Wednesday, September 5, 2007

From intensified nerve pains during MRI procedure

Finally, today is the day when I got the MRI on my Thoracic spine done.

And, again, the nerve pains got intensified like what happened the last two times when the test was done on my cervical spine and the lumbar area.

I figure that such occurrences must have something to do with the pains I experience when in automobiles, for instance, cars and buses with the engine on, be it moving or not, along my spine. It might also share the same mechanism when the pains were much severe and when cars playing loud music on the street 6 floors down could actually trigger the radiating pains at the major pain spots.

When I complained about the intensified pains and their association to MRI, I, of course, got the Ratprincess class of response…. (gotta be me crazy in the head lol :-O)

Being sort of annoyed by how hypochondria is often used to interpret my congenital right to know why things are happening etc, I did quite a bit of googling to see whether there are other people with similar complaint.

Then, I found this posted by someone else…

Expert: Alain Ortiz Date: 4/5/2007 Subject: pain during MRI
Question I was diagnosed with tendinitis (wrist) nearly two years ago and it has not gotten better, so they did a MRI to make sure it wasn't something else. the MRI caused me INTENSE PAIN. I have asked four of my doctors why that could have happened and they didn't know (although one told me a story of a coworkers husband whose wrist had spontaneously caught fire during his MRI) do you know of any reason the mri would have hurt so bad???

The only thing this posting proves is that, somewhere out there, someone had similar experiences… or, as you might say, share the same craziness. lol

Googling a bit more, I came across two other articles that sort of looked patients experiencing intensified pains during the MRI scan. For both articles started with the assumptions that anxiety and still position are the major contributing factors to the painful phenomenon although they did have a limitation section acknowledging that there might be factors otherwise not classified.

Then, my anti-psychosomatic mental model led me to this thought….

So this is why they say it is me crazy in my head--- grounded in scientifically based research studies with psychogenetic factors as the underlying assumption despite the fact that there might still be a lot more for us to learn about what strong magnetic field, such as that produced by the MRI procedure, could really do to the body.

Sonography and MRI of the Shoulder: Comparison of Patient Satisfaction
William D. Middleton1, William T. Payne1, Sharlene A. Teefey1, Charles F. Hildebolt1, David A. Rubin1 and Ken Yamaguchi2 1 Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 510 S Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110.2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63130. OBJECTIVE. MRI and sonography are both used to evaluate patients with painful shoulders. This study was conducted to compare patients' perceptions and satisfaction with both tests.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. One hundred eighteen patients with shoulder pain and a clinically suspected rotator cuff tear underwent both MRI and sonography and filled out satisfaction surveys after both tests. Patients were asked the following questions: Did the test cause pain? If it did, they were asked to grade the pain on a scale of 1–10 (1, minimal pain; 10, severe pain). Did the test take too long? Would they be willing to undergo the test again? How would they grade their overall satisfaction with the test (1, poor; 2, fair; 3, good; 4, very good; and 5, excellent)? Which test did they prefer if both were equally accurate?
RESULTS. Sonography caused pain above the baseline in 39 patients, with an average pain score (mean ± SD) of 5.4 ± 2.3, and MRI caused pain above the baseline in 40 patients, with an average pain score of 6.1 ± 2.7 (p = 0.36). Two patients thought the sonography examination took too long, and 28 patients though the MRI examination was too long (p < p =" 0.002).">

I decided to, then, switch to key words to pain and strong magnetic fields--- only to encounter a study that found strong magnetic fields did intensify phantom limb pains in amputees…
OK… after all these, we are back to imaginary pains with physical basis--- (I never say that I am not crazy… remember)

Phantom limb pain induced in amputee by strong magnetic fields
William T. C. Yuh, MD, MSEE 1 *, David J. Fisher, PhD 1, Richard K. Shields, MA, PT 2, James C. Ehrhardt, PhD 1, Frank G. Shellock, PhD 3 1Department of Radiology, University of lowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 522422Department of Physical Therapy, University of lowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 522423Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles *Correspondence to William T. C. Yuh, Department of Radiology, University of lowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 52242 setDOI("ADOI=10.1002/jmri.1880020216") Keywords Biological effects • Neuroma, 42.369 • Safety

Abstract An amputee (traumatic) experienced increased phantom limb pain when exposed to the magnetic fields of two magnetic resonance imagers. With a visual analog scale used to measure pain, electric stimulation studies demonstrated that the residual limb was unusually sensitive to subthreshold (for muscle twitch) levels of current. The painful symptoms produced mimicked those experienced in the presence of the imagers.

To end my day’s journey, I used the key words vibration and pain…. and came across this thing called Dorsal Horn Reorganization…

Dorsal Horn Reorganisation - after a nerve injury, the central connections for each sensory modality (light touch, pain, vibration, temperature) unplug like a telephone exchange, and become reconnected to the wrong socket. Thus light touch and temperature modalities become painful.

Is this what is happening to me in addition to psychosomatization? Wouldn’t it be better if the sensory called pain could be interpreted as soothing comfort? And, would biofeedback make such a neurological misconnection a feasible option? :-O lol

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