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What would be the cause of upper back pain thorasic area

By Anonymous May 22, 2009 - 12:06pm
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I have been to Iraq for a 1 year tour, and 1 month prior to coming home I started having tightness and pain in my back, below the shoulder blades. Ihave had mris, xrays, blood work,bone scans. and they can't find anything.. The only abnormal finding was a 3mmnodule on my lung and my blood work showed a slightly elevated IGg. I stil have pain every day. Can you tell me what else I can do to find out what is causing this pain?

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Dear Anon, I echo SusanC's comments and thank you also for your service to this great country!

As a veteran myself and living with a veteran husband who has a Gulf-War related terminal condition, I would hesitate to tell you that everything is OK. I worry about the location of the symptom and also the nodule in your lung. You did not mention how long you have served in the military, but there is a report that links MANY health conditions to chemical exposure including chemicals used to spray the fabric of the uniforms. So my suggestion is that you consult with a doctor who can think "outside the box" and run some tests to identify possible toxic substances. Here is a great site that can get you started
http://www.gulfweb.org/ In addition, many PTSD symptoms can mimic physical conditions. I suggest you try sorting those out with the help of a psychologist who is trained on PTSD. The Department of Defense if spending millions of dollars on servicemen returning from Iraq and your local VA could be a good start for accessing some of the services DoD is paying for.

Here is a list of other resources for you to access:


I wish you the best.

May 22, 2009 - 9:34pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for your question and for your service to this country - we're glad you are home!

My question for you, based on all the testing that you have undergone that all came back as normal, is has the nodule on your lung been tested? Most nodules are harmless but some can indicate something more serious - are your doctors looking into this?

Also, have you considered that you may have nerve damage or muscle strain to your back?

What was your occupation during your service in Iraq? Were you in a situation where you could have damaged nerves or muscles in your back? Were you exposed to any chemicals, that you know of?

Please give us an update and if we cannot help you further, we will find an expert who can perhaps look at this a little more - we look forward to hearing from you!

May 22, 2009 - 12:55pm
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