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Old 01-27-2005, 07:49 AM   #1
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stpatsangel HB User
Frustrated by thoracic back pain

I am new to this board. I have searched and dug and worried so now I come to you. I had to have a laminectomy at L2-L3 3 years ago because I had a severely ruptured disc. I thought all my back troubles were over. Wrong again. In early 2003 I started with midback pain that radiated around to my ribs in front. I went through a battery of tests to see if it was my gallbladder or anything else besides something wrong in my thoracic spine. I had MRI's, I had a mylogram(sp) and several xrays. All they said was wrong is that I have a bulging disc at T7-T8. I started seeing a PM doctor here in Houston and I continue to see her. I was referred to her by a spine surgeon because I feel like he really didn't want to bother with the problem. Well, here I am 2 years later still in just as much pain as ever and my PM doctor has sent me back to the spine surgeon. I went through the steroid injs. I have had a total of 12 injections into this particular disc. At first it seemed to help and now they don't. The pain is so bad right now that it is affecting my blood pressure. It was sky high over the weeken. I am only 34 and hopefully all this will be resolved eventually. I have been sent to the psychiatrist because the drs. have thought maybe I was crazy and they almost made me believe it. I am afraid I am fixing to lose my job because there are some day that I just can't get up and go. I am a mother to two wonderful young boys and they see everything I go through. It is very traumatic sometimes. I don't really know what I am hoping to get out of venting to everyone. Maybe some words of encouragement or something. I had been doing so well at dealing with the pain. There was a point at which I ate, slept and breathed my back pain. I am scared I might be getting back to that point.

 
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

There are currently two posts going about the thoracic area, look for "shoulder blade burning" and "mid to upper back".

I am living back pain right now, have been for the past 3 months & am so tired of it. Tired of the pain, tired of having NO life, tired of waking up to only this pain everyday.

Several people have posted that surgeons don't like to do surgery in that area, so most are living on pain pills. Looks like that is my fate too!

 
Old 01-28-2005, 12:10 AM   #3
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humptydumpty HB User
Unhappy Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

Hi stpatsangel and welcome to the board
I am with you on this one.As Lori said you might read the other threads she mentioned. I have problems with all 3 areas of my back. I have had fusion surgery done on one level of cervical spine. I have several buldging discs, DDD, and spondylosis. I have a herniated T8-T9 and a large bone spur on T9-T10. Also buldging discs and multilevel DDD in the thoracic region. I have a buldgeing disc at L5-S1 and multilevel DDD in the lumbar.I also have myofascial pain syndrome in all 3 areas.
I see a pain management doctor and right now I take 60mgs of methadone, 1200mgs of neurotin, and about 12-16mg of Zanaflex. I have applied for SSD but have not been approved as yet. Doc says the plan is when I am able to get medicare he wants me to look at an implant pump.
I have good days and bad days. Thank GOD for my loving wife who has to put up with me in this condition. If it weren't for her I don't know what may have happened on some of those really bad days.I can understand the depressing part of it too. I was a police officer, doing very well with three promotions in 7 years. I cried with the doctor told me I could never be a police officer again. I was doing that and two other side jobs when all this came to a head about a year ago. I have been on disability retirement with the police department since July 1, 2004. I will always remember that day.I went from a promising career I loved to "flat on my back".
Sitting at home watching reruns on the food network is not how I pictured myself. I still try to do a few things around the house. I walk with a cane at this time do to pain I have in my hip and right foot. I do tell myself it will get better and things could be alot worse. Sorry I picked your thread to vent a little but as you can see I am not a stranger to pain. I just wish I could arrest pain and throw him in jail for LIFE
I hope maybe this will help and may you have a better day
Bruce

 
Old 01-28-2005, 06:58 AM   #4
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Willis Earl HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

Yep me too...Starting to see more and more Thorasic friends here...
I'm 8 years ago lumbar surgery --6 years ago cervical--this year took out bone spurs in shoulder thinking that was the thorasic pain..nope--and last month took out the lumbar hardware --made the nerves and lower back feel better but the thorasic is wraparoundspasmknifestickinmulepain worse than ever and is what I was origanlly after in the beginning and its still there..
So if you want reality, listen to these people...the doctors are another story.
I dont know what to think them anymore...yes there are good and bad docs and I'll leave that alone about my docs..but on this thorasic game it seems to me most of them want committ their opinion or even get near it...some of these folks here that have been at this a while and have the best aproach to get the best help from which doc you need...I have been divorced by my doc last week and from here I believe I found another doc in my town that makes me have hope..(thanks Cookie)...anyway good luck to ya and welcome....
And please all THORASITES come forth..we need you opinions and help....
Willis

 
Old 01-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

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Last edited by Quietcook; 07-16-2005 at 02:58 PM.

