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Old 03-10-2010, 04:08 PM   #1
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Unhappy T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

Last week (Wed 3/3) I woke up with what seemed like an innocent knot on my back between my shoulder blade and spine on my left side. My DH tried to rub it out but didn't really work.
The next day (3/4) the knot got worse and he used firm pressure. Still didn't work.
Friday (3/5) I went to chiropractor and got an adjustment. It help for 30 minutes and the pain was back.
Sat (3/6) I got an hour long back massage from a pro, STILL didn't work.
Sun (3/7) the knot changed to a spinal pain, no tingling, numbness on my hands though. The pain feels like muscle spasms, the pain doesn't really radiate except to the middle of my back with a sore, almost burning pain.
Mon (3/8) I went back to chiro and was pain free for 3 hours! But it eventually came back.
Tues 3/9 I took Advil 800mg and it helped for the first time all week! But 6 hours later it came back.

Now today (Wed) the Advil has not worked at all, I've tried Aleve couple days back with no relief.

My pain goes away when I lay down, and I've tried to stay in bed all day, but it's hard to do when you have kids.

Can anyone help? Should I see the chiro again or go to the MD? I know and Xray should be taken but what will the MD do except prescribe pain pills, which I'd rather not do. I want to FIX the problem, not tolerate it.

BTW, I exercise 3 times a week, and I don't remember hurting myself during my work outs. They're not that strenuous.

 
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

[COLOR="Navy"]Personally, I think it's time to go to the doctor. I don't have a lot of faith in chiros. Seeing he hasn't been able to fix it, I think you need to see a doctor and find out what is acting up. You may just need a good muslce relaxer and to lay low for awhile, or it might be something else. Your doctor will be able to determine it.

My philosopy has always been that if you are still hurting after a week-it's time to see someone else about it. And before you can fix the problem, you need to find out what it is...and drugs aren't always the answer, but youn't know til you go...[/COLOR]

Last edited by ibake&pray; 03-11-2010 at 08:24 AM.

 
Old 03-13-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

Have you had a previous thoracic MRI and that is why you said these T levels? This location of pain can be coming from your neck. Have you had any arm symptoms?

 
Old 03-18-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

The chiro said it was the area of T3-5. It was never confirmed by xray or MRI or CT.

On monday (3/15) I went to my MD. He said it wasn't bone related but soft tissue damage. Most likely muscle. He didn't do any xray or other tests.
He prescirbed Vicodin, Soma (muscle relaxer) and lots of rest no heavy lifting.

I'm on my back most of the day, but need to get up to do things. If I don't take any meds I can tolerate about an hour of being up, but need to lay back down to relieve the pain (mostly spasms, and burning pain down my arm). I try not to take pain pills or the soma, they work but I'm afraid that I'll end up doing something I shouldn't because the pain is not there.

There is some arm involvment, I get burning ache pain on my left arm (under side) down to my elbow. The MD thinks the muscle is swollen and it pinches/irritates the nerve, and because it's not constant it's not a pinched nerve from my vertebra.

How do I prevent scar tissue from forming? Does anyone know? The doc said that if scar tissue forms I'll most likely have the same injury to the area later on from a simple move.

I've been putting heat on the area. I went to the acupuncturist yesterday and they gave me some magnesium glycinate (natural muscle relaxer?) which seems to help. I do back to acupuncture tomorrow.

My main fear is that 1) the pain will never go away and 2) scar tissue will form and I'll have to endure this again later in life.

Anyone with similar experiences? or advice? Should I seek physical therapy or do you think it'll heal fine on it's own?

 
Old 03-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

[COLOR="Navy"]I wouldn't start on therapy. Your doctor told you to rest-and that is what is needed if this is tissue damage. The other thing is that you would probably benefit by taking the meds. It gives your body a chance to work on healing without pain. Without the meds it's fighting healing and pain at the same time... You do need to rest it and see if that doesn't help in the near term...[/COLOR]

 
Old 04-10-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

OK, I'm still in pain
My initial visit with the MD suggested physical therapy if I wanted it. I tried accupuncture which seemed to help for about 2 weeks but it wasn't getting any better.

BTW, I also tried rest and pain meds. but I don't know how much rest I'm gonna need! It's been about 3 weeks of not working!

I started physical therapy last week and she said it's more than a bad muscle strain, my rib is also a problem. It's apparently not attached to the spine correctly and therefore pulling on some muscles.

I can't quite tell if PT is helping or not. But I did notice that as long as I'm not in a car (either driving or riding) I'm fine. I even did some light gardening the other day and was pain free all day without ANY meds! Then today I drove and within 10 minutes I was in pain!
What now?
The doctor said if I wanted a cortisone shot he'd give me one. I'm thinking about it since I have to drive about 3-4 hours this next week! Oh I can almost feel the pain already!

 
Old 04-10-2010, 01:47 AM   #7
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

[QUOTE=ibake&pray;4207318][COLOR="Navy"]I wouldn't start on therapy. Your doctor told you to rest-and that is what is needed if this is tissue damage. The other thing is that you would probably benefit by taking the meds. It gives your body a chance to work on healing without pain. Without the meds it's fighting healing and pain at the same time... You do need to rest it and see if that doesn't help in the near term...[/COLOR][/QUOTE]
Sounds like it possibly may be myofascial damage, which is a soft tissue injury. I'm reasoning this because of the relief you experienced from the subluxation adjustments by the chiropractor.

