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Old 09-12-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
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What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Hi All,

It's been a very long time since I've checked in. I am 58 with very bad DEXA scores from a few years ago. I decided that fear was fueling a depression that was eating away at my bones and soul so I've avoided the latest DEXA.

A month ago I came down with a very bad virus which went to my chest and caused bronchitis and asthma. It has been several weeks of very violent coughing and inhalers and meds have not helped. Menthol cough drops have been the only relief although limited. I also have extreme chemical sensitivities due to systemic mastocytosis that have been much worse with all of this. I've been avoiding the incompetent doctors because I refuse to go on steroids.... my bones are bad enough.

Yesterday was the first day that my awful cough seemed much better. Then, I was checking out with groceries and the cashier reeked of cigarette smoke which is always an issue for me. I started coughing so violently and gagging. It was hell and everyone in the store was staring at me but not one person came to help at all. I somehow got out of the store, though still coughing my guts out when I felt a pop and pain in my mid back just below my ribs. It was not excruciating but did not feel good. Today I've been laying down all day and I still feel a weirdness at the vertabrae and a band-like feeling across my back at the same level.

Does this sound like a pulled muscle or a break? I'm more fearful of going to the medical people in this area than doing nothing at all.

I would like to hear of other people's experiences fracturing during coughing. What did it feel like? And I know that it can run a very wide gamut of sensations....

 
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Hi Podiecat, sorry to hear that you have been feeling so bad for so long. Also, sorry that the people at the store didn't help you at all. Most of all i just wanted to say hello. I don't know if coughing can cause spine fractures, but i do have a friend who cracked a rib coughing. Could the popping you heard been a rib? If it doesn't get better it may be a good idea to see a doctor even if you are not comfortable doing so. Please let us know how you are doing. take care...phyllis
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Hi Phylwill,
Sorry it's taken so long to reply. So good to see your reply!

I've spent much of the last several days sleeping. The cough is not totally gone but it is finally better, thanks to menthol cough drops. They may rot out my teeth but they calm the cough more than the inhalers and meds that do nothing.

I went to my kinesiologist/chiropractor yesterday. She has been the one medical practitioner that has not done damage because she understands the many parts of the body all work together. Holistic, like conventional medicine usually is not. She does not use 'cracking' chiropractic methods ever. She unfortunately thought that it could very well be compression fractures in my spine from the coughing. She was going to try to talk with my not so great PCP to get an xray done but said even if it is compression fractures from my osteoporosis and coughing there is nothing to be done. The domino effect is a scary thought though. I'm still hoping it's a pulled muscle but probably is not. It could be a disc issue but she could not feel anything obvious like that.

What does it feel like? Weird.... There is not intense pain. There is discomfort, more when laying down flat compared to leaning against an angled support. There is a bulls-eye type of pressure and foreboding in the direct spot and it spreads horizontally out to the sides in a line. Twisting at all does not feel right. Even wiping my but is a challenge and fear of making it worse.

Sorry to be so graphic but I'm still curious about others who have had compression fractures. What did it feel like? What did you do for it? How long until it felt 'safe'? How did it feel different from a bulging disc or other issue?

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:51 AM   #4
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Smile Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Sorry to hear all that you are going through. I can only tell you what I have been through and what has worked for me. I am 61. Had a compression fracture of T 12 while I was doing a simple procedure at my job in 2009. That feeling you talk about like a "band" around you is very familiar. Some people don't experience allot of pain while others do. I was in allot of pain. Went to the Dr. the next day. X-rays didn't show anything. Two weeks later and the pain was still there, the Dr. did an MRI, and it showed the compression fracture. Few days later I went to the hospital and they did a procedure called "Kyphoplasty". You can do a search on it, but basically they inject a cement like substance into the vertebrae. Shortly after I had it done I started feeling better. I found out after that I had Osteopenia. I've had a lower lumbar fusion and a neck surgery since then, but not related to the T 12 fracture, so I have allot of other pain, but I can say that the Kyphoplasty took care of that uncomfortable feeling and the pain.

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:06 AM   #5
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Precious55 View Post
Sorry to hear all that you are going through. I can only tell you what I have been through and what has worked for me. I am 61. Had a compression fracture of T 12 while I was doing a simple procedure at my job in 2009. That feeling you talk about like a "band" around you is very familiar. Some people don't experience allot of pain while others do. I was in allot of pain. Went to the Dr. the next day. X-rays didn't show anything. Two weeks later and the pain was still there, the Dr. did an MRI, and it showed the compression fracture. Few days later I went to the hospital and they did a procedure called "Kyphoplasty". You can do a search on it, but basically they inject a cement like substance into the vertebrae. Shortly after I had it done I started feeling better. I found out after that I had Osteopenia. I've had a lower lumbar fusion and a neck surgery since then, but not related to the T 12 fracture, so I have allot of other pain, but I can say that the Kyphoplasty took care of that uncomfortable feeling and the pain.
Thanks for your reply, Precious. I'm sorry you've been going through so much. It's feeling a bit better now that the coughing has calmed down. The problem with the cement technique is that I'm a very poor candidate for any surgical procedures at all because of the rare disease I have. I react seriously to many common meds.... even the supposedly benign lidocaine. I can't have anything put in there that can't come out if I react. I see my chiropractor again tomorrow. Hopefully being in proper alignment will help it heal properly.

