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I am so lost right now...new to back pain...drs not sure what the problem is...

Started by 100000001354837... on 07/24/2011 9:15pm

Ok...I am a 35 year old manufacturing associate...my back pain started with moving a sizable piece of equipment at work in early May...however it has gotten progressively worse (pain). I have been out of work since May 18 due to this problem.

My MRI results are as follows...


There is low-grade multilevel degenerative change within the cervical spine

c2-c3 There is minimal uncovertebrel degeneration but no evidence of canal or foraminal stenosis is seen

C5-C6 Minimal disc bulge is present

C6-C7There is niminal disc bulge at this level only mildly indenting the ventral aspect of the cervical subarachnoid space

c7-t1 Focal prominence of the nerve root ganglion within the right neural foramen is noted of uncertain significance

T1-T2 Patent neural formina

Impression: Low-grade multilevel degenerative change is present with mild indentations on the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and mild uncovertebral degeneration on the left at the C2-C3 level


There is a tiny right paracentral disc protrusion seen at the T3-T4 level. A tiny left paracentral disc protrusion may be present at the T5-T6 level. These do not significantly deform the thoracic subarachnoid space

Impression: Thoracic spine imaging shows minimal degenerative disc disease as described

My pain is such that it is focused at my spine under my shoulder blade...I have felt debilitating pain in this area in the form of burning, numbness, aching and sharp pain. The numbness radiates down my arm and sometimes down to my pinky or thumb. It also radiates over my shoulder and along my ribcage making deep breaths, yawning, sneezing and choughing very painful.

My internist says that there is something obviously wrong...she sends me to an orthopediac and he tells me...and I qoute..."Your spine is completely normal, move with confidence that you are healthy. Sometimes we need to hear that we are fine." I was so dumbfounded I could not ask the questions that I needed to after his "conclusion". He prescribed me NSAIDS (which I have been taking for the past 3 months with 5mg of flexiril and 7.5mg of percocet for really bad pain) I am still in pain and not sure what the next step will be. I am scheduled for a brain MRI to rule out MS by my internal doc.

But at this point I just want to get well. My job includes bending streatching, lifted up to 59lbs and pushing up to 500 liters of fluid material...(most times it is 200 liters)...this is all very manual and hard work conditions...especially now. Problem is that this is a workers comp case...and at this point I am so afraid of them releasing me back to work and I either get hurt worse or something...this ortho just made me feel like it is all in my head. So guess what I did...I stopped ALL pain meds and only continued the NSAIDS...and guess what...my pain is the same...even worse at times...(waking up during the night with pain...more tired while driving...(oh yea...I drive an hour to and from work...how nice).

I just need some advice...help...understanding...this is the absolute worse I have ever felt.

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34 Responses


As soon as I saw Workmans comp I had to write you. My injury and surgery were Workmans comp. The Drs that workmans comp sends you to are a joke. But you have to use their Drs or pay yourself. I've seen on a few websites where you can send a copy of your MRI images and reports for a free evaluation. Do a search for Spine specialists and get as many free or even pay if need be to get honest evaluations. Workmans Comp Drs goal is to get you back to work ASAP. Dont wait to send the Mri reports out. Who knows....what you have could be "nothing" or it could be something that will only get worse with time and the type of job you do, it doesnt sound like it the best thing to be doing for your back.
Good luck ! I know how frustrating it can be. Keep at it!
2009-lumbar fusion L4 l5 S1 double discectomy, triple laminectomy, fixation of 6 screws 2 rods
now- failed back surgery syndrome


I cannot believe that they would allow you to go to work and do the same job that got you hurt. I went thru a workmans comp case because of injuries in my neck & back, Keep going to Dr.'s until you find one that will help you. I know in Illinois I had the right to pick my own Dr. and I also had to get 2 other Dr.s to agree with him. It took over a year to get my operation and I am worse than before. More nerve damage, more pain. It has been 3 yrs since I got hurt and I'm still in pain everyday, my life will never be the same and I was lucky enough to get on disability but the pay is not enough to live on. I pray that you will find a solution for your condition. Keep fighting even when you can't stand it anymore, you have to get the help you need. It's a long painful life with back injuries.....


I would have to disagree with all workcomp dr are a joke! My back surgery was done by a spine surgeon at Rush in chicago Ill. He is one of the best and has been written about as well as Rush is an awesome hospital. I think my workcomp was hoping by sending me to a very highly renound dr that he would say I wouldn't need surgery, ha I did and knew that I did. Keep trying don't give up. I obtained an attorney prior to surgery and they will definetely protect your rights and make sure you are taken care of. Good luck to you


I also wanted to say I had l5-s1 fusion March of this year and I believe it was a success. I had and awesome physical therapist which made alot of difference. I'm feeling pretty good. Its still a long road back. I'm never going to be the same nor will I beable to do certain things anymore, but the pain is usually 2/10 when it was 8or9 before surgery. I think finding a good therapist is the key as well.