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Upper Back Pain & belching,bloating

It's been 5 year I've had upper back pain near shoulders. Just to sit for about 5 min. without lean on something makes my back hurts. I also have belching,bloating,flatulence and headache too. Also i feel my stamina is decreasing too as when jogging or running, I can only do it much less(getting fatigue faster) than before.
I've visited several doctor and had MRI for my head and back, but the result says nothing wrong. I also had x-ray and the result says I have GERD.
I also had physio therapy for a several times but it doesn't get any better.
Is it possible that my back pain caused by the acid reflux, or is there any other reason? Anyone ever had such pain too?
5 Responses
1331804 tn?1336870958

I am sorry to hear about your upper back pain and digestive issues.  5 years is a long time to be suffering from this.  My post may be a little biased because I just had my gall bladder removed last week.  But your symptoms sound very familiar to those in people with gallstones.  Gallstones can cause severe bloating, gas, pain that wraps around the right side to the shoulder blades and also localized pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.  Gall bladder attacks result in severe pain in the areas just mentioned, diarrhea, pain when taking deep breaths or trouble catching each breath, nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and sometimes jaundice (happens when a gallstone blocks the bilary duct).  Some people exhibit all of these symptoms, some none at all, and some a select few.  

I would recommend an ultrasound of your liver and gall bladder to check for stones.  The ultrasound may not show any stone formation yet but there could be sludge in the gall bladder from it being inactive.  There are additional tests they can run to determine if your gall bladder is functioning below normal as a low functioning gall bladder without stones can also cause symptoms.

There could be other causes for your pain other than issues with the gall bladder.  I hope others will post other conditions that exhibit similar symptoms.  But if your doctor has not fully checked out your gall bladder, I would suggest that be the next step going forward.  You could also have IBS or some other digestive disorder but you will need to have your physician run more tests to come to a conclusion.  You won't get an accurate diagnosis over the web but you can get ideas on things and then talk with your doctor to run the appropriate tests.

Gall bladder attacks are brought on typically after eating a meal high in fat.   You could try to eat low fat foods and no dairy for a few days to see if your symptoms improve.  

I do hope you find the root of your symptoms soon.  I know before my gall bladder surgery, I was very ill and had all the symptoms of gallstones except jaundice.  I was miserable.  I am still not feeling great as I am recovering but I am hopeful that once I am fully recovered, I will be back to my old self again.  So I do understand the need to find out what's wrong.  Please keep us updated on how you are doing.  Take care.

Avatar universal
thanks a lot for your suggestion. I had ultrasound for the upper abdomen yesterday. Today I visited the doctor with the result. He read the result, then told me that the liver, gallbladder,pancreas are all okay. The gallbladder has some inflammation, but there's no gallstone. From the result summary, it says light Cholecystitis.
So, possibly there's another cause for my pain
Avatar universal
but, actually I'm confused,
what test to do to check if there's problem with the gallbladder, even though there's no stone?
1331804 tn?1336870958
I encourage you to go the website below and read about cholecystitis.


I am very glad you had the ultrasound done of your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas completed.  Before I had my ultrasound done of the same organs as you did, I had a blood test done to check my liver enzymes.  My ALT number was slightly elevated (it was measured at 56 and the standard range is 5-50).  My doctor said that it is likely not a concern.  But since I was experiencing severe bloating and abdominal cramping in my upper right abdomen where the liver is located, I requested for more tests to be completed and that is when they found the gallstones via ultrasound.  So I think getting a liver panel completed to check your liver enzymes can tell you whether or not the liver is functioning okay.  Many times when there is something wrong with the gallbladder, there is stress put on the liver.  Once the gallbladder is removed, the liver will return to normal functioning.

Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) is caused by bile that is backed up in the gallbladder causing pressure to build in the gallbladder.  The symptoms of cholecystitis are very similar to symptoms of gallstones.  This diagnosis could mean that your gallbladder is functioning below normal.  If chemical messengers don't signal the gallbladder to empty some of the backed up bile, over time the bile will begin to calcify and form gallstones.  Additionally, unresolved inflammation of the gallbladder can cause the gallbladder to rupture and that is a very serious medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.  

There is a test called a HIDA scan that can determine your gallbladder's level of functioning.  

Either gallstones or an inflamed gallbladder can cause the exact pain symptoms that you describe.  When the gallbladder is sick, it also causes fatigue which is another symptom that you mentioned.  In summary, your ultrasound indicates the early stages of gallbladder disease.  I would recommend that you consider surgery to remove the gallbladder before the disease starts to progress as your symptoms may get much, much worse.  Gallbladder surgery is very safe and it has been a week since my surgery and I barely have any pain from the incisions and I have been able to return to a normal diet and haven't experienced any symptoms.  They make four very small incisions: one at your belly button, and one at the very top of your abdomen in the center, and two incisions on the right side of the abdomen in the middle.  The surgeon will remove the gallbladder by seeing it on a flat screen TV via a camera that is inserted through the incision at your belly button.  The instruments are inserted into the other 3 incisions.  The gallbladder is this removed through the incision made at your belly button.  The procedure is called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  I was home the same day as the surgery in the evening and the procedure only takes 1-2 hours to perform.

Lastly, I really think that your gallbladder could be the cause of your symptoms as I don't believe your gallbladder is okay given the diagnosis of cholecystitis from your ultrasound.  

I am not trying to scare you but your ultrasound results alarmed me along with the fact that your physician said that the gallbladder was okay as I don't believe it is okay.  I just don't want you to go through increased pain and worsening symptoms as the disease progresses.   Let me know what you think of the additional information I provided.  

Avatar universal
I have all of these exact symptoms and same results from my tests too! Did you find an answer?
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st. louis, MO
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