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Can PT help alleviate the pain in my Back?

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Hi there. I have two things going on with my back that have been around for about 4 years. They are both found below:

pain in my upper back exactly on the left side of the very top vertebrae that sticks out in the middle of my shoulders. I was doing shrugs with two 100lb dumbbells and I felt a pulling sensation and then burning right in that spot. Got better with time, but lately it has been killing me. This has been going on for 4 years. Every once in a while I move the wrong way and it hurts like hell. The pain radiates up into the left side of my neck and tends to become sore on the top left part of my shoulder. The pain originates from exactly on the left side of my vertebrae. I can actually trace my finger around the left side on the edge and that is where it hurts. Is this a muscle surrounding the vertebrae that I injured??? If I ice it the pain tends to go away, but wow it hurts.

The second injury was when I fell on butt when a table I was sitting on gave way and I hit the floor from about 4 feet in the air. I get muscle spasms on the left side of a vertebrae in the middle of my lower back. The pain seems to be between the top of my left hip bone in the back and my vertebrae and the general area swells up to where you can actually feel it. It dosen't seem to radiate anywhere, but it makes my lower back extremely weak and I cannot even bend over or straighten up without help. I had x-rays done last week and my primary said it was just muscle spasms, but this has been going on for a while.

Thanks for any advice you may offer. It makes doing any sort of physical exercise a risk as my back could go out at anytime. Are these injurys that can get better with rehab or will I always be plagued? Thanks.

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replied July 31st, 2006
Back Pain Answer A1274
It seems that the injuries you sustained are the root cause of your problems. After every injury of the spine, the reparation process creates connective tissue that may create pressure on the root of the spinal nerves. That pressure causes nerve pain rather than musclular pain. If an injury causes disturbance in the spine static, then the vertebral degeneration process can be stimulated. Imbalanced physical pressure stimulates degenerative changes on spinal structures (discs, vertebras and joints) that are exposed to greater physical pressure. These degenerative changes are manifested with discs herniations, osteofits, and spine wrenching (scoliosis, lordosis and kifosis). Vertebral muscles try to compensate imbalance with constant contraction (spasm) and relaxation of different groups of muscles. Constant muscle contraction (spasm) causes pain. Physical therapy is useful but I also recommend you consult a neurosurgeon.
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