 
Old 01-28-2005, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

How many have muscle spasms in the thoracic area? I never had them when my disc was herniated in the lumbar region, so this is all new to me (oh goody spasms)!!! Do you feel that a lot of your pain comes from the spasms? I am beginning to think a lot of my pain is from the spasms, if I can get myself to relax, the pain is less, also when I get up in the morning, after sleeping & not thinking about it (obviously relaxed) it's not that bad, but once I'm up & feel the slightest pain, seems my nerves kick in & the spasms start & it's a vicious circle from there on all day long.


Any tricks other than ice for relaxing the back. The pills don't do a whole lot for the spasms, as I also have panic attack & that sets off the spasms too.

 
Old 01-28-2005, 09:19 AM   #7
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

I hear ya, I feel the same way, my hubby just said, " I would just like one happy day...." I was like, me too, do you think I like feeling down, and crappy all the time?" I hurt all the time, my back hurts constantly, and it does make you feel crazy, like ..."ok, do I really feel bad, or not...is it all in my head" I know just how you feel.
I'm scheduled for surgery on my lumbar,m but just found out my thoracic and cervical is a mess too, I knew it hurt, but am sure they aren't gonna do surgery, so what does that mean...drugs? I don't want to be on drugs...the rest of my life, I can't go to work like this, I guess I will stay home with my kids, which is fine, but talk about depression, knowing I CAN'T go back to work, is killing me.
Hang in there.

 
Old 01-28-2005, 09:29 AM   #8
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

[QUOTE=cincigirl]I hear ya, I feel the same way, my hubby just said, " I would just like one happy day...." I was like, me too, do you think I like feeling down, and crappy all the time?" I hurt all the time, my back hurts constantly, and it does make you feel crazy, like ..."ok, do I really feel bad, or not...is it all in my head" I know just how you feel.
I'm scheduled for surgery on my lumbar,m but just found out my thoracic and cervical is a mess too, I knew it hurt, but am sure they aren't gonna do surgery, so what does that mean...drugs? I don't want to be on drugs...the rest of my life, I can't go to work like this, I guess I will stay home with my kids, which is fine, but talk about depression, knowing I CAN'T go back to work, is killing me.
Hang in there.[/QUOTE]

My husband is disgusted with me & my situation. Like you, I said to him "do you think I want to be like this????". I know it's hard for them to come home & see us this way & no improvement, but what do they think it's like for us, our lives have changed, we can't do much of anything.

I am wondering that too about my thoracic & cervical, I don't want to live on pain meds forever, but from reading others posts about that area, we may be doomed to that!

 
Old 01-28-2005, 09:34 AM   #9
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cincigirl HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

ya, today he asked me why I continue to go to this chiropractor because ever since I started going its just gotten worse. Itold him, I only get myofascial release done there, he doesn't even adjust me anymore cuz Im so sore. but the myo makes my back feel better! But I know its hard for them to understand when they aren't going through it

 
Old 01-28-2005, 09:53 AM   #10
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marbelmo HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

I too have chronic burning between the shoulder blades for over 8 years. Pain that starts around my left shoulder blade and often radiates up the neck and even around my rib cage. Believe me, I've tried everything, gotten all the tests and have been told it's myofascial pain. Recently my neck became incredibly stiff and painful and I evidently started having weakness, but no pain in my left tricep and grip. Did PT and traction, Had another MRI in the cervical area that evidently was normal but my PCP wants me to see a Neurosurgeon next week nonetheless. I have no idea what questions to ask and I really have no idea if this is thorasic or cervically originating. I understand how frustrating pain in this area can be because for me at least, it's constant and often debilitating, especially sitting at a desk. My PCP allows me 1 vicoprofen a day which takes the edge off in the late afternoons but I'd sure like to just eliminate the source of this crap. Chiropractors tell me my Thorasic spine is straight with no natural curve, whatever that means. Anyway, just thought I'd post instead of continue to just lurk and I wish everyone success with their own thorasic issues.