I have myofascial damage as well and DNFT chiropratic helped me the twice I had sessions.

Here is the premise of myofascial damage. The fascia is the sleeve of connective tissue that connects the muscles to the dermis and basically holds the muscle in place aside from its tendon attachment to the bones at the origin and insertion. If the fascia becomes torn then the only support the muscle has is the tendons so it responds by being in a constant state of contraction trying to align itself. Problem is all the muscles are contracting independently not in harmony, so that results in the subluxation.

When you lay down your muscles don't have to support themselves. The spasms you are experiencing is basically a fight between the muscles, each one thinking it knows best how to align itself. I've had similar spasms... one day my back started spasming and I had to lay on the grass for 30 mins until they subsided. I took my shirt off to use as a pillow and they described the spasms as if my back was rippling in waves.

I'd suggest you get a referral to a pain management specialist with experience with Myofascial Pain Syndrome. They can test and provide a more accurate diagnosis. My GP and 2 back specialists misdiagnosed my condition, and the physical therapy they prescribed "set back my recovery possibly by years" according to the PM specialists.

Now after countless Trigger Point Injections between 12-28 per session, 9 Basal Branch Blocks, and 4 Radio Frequency Ablations, I'm at the point where I can attempt the proper Physical Therapy that won't tear my Myofascia further.

Hopefully you'll get an accurate diagnosis and be able to recover from this quickly.

~Myo

 
Old 04-13-2010, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

Thanks to everyone who has responded
I had a CT with contrast today and the result was....... (drumroll please).......
.
.
Nothing!!!

The radiologist said everything looked fine. Then why am I still in pain???

My MD made a guess this morning (before the CT appt). He thinks that the surgery that I had some 30 years ago (I had a patent ductus arteriosus surgery when I was 4 yo and there is a huge scar from my left lateral chest under my left breast wrapped around up to the mid back up to T2 area- it basically looks like a thoracotomy scar if you know what that looks like) and the MD's guess is that during the surgery they cut through the muscle to get to the heart and scar tissue developed during the dealing process. When I injured it pulled and tore on the scar tissue.
Hey, that guess is as good as all the other guesses I've had so far. I'm going in for a cortisone shot tomorrow because on Thursday (in two days) I have to drive about 3-4 hrs and that's when it hurts the most- driving.

Wouldn't a CT show scar tissue damage if there were any?

I know all this discomfort is not in my head

 
Old 04-13-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

[QUOTE=pinkie1;4225136]Thanks to everyone who has responded
I had a CT with contrast today and the result was....... (drumroll please).......
.
.
Nothing!!!

The radiologist said everything looked fine. Then why am I still in pain???

My MD made a guess this morning (before the CT appt). He thinks that the surgery that I had some 30 years ago (I had a patent ductus arteriosus surgery when I was 4 yo and there is a huge scar from my left lateral chest under my left breast wrapped around up to the mid back up to T2 area- it basically looks like a thoracotomy scar if you know what that looks like) and the MD's guess is that during the surgery they cut through the muscle to get to the heart and scar tissue developed during the dealing process. When I injured it pulled and tore on the scar tissue.
Hey, that guess is as good as all the other guesses I've had so far. I'm going in for a cortisone shot tomorrow because on Thursday (in two days) I have to drive about 3-4 hrs and that's when it hurts the most- driving.

Wouldn't a CT show scar tissue damage if there were any?

I know all this discomfort is not in my head[/QUOTE]

Did they test you for tender and/or trigger points?

Your body will react of its own accord if you have either and tender point are symptomatic of fibromyalgia while trigger points are symptomatic of Myofasical pain syndrome..

Both are soft tissue injuries ansd wouldn't necessarily show up in an MRI... if they can find an agent that binds to scar tissue then a contrast CT might show it, though as far as I know there isn't any contrast material for scar tissue. In my experience contrast CT's are mostly used for abnormal growths ie tumors both benign and cancerous. Or to see if other organs aren't functioning properly or to find small vascular bleeds that blend in due to their smallness but can be seen with contrast material... Basically it makes certain proteins and cells glow more brightly.

But if you have a soft tissue injury the only way they are going to be able to see it short of opening you up is seeing how your body responds. If you tear your ACL or MCL then your knee will bend in ways its not supposed to. Scar tissue can be detected sometimes with sonograms. Scar tissue is more dense so it reflects the sound waves differently than tissue that is absent of granulates.

But a tear or strain of soft tissue... to my best knowledge there is no scan that will show it short of a laproscopic incision, where they basically make a small incision and look around internally with fiber optics. Even then they are pretty much limited to examing tendons and ligaments. To see a deep muscle tear they would have to cut into the muscle and the fascia is such a broad sheath of connective tissue, to my best knowledge, they can only find damage by poking you all over and seeing where your body reacts to the pokes.

~Myo

Last edited by Myofascial Pain; 04-13-2010 at 08:10 PM. Reason: addendum

 
Old 06-07-2010, 01:24 AM   #10
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Re: T3,4,5 unrelieving pain- what to do next???

Lots of chiropractors will say its Thoracic Outlet syndrome, but you need to look in to Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I have it, as well as Fibromyalgia, and I have similar symptoms. Go to www.myofascialtherapy.org and check out their symptom checker. You may see a lot of symptoms in doing research that you never knew were connected. Good luck!

 
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