I just want to mention how lucky those of you with family and friends who care and help are very lucky. Let them know what a gift they are.

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

I have also cracked a rib from coughing. Very painful, more from the muscles coming to the bone's defense, I think, than the rib, itself. Had several spontaneous vertebral fractures. The first couple were more a nuisance (I had trouble putting on my underpants!) than pain. The next one put me in the hospital - I couldn't stand or go to the bathroom. It is so very variable!
Three surgeries and five years later my spine no longer hurts and thanks to Forteo and Strontium I am no longer fragile.
Best of luck to you!
Carol

 
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Hi Turtlelady, I'm so happy for you and your improvements. Just feeling less fragile is huge!

One year ago I fractured a lower, right front rib from direct, hard impact due to being pushed onto a pointed boulder by strong river current. I must say that that was really awful pain compared to what I am experiencing now. It took over two months but it did finally heal.

My chiropractor is helping me and although I do get discomfort and the mid back area feels very vulnerable and strange, it's nothing compared to the broken rib. It's the potential domino effect and reality that scares me so.

Thanks for your reply.....

 
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

I had thoracic and lumbar xrays of my spine today. I may hear how they turned out tomorrow afternoon when I see my pcp but most likely not until next week. Hopefully it's not the compression fractures I fear. Laying down flat, trying to wipe my butt, and trying to back my car out without spiral fracturing my whole spine or running someone over are challenging... but luckily it's not that awful pain of a fractured rib.

I'm going to have blood tests at the appointment tomorrow. The usual cbc, complete thyroid panel, liver enzyme tests which are usually off, D3, alkphos (always too high), are going to be done but I'd like to hear from others what the most important tests they had done. In the past my boron was so low it did not even register, manganese was sky high but no one could tell me why, iron was low. Which is the calcium test that is the most accurate and useful? I think I remember doing 24 hr urine for ntx and calcium. Any suggestions?

Last edited by podiecat; 09-23-2011 at 06:52 AM. Reason: Food topic not appropriate for this thread

 
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

I have had a mid back fracture but it is not recent it was back in 2007. I had severe pain with mine for a few months and I NEVER want to go through it again. I could not drive I could not walk I could not lift even sitting was so uncomfortable pains radiated down my sides and in my abdomen ..even when I reflect back on it now I can cringe.. people told me how sick I looked pain showed in my face all the time. the good news is I did heal with nutrients including strontium vitk and calcium boron and other ones. The only way I could get relief was to lie flat on back with knees bent to relief pressure.
I could not exercise for months but slowly came around and now 4 years later my density has increased and I have never fractured after that one. I do yoga and feel stronger.... So I feel that I am doing something to control fractures Everyone of us is different when we fracture but I faithfully take all nutrients and eat lots of greeens and am strong again ..... TG Bone completely renews itself My specialist tells me to keep doing what I am doing and go back in two years.... Good Luck you can do it too. Start slowly and take a day at a time!!!

 
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:04 AM   #10
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Hi ther, I'm afraid by your symptoms this does sound like a break, the big give away for me was when you mentioned the tight band. I have sustained 5 vertebral fractures and apart from the excrutiating pain I found the tight band almost impossible to cope with.
Iyr later, however, the pain has settled but the tight band intermittently persists. Looking at the date of your post I suppose you will have had a definite diagnosis by now. I do hope you are feeling better.

Lx

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #11
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Re: What does a mid back fracture feel like?

Oooooh, I feel so badly for you. I am with you & feel the same about all your issues with the medical world & i used to be a nurse.... Try not to let yourself get depressed, scared & worried. I know it's difficult to say, but every day I get up & say think you for the energy to get up even though I am in so much pain with the full blown (as my doc of 24 years puts it) osteoporosis of the spine & hips. I have failed the bone density tests, like you - I get the lowest scores & am the one who has taken Boniva, Fosamax & Reclast IV's for the last 12 years. I work out like crazy & even swim 71 laps a day in 25 yard lap pool. But I guess we are falling apart & can't go around feeling sorry for ourselves. I know it is scary. Things could be worse, I tell myself. So post anytime you feel down & I will try my hardest to make you laugh if that's possible. Your friend with osteoporosis, Jan T.

Last edited by moderator2; 11-20-2011 at 07:33 AM.

 
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