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Old 08-20-2004, 03:14 AM   #1
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Question Thoracic Sprain?

I hurt my back at work 2 months ago. My doctor diagnosed it as a thoracic sprain or strain. I am still in sooo much pain. It hurts just to walk let alone climb stairs, bend to pick something up, or pull a door open or even to hold a litre of apple juice. I was sent for X-rays right after I hurt myself and they showed no damage to the bone structure. Does this sound right or could it be something more than just a sprain or strain? I can't sleep at night because I can't get comfortable. When I do sleep I get a couple of hours and then I wake up in pain. I now have pain in almost every area of my back but mostly the right side. I also have weakness in my right side arm and leg. I have been trying to do more because they said it is the only way to heal but still find that after being on my feet for a couple of hours the pain is so bad that I have to lay down for a bit. WCB is forcing me to go back to work. I have already been off for 2 weeks with no pay because they feel I should be healed already but I am still in sooo much pain. Is this what a thoracic sprain or strain feels like? If so, does anyone know how long it will take to heal. Does anyone know a way to help with the pain and healing process? Even a little bit of relief would be great. Thanks for listening to me complain, I feel like it's all I do lately and I am even starting to annoy myself.

 
Old 08-20-2004, 04:16 AM   #2
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

it sounds more like a herniated disc than a sprain,just my opinion.You would need to have an MRI to confirm it.Is there any way you could get an MRI done?This would,at the very least, rule this out or in as the culprit.Marcia
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:45 AM   #3
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

Hey Marcia, I don't even know what a herniated disc is, (sounds painful), but I will ask about the MRI tomorrow when I go to see my doctor. Hopefully he will do something or else I might have to look for another doctor. He has been my doctor for 11 years and that would be sad but he hasn't done anything except for literally look at my back and send me to massage and for X-rays and prescribe Bextra and a sleeping pill. WCB says the only thing he wrote in the report was that I complain of back pain, and they need him to tell them some kind of measurable disability or limitations I have. The Bextra doesn't take the pain away but it does lessen it to a degree. I know this because I stopped taking it to see if it was actually making a difference. It does but not enough. The sleeping pill helps but I don't take it very often because I know that they are very addictive and that scares me. I only take them when I have gone for 3 or 4 days of very little sleep. Thanks for the idea of the MRI, take care.

 
Old 08-22-2004, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

So, I went to my doctor appt. and he said that now I have chronic pain. I'm not quite sure what that means but he says I am worse than when I first got injured.

He said I am to return to work on Monday but I will be on light duties and will only be doing 3-4 hr. shifts. I asked about the MRI and he said he doesn't think I need to have one. He said I might have to do Rehab at a gym 3-4 hrs. a day, but he wants to see how I do without that first.

So I phoned my store and told them I would be in on Monday for 3 or 4 hours so they made sure to put me on the schedule but then I got a call from Human Resources, Head Office telling me I am not to report to my store but instead to report to another store, because they already have a manager in my store and they don't want me to go in and disrupt my store. I don't know if it is okay for them to do that or not. because I don't think they should keep me out of my store. I think I should be allowed to go back to my store to do my light duties and shortened shifts. They also said they were not happy because I did not keep in contact with my supervisor while I have been off. I do not know why I should have to keep in contact with her. I sent her all doctor's notes and left messages on her voice mail after my doctors appointments letting her know I was not yet able to return to work. I have been in contact with some of my staff members so I know what is going on in the store. So why do I have to talk to my supervisor while I am off with an injury. What did I need to talk to her about? I don't know. I think they are trying to get rid of me now and I am not sure what to do. I was so happy that I was able to try the shortened hours and light duties so I could go back to work but now I don't feel happy at all about going back because of how they are reacting to my return. I'm all stressed out and I am not even back until tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas or advice?

 
Old 08-23-2004, 01:56 AM   #5
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

It does sound like a herniated disc, xrays won't show that. I had that just over 4 years ago & I tried many things, the one thing that did work was physical therapy, the McKenzie method. So far, still no surgery & I keep up my exercises to this day & no pain either. There are many things you can try & surgery should be a last option. Get to a doctor who specializes in backs, not your GP. Like I said, a herniated disc will NOT show up on an xray.

