Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Cervicothoracic Interspinous Bursitis

Cervicothoracic Interspinous Bursitis
Cervicothoracic Interspinous Bursitis

Cervicothoracic interspinous bursitis is a painful condition of the ligaments that join the vertebral bodies in the upper spine.  The pain is located in the midline of the back and does not radiate to the arms or legs.  It is constant, dull and aching.  The pain is relieved by leaning forward.  The condition occurs after overuse and commonly occurs after prolonged activities involved in looking upward, such as painting or working on the ceiling.  On examination, there are no neurological deficits.  However, an MRI of the spine would be useful to exclude other pathological causes of pain.  Laboratory testing can also exclude conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and other inflammatory arthropathies.  Initial treatment includes conservative modalities such as heat, ice, physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  Injection into the bursa with a dilute solution of a local anesthetic and a steroid can be both diagnostic and therapeutic.

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