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Severe Back Pain
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Severe Back Pain

I have experienced severe back pain that begins in my middle back and wraps around my rib cage and into my chest.  I feel it first coming on in my middle back and then wrap forward along my ribs into the middle of my chest.  I become nauseated and feel dizzy and short of breath.  Laying down seems to make it worse but I feel too dizzy to stand and when I stand I become more nauseated.  I do not vomit but feel as though I will.  I become hot and sweaty and my head feels like it is spinning.

The strange thing about this pain is that I do not have it consistently nor does it follow anything that I can attribute cause to.  I eat, drink, and rest regularly and am a very healthy person overall.  The first time I experienced one of these "attacks" was during my third trimester of pregnancy.  When I mentioned it to my doctor she attributed it to the baby.  However, the second episode was after delivering my baby (no complications) and became so intense that I feared I was either having a heart attack or was dying.  I went to the ER and they confirmed it was not heart related and did a CT scan which showed nothing.  They printed off some information on back pain and sent me home (the pain was still there but had lessened).  Since that time I have had a few more attacks - some lasting an hour, some lasting several hours.

I have tried to relieve the pain by pressing my back on hard corners (back massages would not be strong enough) and have tried hot and cold baths - nothing seems to help and I end up just waiting things out.  It could be connected to stress but I am pretty sure that it is not a panic attack.  I have read a few other posts and am concerned as it seems serious enough that others may have died from it.  I try to explain it to my doctor but it is so sporadic and so random that there is not much she can do.


This discussion is related to severe back and sternum pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I can tell you that I fractured my back in the thoracic spine, which is between the shoulder blades.  When the accident happened, since the nerves from that part of the back were tore up, I had pain right around my chest just like you, becuz those nerves come out from the spine there and wrap around the chest.  

So, your post strikes me as an injury to the thoracic spine somehow.  Perhaps from carrying the baby, it goofed it up.  But you say your CAT scan didn't show anything, but could be they were looking at the heart and not the spine.  Anyhow, if you can get ahold of those pictures and/or the report that went with it, show those to your physician and ask for a second opinion.

In the meantime, I'll tell you what I do to relieve the awful gnawing pain that you describe, which I have the exact same kind.  I lay down flat on the floor with my legs up in a chair or on the couch.  I scoot up close to the furniture, and lay back slowly, and let my arms drop out.  This takes all the weight off the spine and will give you relief.  Hope some of this helps you, I know how you feel.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ruth, you may also want to consider asking your doc to check your gallbladder function. Some of the symptoms you're having could be tied into dysfunction of that organ. Another possibility could be the presence of esophageal spasms. They can be very severe and are often described as feeling like a heart attack.
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Avatar_n_tn
I see I am not the only one with this problem.  Mine started a month and a half after I had my gallbladder removed.  I've been logging the episodes for the last six months and they are starting to happen more frequently and be more severe.  The episode I had two days ago lasted a few hours and I vomited when it first started and then just dry heaved.  I went to the doc today about it and she was stumped.  She gave me some PriloSEC EQ and told me it could be an ulcer.  She has consulted that I see a gastroenterologist.  So, medications it is for the next 21 days.  I'll see what the gastroenterologist have to say.  Any suggestions on what I should have them focus on?  
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