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Chronic upper back pain

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  • Derek Miles
    Hey, I'm sorry you are going through this situation. In instances such as this I would likely recommend getting a consultation with us on the rehab team. When things have been going on for a while we are often better off talking through the issue than trying to back and forth on a forum. I would vehemently disagree with the advice given by the second post here as it frankly does not even make any sense. Lozo has excellent advice. Overall, the key is finding a place from which to begin. Sometimes we end up over shooting our entry point and get in a cycle of not being able to do "anything" because we continue to start a little too high on the intensity scale.

    One of the best things you can do to alleviate symptoms is to keep moving within what you can. If twisting/coughing increase symptoms, even getting some light walks in can be a good place from which to begin. At least here you are getting some movement. From there, it is more about slowly increasing the amount you are able to tolerate not only from volume, but from position. You'll realize over time you're able to rotate further and you should be able to get back to training without issue.

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  • Lozo
    Sorry to hear about this situation! I know from personal experience with the BBM crew that a consultation with the rehab team would benefit you greatly. Sometimes getting an MRI report and a physician telling you that there is "nothing wrong" can go in one of two different directions: 1. "Great! I've got nothing to really worry about, so, this must mean I can carry on as usual" or 2. "Crap! This sucks, I need a diagnosis before I can begin to get better" (the good news here is that, from your short MRI reading excerpt, it doesn't sound like there is something more malicious here). For many of us it tends to be the latter... There is hope, though, and getting back into the gym to some capacity is likely going to get you feeling better sooner rather than later.

    A great place to start is to acknowledge that even though you experience pain with the movements that you described, you are still able to do them to some degree before your symptoms become intolerable. Find what works and build from there, don't get too caught up in trying to identify some type of pain generator because that, overwhelmingly, is not where the focus should be. Interacting with the BBM via an actual consult will give you vastly more tools to use than discussion through the forum can give to you, though! Good luck!

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  • furosemide
    started a topic Chronic upper back pain

    Chronic upper back pain

    Hello ,
    I'd like to share my chronic back pain story and hope to hear your advice. Back in Sepember 2018 I felt a sharp pain in my upper back somewhere around right scapula/lat area after a set of deadlifts. Pain was worse with any trunk movement (flexion, extension, rotation, lateral flexion) and also with sneezing and coughing. Being familiar with your injury/rehab content I looked for exercises that don't aggravate the pain and sticked with them for a couple of weeks. In following two months may pain gradually decreased and completely resolved. Then I continued to train with lighter loads (I do all of my work at RPE 6 or 7) with no pain whatsoever. In October 2019, I felt the same sharp pain in exact same location after I got up from the bench after a set of bench press. I substituted bench press with light weight machine work which I felt comfortable with and decreased the volume and intensity of other exercies as well. This time however, pain got much worse in the following months. I eventually had to quit lifting because I was unable to do any type of squatting, pressing, deadlifting, rowing or any machine work without pain. I frequently have stiffness/spasms in my upper back in the morning. I can't get out of my bed withut pain now. In February 2020 I saw a sports physician. He ordered an MRI. After seeing my MRI, he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeon told me that MRI findings may not be culprit for my pain and suggested that I might benefit from physiotherapy. Unfortunately, physiotherapy facilities in my area are out of service due to covid-19 pandemic.
    I can do very little trunk movement without pain right now. I can't twist, bend, sneeze, cough or even take a deep breath without pain. Is there anything that would alleviate the pain I can do without equipment in home? Thank you.

    This is my MRI report. Both ortho and sports physician told me that nothing is terribly wrong with my back given that MRI.
    Slight loss of height and Modic type 1 signal changes are observed in the T5 and T7 vertebrae.
    Other vertebral corpus heights and bone structures observed in the examination area are normal.
    The intervertebral disc spaces observed in the examination area and the structure of the discs are normal.
    Spinal canal calibration is normal. The soft tissues of the paraspinal region are normal.