Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Spine and Back Health

Defending my case of pain

12/03/2008

Question:

My understanding is that an MRI will define specific issues with your spine. I`ve been diagnosed with thoracic spine pain and some mild spondylosis in that same area t7-9. I suffer with severe pain if I`m on my feet very long or sit very long (greater than 45 min or so) I was working as an RN doing long shifts with minimal breaks...thats the majority of how we work. My back pain continued to get worse each day until I had to stop working. My MRI, of that area indicates, mild spondylosis. How do I defend the pain and how severe it feels and the level of my endurance. I know MRIs do not indicate pain or stiffness, etc... I`ve begun PT, because I do not want to do surgery again. I had an anterior cervical dysectomy, fusion at c5-6, and c6-7 this last June of 2008 and went back to work the end of September after completing 6 weeks of PT. PT told me that my back does not want to work all the at the same time. I`m in my third week now and my back has not stopped hurting since my last day of work. How can I best explain myself regarding an MRI reading of mild yet my pain is severe? I`ve asked my doctor and he says that MRIs don`t define pain so how do I defend this issue??? Can you help me?

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

For more information:

Go to the Spine and Back Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University