Hi there, I have severe back pain that comes and goes. It starts about 5cm below my shoulderblades and ends around where my ribs end. I generally get a lot of knots on my right side from my neck down to my lower back but I don't feel any knots right now. It was just on my right side yesterday, but today it hurts on both sides. More so when I move or walk. If I sit in a certain position it hurts less but if I straighten my back I feel like crying from the pain. Any idea?
Hello friend. Thank you for sharing here at the spine forum.
It is difficult to know if you have a spine problem, or if your pain problem has other origins. Some folks work in occupations that cause repeated stresses in certain areas of the body. For instance, hairdressers often have terrible shoulder and neck pain from working with their arms in the air most of the day. This pain is usually muscular, and relaxes with massage, hot baths, or just changing the gravitational pull on their shoulders by lying down.
Perhaps your right side pain is occupational? Sometimes mothers of toddlers get used to carrying a 20-30 pound child around on the right or left hip, and feel pain on one side.
Office workers also get pain specific to their desk, chair, and computer placement. There are many other examples.
Anatomically, your spine has three sections. From top to bottom, you have the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, and the lumbar spine. Each section is uniquely structured, supported by different muscle groups, and performs unique functions.
The area you describe, at the bottom of the rib cage, is the boundary between the thoracic and lumbar spine. This particular level causes pain problems for a number of reasons, and there's no telling without proper diagnostic procedure, exactly what's happening.
If the pain has become troubling, and it sounds like you're experiencing severe pain at times, you will need to be examined by a physician, who will take a thorough medical history, make a physical examination and order diagnostic tests that may include MRI films, and make a diagnosis. You may be referred to a spine specialist, or some other kind of doctor, depending on that diagnosis.
You can begin this process with your primary care physician.
Please feel free to return and ask questions -- someone will be here to help if we can.
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