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Pain in the ribs
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Pain in the ribs

For the past 3 years I have had this horrible pain in my ribs on my back.  Right now I am on a combination of Skelaxin (muscle relaxer) and Neurontin (nerve pain reliever) as well as I just had my 3rd epidural injection.  I have 2 bulging discs in my neck (C5/C6 & C6/C7).  The injections helped my neck pain but didn't help the rib pain.  Skelaxin and Neurontin help the rib pain but I can only take those doses before I go to bed because they make me super groggy during the day as well as spaced out.  I've already had a MRI of my thoracic region and it showed no abnormalities.  What I want to figure out is what the heck is going on with my ribs!  Any clue?  When I bend a certain way it feels like a sharp burn from my spine and it radiates to my ribs.  My ribs are always in some sort of constant burn type pain - it just varies in degrees.  I can take deep breaths and it doesn't hurt.  I don't see my neurologist until November but if this continues to get worse, I plan on making an appt sooner.  Does anyone have any suggestions in the meantime?
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Your description of your rib pain is just like mine.  I've had this pain for two years and been to multiple doctors with no real diagnosis.  Have you found any solution yet? A pain management doctor said it might be that the costavertebral joint that connects the ribs to the spine is pinching a nerve and that I should look into some sort of a nerve block.  But I once got a shot by another physiatrist in nerves in that area and I felt awful for a week; I think I reacted poorly to cortizone. I also have scoliosis (kyphoscoliosis) which is right near the painful site and I think this may have something to do with it. I think my ribcage has turned a bit and my left side hits the back of a chair and there is not the same pressure on the right side because if I put my hand behind the right side it will relief some of the pain on the left. Obviously you can't drive like this.  I also have a flat lumber spine, bulges and herniated disks here and there which often cause muscle spasms in my lower back but those at least heal.  The T11/T12 area of pain is always there and it does wrap around the lower ribs and burns all the time.  Sometimes I use a heating pad and sometimes a cool gel pad.  Sometimes I've used Capzasin cream but that can feel like third degree burns; you have to take it off with cooking oil because water exacerbates the burning effect. There don't seem to be any doctor's who specialize in ribs or give a darn about pain if they can't see anything in the MRI images.  They don't even exam you anymore and they only give you ten minutes of their time and then say I don't know the source of your pain. It's terrible that you have to be your own doctor nowadays. Sorry for my frustration.  I'm taking Neurontin to sleep too but it makes me too drowsy to take during the day.  I take Ibuprofen when I'm going someplace. I've found a good lumbar support back cushion at coreproduct.com that helps me sit at a table in a straight chair but no chair I can watch TV in or read. If I shop for a chair my back goes haywire with flexing and extending it in various ways and I feel pain throughout my whole body including my arms and legs.  Hope someone on this Web site can give us a clue.
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