 
Old 08-23-2004, 02:34 AM   #6
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

[QUOTE=lori j]It does sound like a herniated disc, xrays won't show that. I had that just over 4 years ago & I tried many things, the one thing that did work was physical therapy, the McKenzie method. So far, still no surgery & I keep up my exercises to this day & no pain either. There are many things you can try & surgery should be a last option. Get to a doctor who specializes in backs, not your GP. Like I said, a herniated disc will NOT show up on an xray.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Lori, I am going to ask to see a specialist. I am pretty psyched about the Rehab thing. I think it will be so good for me. Not just for my back but on the whole.

I just want to feel better. I feel like the past two months have been a lost. I am always in pain and am not a happy person. I am so angry with myself too because I have missed out on so much this summer all because of a 2 second move the wrong way thing. If I could take those 2 seconds back I would because now it seems like I am going to lose my job too.

I am all for surgery being a last resort. I don't even want to think about that.

I am so happy that you are pain free. It's nice to know that it can happen. Most times you only hear about how it ends up being a life long thing. I am tired of living the life of not living if you know what I mean. I want my body back.

Stay healthy and take care.

 
Old 08-23-2004, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

Okay, so I've had an incredibly crummy day. It's very sad that I come on here feeling so sorry for myself and find out so many of you have had worse days. My heart goes out to you all. I can't even complain now that I 've read some of the threads today. God Bless You All!

 
Old 08-23-2004, 10:12 PM   #8
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

GO TO another doctor FAST. Do not start any kind of gym rehab til you know what the so-called "chronic pain" is FROM! Sheesh, what kind of doctor would say that, he is leaving himself open for a huge lawsuit imo. If you have a herniated disc & go to a gym & do exercises you could injure it more. Please seek another opinion. How does your doctor know you don't need an MRI? Of course you have chronic pain, but from WHAT? I had chronic pain too, but there was a reason, a cause. This does not sound like anything like a sprain. I can only give you my opinion, but I hope you do not start any kind of exercises til you find out what is causing the pain. The only exercises I would do would be from a good Physical Therapist, they know what will hurt you & what will not. Let me know what is going on, this is more serious than your doctor is taking it. Don't take the chance of injuring your back more or you will end up with surgery. lori

 
Old 08-24-2004, 12:24 PM   #9
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

i was supposed to start back to work today and i just couldn't do it. my back has been spasming all night. i finally got to sleep about 5:30 this morning and woke up with it still doing it at 9 and at 10. now i have to wait for my ice pack to get cold again. i'm sure lots of you can relate. i'm having sharp pains in the middle of my back and in my left shoulder blade, and spasm action along with sharp pain in my lower right side and lower mid back and glutes.

yesterday was an incredibly stressful day as i was told i would not be compensated from wcb for my lost time and that they had closed my claim. i think that is probably what tensed me up so much. i phoned in sick about 5 a.m. and was going to go see my doctor but i can't even seem to be able to do that, so i think i will call in sick tomorrow too and try to go see my doc then. i just need a day to pull myself back together (somewhat)(i hope).

i plan to ask my doc about physio tomorrow. i know of a good one that helped my husband after a car accident years ago so i will ask to see them. don't worry lori, i couldn't possibly even think about the gym right now. i just wish i could. thanks so much for your concern.

i wish you all a pain free day (or even an hour or two). take care all.

 
Old 08-27-2004, 01:57 AM   #10
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Smile Re: Thoracic Sprain?

Update:

Went to the doctor today and got a referral for Physio. Yay. Been in a lot of pain for the last few days so he upped my dosage on bextra, serax, and prozac. He said he will not prescribe me any tylenol 3 because it can make some people depressed. Never heard of that before. I told him that if I happen to seem depressed it might be because I have lost my ability to function as I am used to and without pain, or because I was cut off of WCB and have no income, or something like that. It's not because I took a few Tylenol 3 to help ease my pain. Not that I want to take them, but I would be more concerned about them causing constipation than depression, ya know. I'm happy about going to physio, because even if I can't function like before I am more than ready for them to teach me how I can function now. Anyhow, I wish you all the best for a pain free day

 
Old 08-27-2004, 11:18 PM   #11
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

Greyblur
I know how it is to have severe mid and upper back pain and workers comp wants you to return to work. I had experienced a concussion and whiplash on the job a couple of years ago. I then went to a chiropractor 2 to 3 times per week, whom forcefully adjusted my back to the point that I was in severe pain.

