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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I got MRI done that are negative, but still have back pain.

Customer Question

I got MRI done that are negative, but still have back pain.
what other tests can i do to try to diagnose this pack pain
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 8 months ago.
Do you have the MRI report because what may be negative might not be truly negative? Do you have pain shooting down into your legs or just lower back pain? Another test you can take is an EMG. Get back to me to discuss. Thanks. Dr. Frank
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

no pain in legs, this is upper back pain.

Here is a link to the actual report.

what does minor multi level disease mean?

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 8 months ago.

HI. Multi Level Disease means that your spine is aging, in mostly a normal fashion. What the radiologist is describing is changes to your vertebral bodies, the cylindrical part that goes between the vertebral discs. Because we stand, and we are getting older (you won't see this in a 8 year old ), our vertebral discs actually are thicker in the morning, and thinner in the evening. This wearing of the discs and increased pressure on the spine causes reactive change in the vertebral bodies. They are composed of upper and lower "end plates", cortical bone that is stronger than the cancellous bone inside. Those plates start to buckle and bend a little, with small indentations called Schmorl's nodes. That is what the radiologist is seeing, a little wearing of the vertebral bodies. It is normal, expected. I hope that answers your question, You can look up those terms on the web and see pictures of what I am describing. Get back to me if I can help, or rate my service if satisfied. Dr Frank

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

ok, but i do have pain on the thoracic and stuff like that, what other tests can i tell me doctor to do so I can try to pinpoint this.

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 8 months ago.

There are no great tests for looking at this problem. If you want, a neurologist will use his EMG to do a needle exam of your paraspinal muscles like erector spinae, which I bet are very active as they are in spasm, and contributing to the pain, OR, if you go to your chiropractor, he has a diagnostic ultrasound that looks at the interference patterns created by these muscles in spasm. That can be used to show your employer for example if you need a diagnostic test. But better is to go to a physical therapist and come up with a treatment program to fix the spasm and cure the resultant pain. A stretching program, and/or medications like muscle relaxants on the short term to help relieve spasm. I hope that helps. Dr Frank

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