctor told me. At first he would even write me the script for my thoracic MRI because he said I can't injure that unless I was in a auto wreck or fell 5 stories from a building. I domt know what the spurs mean and if any of this is fixable. Put didn't work, I've lost 50 pounds trying this past year, so I've tried different things. I can always send more images if needed.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Oral muscle relaxants can help.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
I have seen the attached images.
As per your attached report, You have degenerative spondylosis & disc disease in lumbar and thoracic spine.
It occurs due to repetitive overload or stress to the disc & it increases the risk of disc herniation & spinal canal stenosis.
For this condition you have to do stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on facet joint and disc. The spurs can be removed surgically if there is any compression of the nerve root due to the spurs.
- Maintain optimum body weight,if you are obese
- Avoid lifting heavy weights as it imparts more strain on your back
- Change your daily activities so that you avoid movements that can cause further pain, especially bending forward and lifting as it will worsen the disc protrusion. if you want to bend forwards, do it with your hips and knees flexed.
- Use a lumbosacral back support to stabilize your spinal muscles
- Intermittent traction might be helpful to cause a regression of the disc space.
- After the initial pain has subsided, remedial exercises to strengthen the spine are very important to restore normal spinal movements and muscle strength. The main aim of exercise is to encourage mobility, reduce muscle spasm, prevent further deterioration in the muscles and speed recovery.
- Use analgesics like advil or aleve and muscle relaxants to relieve pain and muscle spasm, as needed. Vitamin B12 supplements & Pregabalin may be helpful in controlling the neuropathic pain.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 13 minutes later
The lumbar portion I can manage the pain through exercise but the thoracic I've tried physical therapy and excercises. It's a constant pain that does not go away and it's beeen that way for a year with the past 4 months tipping the scale with regards to pain. Do u think injections might work?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 47 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Allow the pain to reduce first.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing again.
Injections can reduce the inflammation but will not reduce the spurs. It is better to start with oral muscle relaxants and pain killers and let the pain subside completely and then gradually start with the exercises.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12072 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

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