-Marc

 
Old 01-28-2005, 10:15 AM   #11
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Kayley HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

Add me to the Thoracic club too. I have a herniation at t-6 and t-7. It started out with pain wrapping around my chest wall. I've been to almost every neurosurgeon in town and I had a Spinal Stimulator implanted two years ago. At first it helped, but after the permanent implant, I woke up with all the stimulation going toward the left side, and I need it on my right side. So then the doctor implanted a larger lead. Soon after that, I had a series of three epidurals. At first, I felt better and thought I was on the road to recovery, but about a month later, I started having pain (and yes, spasms) in my upper back, between my shoulder blades. I did not have the back pain before the surgery and shots so I'm not sure which caused it. I consulted with a neurosurgeon who specializes in Thoracic surgery in Tucson, AZ. His name is Dr. Curtis Dickman. My insurance (HMO) even approved me to fly out there to see him. After corresponding with him through e-mails, I decided not to pursue the surgery because he told me although it is possible, but could not be guaranteed, that my disk could be fixed, which would help the wrap-around chest pain, he did not think he could do anything for my upper back pain. To me, the back pain is just as bad, so I decided it was not worth it. Dr. Dickman has a website if you would like to check it out. Good luck to all of you!
Kayley

Last edited by Kayley; 01-28-2005 at 10:25 AM.

 
Old 02-02-2005, 08:16 AM   #12
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Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

Hi. I am a new member to these boards. I am in the process of trying to find my diagnoses...I have been having pain in my left mid-back area (which also seems to go around to the front left under my rib area) since April, 2004. I have been to so many doctors and have had so many test...that all come back negative and showing that I am in good health!!! haha. In the beginning they said they thought I had Pleurisy, because it hurts everytime I breathe - but, after a few months they ruled that out. I don't hurt in my lung area, but somewhere deep inside. That's the hard thing... I can't pinpoint exactly where it hurts. It doesn't hurt when they touch or put pressure in that area. It just hurts inside when I do anything and nothing - when I breathe, move, sit, stand, lay down, all the time. It hurts worse and gets outta control if i do much during the day. If i basically do nothing (well, just a little housework and running my kids around) the pain meds I am on will work pretty good...but, add anything else to the mix and the pain is awful and constant.

I am waiting for the results of my full body bone scan which i had Monday...I'm sure I will hear that it was fine (which i know i should be grateful to hear and i am, really, it's just at this point i want to find out just what is causing the pain so i can do whatever to actually heal it!). I am so tired of just taking pain medicine - and am ready to work on healing the problem instead of just masking it, ya know!?

I'm sorry to just go on and on...I've never joined a group like this, but I think I need the company! and the support and advice

I have had many x-rays, CT scans with/without contrast and of a few areas, 3 MRI's, 2 EMG's, lots of blood workups, bone scan, chiropracter (which about killed me!), round of 3 epidurals, 2 facet blocks, many injections and meds which none provided any relief...

Thanks for listening to me! I'm glad to know there are people out there that understand what i'm going thru.

Have a happy day,
ann

 
Old 02-02-2005, 09:04 AM   #13
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marbelmo HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

Well, I saw a neurosurgeon yesterday and finally have somewhat of an explanation for my ongoing thorasic pain. Maybe someone here can also help clarify for me. He told me that my MRI showed disk "flattening" in the C-6 / c-7 area. He told me that a lot of people think their thorasic is the problem but that this area refers pain to the thorasic and even around the chest. My pain is also very similar to what "Burns" described on the left side. He said he wanted to do something called a Steroid nerve block injection the next time I have a major flair up. Has anyone had this done? and what does it entail?

Thanks so much for the support and info.

Best of luck with your backs,

Marc

 
Old 02-02-2005, 03:28 PM   #14
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lori j HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

[QUOTE=marbelmo]Well, I saw a neurosurgeon yesterday and finally have somewhat of an explanation for my ongoing thorasic pain. Maybe someone here can also help clarify for me. He told me that my MRI showed disk "flattening" in the C-6 / c-7 area. He told me that a lot of people think their thorasic is the problem but that this area refers pain to the thorasic and even around the chest. My pain is also very similar to what "Burns" described on the left side. He said he wanted to do something called a Steroid nerve block injection the next time I have a major flair up. Has anyone had this done? and what does it entail?

Thanks so much for the support and info.

Best of luck with your backs,

Marc[/QUOTE]

My pain is in the thoracic area too & they tell me I have 3 degenerated discs in the cervical area and the pain is from that, so sounds like your diagnosis is the same as mine. I have pain in mid back, wraps around to my armpit area, front & back, sometimes to the chest & even the sides of the abdomen when I have muscle spasms. Also, have had pain all the way down my arm.

 
Old 02-02-2005, 05:19 PM   #15
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mel1977 HB User
Re: Frustrated by thoracic back pain

My pain goes from my head to mid-chest line. I have cervical issues too-cervical spondylosis, loss of normal lordosis, c5-6 disc bulge and a pinched nerve. I sometimes wonder if I could have any thorasic problems, but from what I have read regarding any treatment from the Tspine up, I don't even want to know. I am going to try some neurontin and arthritis meds to help with all that. THey also say surgery for my condition is of little help, and I don't want it anyway. I just need the pain to go away so I can function upright!

 
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