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The Difference between Spine Pain and Spinal Cord Pain?

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by Mya Symons, May 21, 2013.

  1. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Does anyone know how to tell the difference between spine pain and spinal cord pain? If someone goes down my back and presses on my disks, but they don't hurt (except for the two fibro tender points at the bottom), could it be the spinal cord and not the bones? My upper back hurts deeper inside. I keep on telling my doctor that my back hurts but it is not the bones in the spine (the disks). It is something else. Then he goes down my back and says its fine. The pain is deeper than that, but I can't get him to listen. Now I have no idea what is going on. Maybe it has something to do with bad acid reflux?? It's so frustrating when they don't listen!!
     
    Xandoff likes this.
  2. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    In general, the spinal cord doesn't have pain receptors. Injury to the spinal cord will usually be felt in the periphery, in the arms or legs. In the thoracic area, you may get rib or chest pain.

    Parts of the spine that can be painful include the disks (as you mentioned), but also, the vertebrae themselves (such as in a vertebral body fracture), or the joints between the vertebra (facet joints). You could be having facet joint pain, particularly if movement exacerbates your pain.

    It is also possible to have referred pain. Sometimes heart pain presents as back pain, more commonly in women. Other organs can also refer pain to the back, such as the pancreas.

    Of course it could be muscular. There are many layers of muscles in the thoracic back area and they are all good at hurting with fibromyalgia.

    So, yes, other things than disks can cause back pain. Have you asked for a referral to a pain specialist?
     
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  3. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I have the worst leg and arm pain right now, 3 vicodin 4-5hrs apart is doing nothing. Soon I'll try a bath if I can walk there. The weather temp is taking a dip tmw so that can be the cause. I had back surgery in 1981, there was bone in my spinal canal and a few disk problems but L4-L5 was the culprit, and arachnoiditis resulted from dye in milogram, the surgery or injury itself. Overdoing and weather hurt me the most, yesterday my dog and I got caught in the rain on the bike so I stood up to pedal home. Just after 5 revolutions I felt the muscles in my legs burn ready to constrict but the back hurts today too. Five years after back surgery I got CFS/ME. I haven't had an MRI in about 6 yrs so I'm ready to get my nuerologist to request one on whole spine and head as I'm getting tremors too. I wish someone could tell me what is causing what, all I'm trying to do is live a life within my body's own limits.Also where's that damn pain forum. I need to complain about pain in the worst way. Excuse my vulgarity.
     
  4. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    PNR2008,

    We have a lot in common! L4-L-5 are very problematic to me. In 2005 I had a cervical discectomy with fusion that launched my M.E. into orbit. My pain is like having an infection in my spinal fluid. My pain if from my neck to my tailbone and weather is its puppet master.
     
  5. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    Hi Xandoff, I'm glad you saw my post. After my 1981 surgery, could barely carry a purse much less a briefcase and all the book fabric and wallpaper samples (I was an interior designer,salary based on commission). Hanging pictures especially put me in hell so another DR at Case took bone samples looking for TB or another bug. Didn't find anything but back then they might have not looked for pathogens like today. My legs and arms hurt almost everyday and frankly it's taking me down. I'm not the same person and the last 25ys are taking it's toll. I really wsh there were happy pills like the candies I bought for pennies at the corner store. I would surely load up on them but probably just get diabetis.
     
    Xandoff likes this.
  6. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    PRN2008,

    I feel your pain, this is not just a sentiment, it is the absolute truth. I live in constant pain. It is in my discs and comes from inflammation that comes from my body reacting to pathogens unknown. (IMHO). I can't do anything that requires lifting my arms. Don't hang pictures! Try and keep faith.....I know how hard it is really is! Have you tried low dose naltrexone? 4.5 mg? It is very inexpensive.
    All my Best to You!
     
    PNR2008 likes this.
  7. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    No because I'm on vicodin but that won't last forever so LDN is something to try.
     
    Xandoff likes this.
  8. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Thank you for the information
     
  9. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    Yes, don't take with vicodin. LDN does help, but it's in small degree's. Everyone is so different. I have always said that it is one thing to accept and to manage this terrible disease that we all have. To deal with this disease and to be a part of the spectrum that has serious chronic pain on top is un-bearable. To face the wall that modern medicine has built to lock us out is even harder.

    Keep faith!
     

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