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Thoracic Strain

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Old 06-14-2003, 01:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Snoopy123 HB User
Question Thoracic Strain

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully someone can offer some advice.

I was involved in a car accident at the end of April. Someone pulled in front of me and I hit them head on (T-Bone style). Needless to say, my car was totalled.

I went to the ER and they X-rayed my neck and thoracic area. Everything came back negative and they diagnosed me with a thoracic strain. Following the accident, I had a pain in my shoulder that came and went, although that is not as frequent anymore. I also still have a tightness in my back. I guess it is located in the thoracic area (it is between my shoulder blades and just below the blades.)

I went to my regular doctor about a month following the accident to tell him that I was still experiencing this pain. He said, it was just the afer effects of the accident and it is normal to last for 3 or 4 months afterwards. He prescribed physcial therapy and I have been attending for the last month.

I mainly have been doing stretches and strengthening exercises. Occasionally they massage me and get rid of some of the muscle knots in my back.

My last session is on Monday and although the shoulder pain has minimized the back pain is still there. As I said it is located in the thoracic area. It only comes when I put both arms forward and stretch or reach out or down for something. If I am just sitting or walking or doing usual activities it feels fine.

But, when I stretch, I feel that resctriction there. I honestly do not feel that it has improved much since starting PT. They have me doing this one stretch where I clasp both hands in front of me and reach out. This is when I feel the pull. It feels like a painful restricted knot in the center of my back.

How long will it take for this to go away? Is this normal? Any advice?

Thanks everyone. I would really like to have other's opinions.


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Old 06-14-2003, 03:09 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,186
jdlfmc HB Userjdlfmc HB User

Hi Snoopy,I'm not sure how much help I can be but a little word of advice back injuries can be very serious and slip up on you, I don't know where you stand on Ins. or with your claim but I stongly advice DO NOT sign any release forms until you are sure of the severity of your injury and if you are still having pain and do not feel comfortable with the DRs saying "oh it will be okay" then by all means INSIST they test to find out what is wrong.I know when I first fell and hurt my back I thought oh well it will hurt for a while I never dreamed I would still be in pain 4 yrs later.Hope you take care of yourself and some one should be along soon with medical info for you, my pain is lower back and legs.Good Luck.Keep us posted as you have come to a very supportive place.

[This message has been edited by jdlfmc (edited 06-14-2003).]

Old 06-14-2003, 03:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Snoopy123 HB User

Thanks for the advice!

Basically, my PIP coverage will cover the majority of the charges.

Since, I was not at fault, the other person's insurance company said that they would pay my "out of pocket" (deductible and remaining 20%)expenses.

I was going to claim the "out of pocket" expenses on my health insurance but called them back last week and told them just to bill me. This way I can forward the bills onto the other party's insurance.

Why should my health insurance have to pay if someone else will be picking up the tab. I have also heard that there can be problems with Health Insurance trying to recoup any money they paid out if another party reimburses you.

As far as the pain, hopefully someone can offer some advice. I feel weird because I am only 23 and fairly in shape. Like I said, the pain isn't constant. Just when I reach or stretch.

Thanks all!

Old 06-15-2003, 04:05 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Snoopy123 HB User


Also, how would I know if I have a herniated disk? Would an x-ray show this? As I said, I have this tightness in my back and it is centralized so i don't think it is normal sorness.

Advice please?

Thanks everyone!

Old 06-15-2003, 05:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Murray,KY USA
Posts: 116
LisaM33 HB User

Hi Snoopy:
I posted to your question with a new topic lol
Wasn't paying attention. Anyway it says Hi There!
Check it out because you need to be asking your doctor questions and not letting this go if you aren't completely better. This back stuff is weird and one minute you can have pain one place and then next thing you know you'll have numbness and pain in other places. It's happened to me. Make sure you don't release anybody til you make sure. And check out my other post to you ! Lisa

Accident at work March 24, 2003
Diagnosed with strained back and given 3 weeks PT
Continued pain -sent to neurosurgeon MRI showed bulge at L5- continued PT
May appt showed no improvement and increased weakness in right leg. Ordered Myelogram and EMG on May 28th
Accident at work March 24, 2003
Diagnosed with strained back and given 3 weeks PT
Continued pain -sent to neurosurgeon MRI showed bulge at L5- continued PT
May appt showed no improvement and increased weakness in right leg. Ordered Myelogram and EMG on May 28th
Myelogram and EMG moved to new date/ June 19

Myelogram showed no impingement. EMG showed nerve damage to the anterior tibialis.
Have drop foot and numbness in thoughout right leg/moving sometimes to left leg.
Numbness in perineium area.
Constant pain treated with Soma and Loratab 10.5.
Was hospitalized for a week after myelogram with ringing ears and pain.
Visited neurosurgeon July 10 and told that I'm having post myelogram syndrome and he believes all my symptoms will pass.
No improvement thus far with nerve damage.

Old 06-16-2003, 04:22 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Snoopy123 HB User

How would I know if I had a herniated disc? What symptoms would I have?

Old 06-16-2003, 04:31 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 41
davemcd HB User


I'm somewhat new to the game of having a bad back, but my understanding is that a cat scan or MRI will show a herniated disk. An x-ray may show that you have a problem, but it probably won't be specific enough is it is more oriented towards showing your bones.

In my case, I have a ruptured disc, which causes similar symptoms to a herniated disc. My ortho specialist told me that he could see all he needed to see from my cat scan and that I did not need an MRI.

If you want to consider something really weird, I've just finished my second visit to an acupuncture specialist. This has helped me relieve the pain somewhat as it loosens up deep muscles that are really tight. I've asked others if they have tried this on this message board. Only one person said that they had and it did not work for this other person. For what it's worth, you may want to consider this.

Also, on herniated discs, you may want to read: [url=""][/url]

Hope this helps,


- hockey impact injury to top of head in Dec. 2002
- physiotherapy & chiropractic visits which did not fix the problem
- pain shooting down into butt, leg, and calf
- numbness in foot
- big pain when coughing, laughing hard, or sneezing. Trouble sleeping at night.
- ruptured disc between L5 & S1

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