Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

HELP..constant mid back pain.....so frustrated

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: lizzie1027
  • July 8, 2009
  • 00:05 AM

Well I guess I will start from the begining............I am 34yrs old and pretty healthy. A little over a month ago I began having mid back pain. I went to my family dr and he ordered blood work and an ultra sound of my abdomen. All of my blood work came back great. Kidney function was good, cholesteral levels great, cbc all normal. My ultrasound came back showing that I had mobile gallstones. My kidneys, liver and spleen all appeared normal. Now I had had gallbladder attacks in the recent past so I was not suprised. My dr prescribed me some pain meds and sent me to a surgen to have my gallbladder removed. Over the next 3 weeks the back pain continued. It is pretty much constant, I will occationally notice that I dont hurt but then shortly after I notice it returns. It is in the middle of my back on both sides. It does occationally move down to right under my rib cage but it is always on both sides. I had the surgery and shortly after returning home I noticed the back pain was still there. I called my surgen who had me go to the er, this was a week ago. In the er the ran more blood work and did another ultra sound and a ct scan and took a urine. Again all the blood work was normal. The ultra sound showed nothing abnormal and neither did the ct scan. There were a few white and red blood cells in my urine so they said MAYBE I was starting a uti and put me on cipro for 5 days and sent it our for a culture. I know at the hosp they had a uroligist look at my bloodwork, urine and ct scan and he said there were no stones and my back pain was not caused by anything from a urilogical stand point. the urine culture came back saying that there was >100,000 which mean it was negative. I made the decision to go to a ciropractor/physical therapist. After speaking to the dr he did an xray of my back and said that there was "Wear and tear" in the area where the pain was. He said it was mild ostioarthritis. He also said the it should respond to a couple of treatments I have since had 1 treatment. I have been on pain meds(vicadin) for the past month and have also tried Naproxen. The vicadin does take the pain away. The Naproxen does nothing. I am so frustrated with this. The pain is not getting any better. I dont know where to go from here. Do I go back to my family dr? Do I continue with the pysical therapy? Should I notice a difference after 1 treatment. this is effecting all aspects of my life and I am getting very depressed and I cry almost everyday. I dont know what to do. Does this sound like arthritis or something else. This is my fear that it is something else that they are missing. If it were my kidneys would it show up in the bloodwork or could something be hiding. Any advice would be great.

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4 Replies:

  • What tests are not reliable?
    lizzie1027 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Okay, firstly let me suggest that you refrain from being drawn in by the individual posting suggestions of lyme disease and electrosensitivity, which is merely a solicitation to try and encourage you to join organizations that seek monetary donations. Her postings are littered throughout the forum and when perusing them, you'll find that she claims to have identical symptoms to the individual posting an inquiry, attempting to suggest that she holds the key to a cure for them. Incidentally, the tests being referred to are those associated with allopathic medicine or, in other words, your medical doctors. Her efforts are basically just predation on people in trouble and a nusiance that is inevitable as part of an open forum. To your medical inquiry, I'll be frank in telling you that I'm not a very big fan of chiropractics and although it's unclear who made the statement, to suggest that you have some "wear & tear" is altogether nebulous and really tells you nothing at all of what the imaging might actually indicate. I would find it hard to believe that such a phenomenon would be present at a specific location on your spinal imaging study, particularly in light of your age. Unless your medical or occupational history would support specific trauma to a targeted region of the spine as described, I'd suggest that it's highly unlikely. Let me offer several comments here. First of all, the absolute determination needs to be made whether this is musculo-skeletal or whether it involves a visceral process, such as a root stone at the terminal of the common bile duct. I would think the latter to be unlikely, but the symptoms are similar in such cases. In fact, I would not think your pain is due to kidney or other organ inflammation because it would typically show up on the labs as well. Things seem pretty clear in that regard. Incidentally, was a serum amylase performed and if so, do you know the result? I would seek a referral to an orthopedist purely to review the imaging findings and to alternatively conduct other tests to determine whether the spine represents the origin of the problem. I'd combine this with a consult from pain management to help make the problem the least disruptive to your life while using conventional pain medications not likely to create dependency, etc. Also, I'm not a fan of surgical intervention merely to relieve pain of questionable origin, so steer clear of the knife for now. Also, in most instances, there are collateral symptoms associated with spinal problems which extend beyond proximal pain at the source. Since you make no mention of such symptoms, I would consider the spine and meningeal processes less likely the culprit. That the pain is sometimes intermittent would tend to rule out oncological considerations, due to the fact that the pain in such cases tends to only get worse with time. If it is to be considered muscular in nature, then has your doctor considered using a muscle relaxant such as flexeril or skelaxin? If not, then a trial prescription should be considered to determine any change in the pain symptoms. On the lesser side of possibilities, but still needing to be considered, would be an abdominal aortic aneurism. An imaging study can quickly determine if this is present or not, but again needs to be ruled out. Most of the time they are asymptomatic and typically discovered on imaging studies looking for other things, but it could have been overlooked. You also need to rate the pain on a scale of 1-10, 1 being no pain and 10 being the worst. Incidentally, your symptoms and medical history would make arthritis a less-likely cause here. Once you established the origin, then treatment can be much more focused and productive. Let us know how you proceed and what findings occur along the way. If you can provide a response to my questions, I may be better able to offer further direction. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you so much for your reply. I met with my family dr today and she sat down and look at everything with me. Including the xray of my back. She said that I have degenerative disk disease and osteoarthritis. My father has rhumetoid, osteo and necrosis. I also have arthritis in my knees. She also ordered bloodwork to see if I have rhumetoid. She also put me on mobic and the vicadin. She said to give the mobic 2weeks to work and if I dont notice a difference to come back in and we will try something different. she also said to stick with the physical therapy for a month and see if I notice a difference. If we cant get it under control in a month then she said she will send me to a rhumetologist or a orthepedist and for an MRI. I am not sure if I have had a serum analsys run. How would it show up on a lab report because I have my entire medical file. She also suggested yoga and walking. I felt good about the visit because she really took her time to talk to me and look over my file. Please let me know your input and I will answer any questions that I can. I really dont have any other symptoms other then the back pain which is constant and moves but is mostly in my mid back.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You need to make SURE that your doctor orders a Vitamin D level. Even MILD Vitamin D Deficiency can cause back pain. 'Mild' deficiency meaning anything under 40 ng/ml- DESPITE the fact that your lab test and your doctor will say that 30 is normal- it's not!!Vitamin D deficiency is a HUGE unrecognized cause for back pain!Kerri Knox, RNFunctional Medicine Practitioner
    kerri38846 11 Replies Flag this Response
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