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Old 04-20-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

Being a competitive dancer, last May I had a dance injury. I threw my partner overhead and caught her under her legs but was leaning too far forward. Between the shoulder blades, from the top down, my spine went * POP POP POP* about 5 times.

It ached afterwards and I iced but it really didn't seem so bad and I continued dancing through the weekend with little pain. A couple weeks later the pain got worse. I could do most of my regular activities but was sore all the time, and it hurt to sleep on my side. 3 weeks after the incident I went to a chiropractor.

He noted "Biomechanical joint dysfunction over the T3 and T5 vertebrae" between the shoulder blades. I had about 6 adjustments with him. After the 3rd I felt much better. After the 4th I felt bad again and never really returned to normal. He also noted that MORE vertebrae were having issues than when I came in. I couldn't trust it anymore and went to a doctor.

X-rays showed "normal" results.

Next was physical therapy. They were fantastic. 4 months there and I was feeling much better (but never perfect) and getting stronger.

I asked the physical therapists about getting an MRI but they said not to bother and that it wouldn't help (I never understood why).

Now, it's 1 year later and I'm still not fixed. It's not debilitating at all, but my spine aches all the time. Several friends can even still feel where the vertebrae are misaligned.

Please help! I'm so concerned - especially with professional dance aspirations. I'm only 26 and extremely active and healthy and I can't believe that this hasn't gone away yet. After seeing the chiropractor, doctor and physical therapist without results, I feel helpless and as if it will never go away. Furthermore, my insurance has switched and will no longer pay for this : (.

Perhaps somebody can advise on physical therapy or methods to do at home to realign the spine? It has to be realigned or it will only get worse. I'm extremely open to feedback and will take the time to do anything!

Thank you so much.

 
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #2
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

Welcome to the board. i'm sorry no one responded to you sooner. We don't get all that many thoracic issues so I guess no one knew quite to suggest to you.

One problem with injuries to the thoracic spine is that unless they are major, the treatment is almost often conservative in nature -- medications for pain and inflammation, physical therapy, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections, etc.

X-ray will show whether a bone has fractured but doesn't indicate damage to soft tissue, nerves and discs. MRI would be the way to rule out those possible injuries.

If you knew that you didn't have any issues that involved nerves and the spinal cord, you might want to look into some more alternative methods to work out the muscle issues --things that are more "hands on" -- do you work with a dance coach or some sort of instructor? If so, they might have suggestions for someone who might be able to help you. I'm not sure where to tell you to go but I went to a guy for a couple years who kept me in good structural alignment. He used acupuncture and principals of Chinese medicine and body work on me to keep my SI joints in place and to help me with my spinal instability. You could investigate something like rolfing which works with all the connective tissue and fascia connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body. But you'd need to know you don't have any nerve issues or spinal cord damage before trying some of these more unconventional treatments.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

@teteri66

Thanks for the response.

I'm definitely a fan of alternative methods. Indeed, getting the muscles to release may help. The muscles directly to the right of the spine in the T3/T5 area are quite tight now. I will look into acupuncture and rolfing.

More info that may be helpful:
- I believe that the misalignment of the vertebrae is forward towards the chest. I've been told that my thoracic region is too flat (not the normal S-curve) so it makes sense that the heavy load would have pushed the vertebrae forward. If anybody has advice for this specific situation I'd love to hear it!

Thank you.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

I think if something is out of position, they will try bracing to see if it helps.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

[QUOTE=teteri66;4966297]I think if something is out of position, they will try bracing to see if it helps.[/QUOTE]

Interesting. I've never heard of that. This is something a doctor do or somebody else or something I could do myself?

 
Old 04-23-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

As I think I mentioned, I have no personal experience with thoracic issues, but I would imagine it is something the doctor feels is necessary and he/she then prescribes it from a physical therapist. I reread your first entry and I don't see that you have been to a spine specialist. If that is correct, that might be a good idea. There may be something wrong that no one else has picked up on....

 
Old 04-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

[QUOTE=teteri66;4966455]As I think I mentioned, I have no personal experience with thoracic issues, but I would imagine it is something the doctor feels is necessary and he/she then prescribes it from a physical therapist. I reread your first entry and I don't see that you have been to a spine specialist. If that is correct, that might be a good idea. There may be something wrong that no one else has picked up on....[/QUOTE]

A spine specialist. Ok, sadly my insurance won't pay it but I'll look into. Thank you for your help.

Anybody else on this board with comments?

 
Old 04-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

Who will they pay for you to see?

 
Old 04-23-2012, 11:54 PM   #9
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

Will your insurance cover either a physiatrist or a sports medicine doctor?

You mentioned feeling some vertabrae out of position, but a previous x-ray was normal. Will your insurance cover a new x-ray to see whether your condition has changed?

If you have access to a trainer or physical therapist with kinesiotape, you might ask for taping. I hear the stuff works wonders!

 
Old 07-31-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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Re: How to fix my thoracic spinal injury? (T3 and T5) So worried!

There are a lot of different types of chiropractic adjustment. Some people use the tradition bend squeeze pop methods, newer methods they teach include actuator technique, which is very systematic. They have you wave your arms in various ways and check how your feet align after each movement. That way they can tell exactly which vertebra to adjust, which they do with a small tool called an actuator. It is a small tube with a steel marble that gives a small, exact amount of force.

Also there are network chiropractors who use techniques similar to acupressure in order to "teach" (or move) the muscles of the back so that they body realigns naturally.

There are many more techniques than this.

The important thing to understand is that not all techniques work well for all people, and for each technique some percent of people will actually be made worse. But most people do respond well to at least one form. So don't just go "to a chiropractor" and cross your fingers, find out which technique the provider you visited used, and then look for another provider using a different technique. For me a "traditional" chiropractor only gives me temporary relief, but network and actuator are both more effective.

 
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physical therapy, spinal chord injury, spine, thoracic disc, thoracic pain



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