After a year and a half of dealing with an unscrupulous adjuster I finally just discontinued my workers comp on my own and just recently have been treated by my private insurance.

You mentioned that you think that your employer is trying to get rid of you, which is probably right. I spoke with an attorney whom said that over 90% of his clients that file a claim end up getting fired.

With my employer, even though I was quickly promoted to supervisor and given a 25% raise, I knew my boss was going to fire me as soon as I returned to work. The reason why I knew he was going to fire me was that after I was off for a while he sent me a letter stating that I would be evaluated to see if I would come off probation. However no other employees were ever on probation. He just invented it to have a reason to fire me.

I realize that this post is a little off the subject, yet sometimes knowing that someone else is enduring the same trial in life helps.
Keep on Praying. BigTex

 
Old 08-28-2004, 12:08 AM   #12
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

[QUOTE=BigTex]Greyblur
I know how it is to have severe mid and upper back pain and workers comp wants you to return to work. I had experienced a concussion and whiplash on the job a couple of years ago. I then went to a chiropractor 2 to 3 times per week, whom forcefully adjusted my back to the point that I was in severe pain.

After a year and a half of dealing with an unscrupulous adjuster I finally just discontinued my workers comp on my own and just recently have been treated by my private insurance.

You mentioned that you think that your employer is trying to get rid of you, which is probably right. I spoke with an attorney whom said that over 90% of his clients that file a claim end up getting fired.

With my employer, even though I was quickly promoted to supervisor and given a 25% raise, I knew my boss was going to fire me as soon as I returned to work. The reason why I knew he was going to fire me was that after I was off for a while he sent me a letter stating that I would be evaluated to see if I would come off probation. However no other employees were ever on probation. He just invented it to have a reason to fire me.

I realize that this post is a little off the subject, yet sometimes knowing that someone else is enduring the same trial in life helps.
Keep on Praying. BigTex[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your support BigTex. I do appreciate it. My doctor has me off now until the beginning of October so I am sure that my employer is peeved about that, but I'm pretty sure it just doesn't matter anymore. My gut tells me that they are going to get rid of me so right now I just need to concentrate on getting better so I will be able to look for a new job. I am sorry to hear about your situation too. I will say a prayer for you. Good luck and stay strong. Greyblur

 
Old 08-28-2004, 11:27 PM   #13
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Re: Thoracic Sprain?

greyblur, I am so glad you got into PT, let me know how you are doing & do not lose hope. It took a full 4 weeks of PT just to get my back out of spasms. I was in horrible pain & could not even sleep, there was no position that I wasn't in pain. Finally after 4 weeks of PT, my therapist said she was seeing improvement. I actually had a day without pain for a few minutes here & there. When I first went to PT they showed me a few exercises to do, I said "WHAT"? I cannot do any of them, I'm in too much pain. They explained that the nerve that was impinged from my disc was tight, that the exercising was what would help. They were right, I was wrong. We tend to baby our backs when we are in pain. Before I sought PT, I laid in bed for almost 3 months with heat & ice & it got me nowhere. I had pain meds that made me vomit in the middle of the nite, I had injections that did not help the pain, the only thing that helped was PT and that was 5 years ago, I still do the exercises & have a pretty normal life back. Of course I cannot lift a 50 lb bag of potting soil, now that would definitely pull that disc out, but I can function very normally, just have to wait for hubby to do heavy lifting things for me. It sure beats surgery that they cannot guarantee. Let me know how you are doing in PT. Like I said, don't expect miracles the first week or even month, I had a real positive, motivating therapist & without her I was ready to give up. I'm glad I didnt'.

 
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