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  • gnortonshores
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Hello, I have been having back pain in my mid-back on the right side for a long time. I was diagnosed with a muscle strain and was put through physical therapy. When this stubborn problem refused to leave, I had an MRI which showed nothing wrong with the discs, vertebrae, spine etc. Can a muscle strain show up on an MRI as a tear or is it sometimes invisible for some reason?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8436

    Mid thoracic back pain can originate from many structures. The discs, facets, ribs, nerves and muscles can cause pain. An increase of the thoracic cure called the kyphosis can cause pain as well as cervical disc herniations can refer pain to this area.

    The “normal” MRI may in fact not be so normal. There are times that radiologists might not recognize a degenerative disc or an abnormal curve but let us assume that the MRI is truly normal. Facet inflammation causing pain will typically not show up on an MRI. Rib subluxations will not show up. Of course, if a cervical disc is herniated, this won’t show up on a thoracic MRI.

    These conditions can be diagnosed by an interventional spine specialist or in the case of a rib subluxation, by a chiropractor.

    Dr. Corenman

    gnortonshores
    Member
    Post count: 3

    Thanks very much for your answer. I have been doing back exercises and neck exercises and those do not increase the pain. I had a 14.5 degree curve but my chiropractor reduced it to 9.1 degrees. Also the right side of my back was much weaker than my left. With exercise it has improved in strength. I had pain on the right side of my neck but that disappeared after adjusting the vertebrae that became misaligned. There are days when the ache in the back is almost gone and it becames aggravated if I do any heavy lifting.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8436

    You must have misinterpreted your curve number in your thoracic spine. The normal kyphosis curve is 20-40 degrees in the standing position. If your chiropractor took the x-rays in the lying down position (supine), then the curve number would make more sense. If your curve was a scoliosis curve (curve seen from front to back) and not a kyphosis curve, then you might have had an antalgic curve (curve caused by pain) and the manipulation of the spine corrected that problem.

    It sounds like you are making progress with your chiropractor.

    Dr. Corenman

    gnortonshores
    Member
    Post count: 3

    The curve in my thoracic spine was a scoliosis but it is now 9.1 degrees. It has been reduced quite well for someone who is 32 years old. The chiropractor told me that children and teens are easier to adjust

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8436

    You must have had an antalgic scoliosis for that correction.

    I want to state that if a child or adolescent has scoliosis, they must seek advice from a spine specialist. Chiropractic can be helpful for the discomfort of scoliosis (rare) but children need to by followed by a spine surgeon to make sure the curve will not progress. Manipulation of the spine will not arrest the progression of scoliosis and serial X-rays need to be inspected to follow the curve magnitude.

    Dr. Corenman

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