Patient: I’m 26 years old and in good health. I recently had a full physical about 2 months ago (with blood work). I have always been into lifting weights and running. I lift weights 3 times per week and run 5 to 6 times per week, running about 5 to 7 miles each day. About a week ago I started noticing a dull pain in my upper right back, seeming to feel more annoying than anything. Not necessarily painful or all the time- it would just come and go. It has continued but has not gotten any worse. I seem to feel a dull pain in my upper right back as if I strained a muscle or pinched something ( I really don’t know). I also have a dull pain that comes and goes in my right rib cage and sometimes in my upper right chest. I’m not sure if this is all related but it starting to spook me. My upper neck seems to be a little sore, but I feel that is pretty common with everyday actions and since I work out. It does not hurt when I workout it is just a dull pain that I seem to notice a lot more when not working out. A lot of people tell me it is nothing, but I have never had this before. I fear it could be cancer or a tumor in my back etc. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Please help!
Symptoms: Dull back pain and issues stated above.
Doctor: Hello.Read and understood your history and concerns.Since you are having a the schedule of weight lifting and runni ng as per the schedule you have posted, it is possible that some of hte muscles in the area you have mentioned are getting sore and inflamed due to constantly getting no rest.Even though you can continue on the exercises , your history of annoying dull pain in the right upper back, which comes and goes away, without getting any worse, as if strained or pinched nerve, also present in right rib cage and right upper chest and soreness in the upper neck is suggestive of the soreness of the muscles as if strained during weight lifting.This present just for one week, hence I would advise you the following.-Stop the weight lifting and any such activity including running till you get asymptomatic. This is to make sure that the muscles regains normalcy. If you continue on, there is chance of the problems going into a chronic stage which becomes very difficult to get treated and cured.-Take an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or any medicine that suits you along with PPI like Omeprazole to avoid gastritis.-You may please apply local rubrafacient liniments that gives warmth and relaxation.- Consult an Orthopedic surgeon if this does not help you in a few days for examination and to see if there is any need of X-ray or MRI to rule out any problem with cervical spine or so on.- Stop worrying as stress and anxiety are known to increase muscle problems.I am sure this will help you to get a proper diagnosis and get a proper management to get cured. Stop all activities till this is done and you becomes free of your symptoms.
Comments / Follow Ups
Patient: I appreciate the response. So you don’t feel this is something life threatening? such as cancer or spinal cancer etc. I know that seems a bit out there, but I have never really experienced this before, besides muscle aches/pains that eventually went away. I have schedule an appointment at the local doctors office to be seen, but as far seeing an orthopedic doctor I have to be referred by my local physician to be seen by one. I live in Iowa and typically go to the university of Iowa. I know obviously by not examining a patient you cannot necessarily give a diagnosis, but you don’t think this could be life threatening? Do you think seeing a local physician is sufficient enough, or do I need to go further?
Doctor: Appreciate your proper thinking.
No, by the history and the age of yours, this does not look to life threatening in a broad sense.
Local Physician can certainly give a proper opinion and by a Direct interaction with you will definitely refer you to the Orthopedic Surgeon if he thinks it to be necessary.
It is always better to take the best opinion as it helps to clear your doubts, reduce your stress and you get the knowledge and you can certainly ask the Specialist the tips for proper ways of your exercises and weight lifting schedule.
All the best, relax and go for the proper examination and opinions.