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  • Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

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    Old 08-15-2007, 02:30 AM   #1
    Saz
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    Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Hi all.

    Since a car accident almost a year ago (I was hit from behind due to some idiot not watching where he was going) i have had bad back pain. I constantly ache, have burning sensation in upper back between shoulder blades, sharp pain around rib cage and breast bone, making it painful to breathe (almost like a 'heart attck' or something). A few months after the accident i developed Lower back pain also, including pain in buttocks and down legs.
    I was getting cramp a lot, especially at night and tingly feelings in my feet. The tinglyness has gone mostly know but am still suffering with pain and cramp like symptoms.
    I cannot sit in / on a chair with a high back as it presses on my spine and is very tender and it also gives a squashed, suffocating feelingaround my rib cage.
    My back pain wakes me up and i cannot lie on my back for my spine is too tender, and hurts if you press on it.

    I had about 11 sessions of Chiropractic treatment Oct - Nov last year, Then i had about 15 sessions of Physiotherapy. Nothing has seemed to help except maybe the Chiropractor with my neck. My neck was the only thing he managed to fix and my headaches went.
    I stopped seeing the physio in April after she agreed with me that nothing was helping, although she, like other people (some doctors) was trying to tell me there was nothing wrong with me and she pretty much accused me of it being 'all in my head'.
    I have been on loads of nasty tablets (about 8 different types now) which i have stopped taking due to horrid side effects. I'm better off without them as they didn't help the pain anyway.

    I can't do simple household chores without pain shooting through my back, cannot walk far without pains in bum and legs and my leg 'Giving way', and pretty much struggle trying to do anything else. I try to drive and cannot go more than 10 minutes without feeling really sore in my mid back/base of neck.

    I eventually managed to get some x rays done about a month ago.

    My results read:

    DEGENERATIVE CHANGES TO UPPER THORACIC SPINE AND EVIDENCE OF JUVENILE DISC DISEASE LOWER DOWN.

    I had an x ray on my Lumbar spine also which showed 'narrowing of the spine'
    After a VERY long wait, I will be seeing a spinal specialist next week.

    Is anyone else suffering with these symptoms / have thoracic disc disease? If so, what have the doctors said? I have no idea what will be suggested to me, or don't even know if i will get better.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks all for reading.

     
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    Old 08-15-2007, 10:08 AM   #2
    ibake&pray
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    [COLOR="Navy"]YOu might have better luck posting in the spinal cord board. They deal with the thoracic area of the back. You are welcome here, but we are more of the lower back area, the lumbar area....[/COLOR]

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    I am in the process of getting tests done, I have alot of symptoms that could point to thoracic area, pain in rib area, chest, rushed to ER because so mimics cardiac, upper back & so on, desperate to find out, hearing of so little expertise in thoracic area is discouraging, I think what ever it is its effecting that area, EMG done the other day picked up something in thoracic, under scapula, doctor doing test said that is rare. I just (like everyone else want to get better). At least the board acts as a support system & their are those who understand, sometimes it takes some time for respones. Hope to keep hearing from you, this board has been more informative then anything for me, I tend to jump boards because the ones I use give me support & knowledge since I am still trying to discover exactly what my problem is. I think you will find many who have seen docs. that if the problem can't be found right away it is in our heads, to bad it takes getting so bad before some docs. believe. I am angry that my time was wasted, it cost me so much more then just money, I cannot get that back & I am going to try to stay strong & make sure I get answers. They all know there is problem, just don't know what it is. I hope you get some answers to , keep us posted & good luck! Sammy

    Last edited by sammyo1; 08-15-2007 at 04:31 PM.

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
    chatterboxsd
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Saz, It took a loooong time before doctors saw there was a thoracic problem with me. I had maybe 4-5 misdiagnoses before they finally saw the herniated disc that had been there on the MRI the whole time! Thoracic problems are unusual, so dr's just don't keep an eye out for them, and perhaps aren't as trained to recognize them. Keep working within the system, but don't hesitate to have a couple things going on at once, if you can. You can always cancel, but you can't always get appointments right away. So, for example, if you want to try "X" (massage, physical therapy, yoga, acupuncture, meds, whatever) AND get an MRI AND see a pain doctor AND see a spine specialist, you can start one of the "X" programs while waiting to see the specialists and for the diagnostic exams.

    It may seem tedious now, but do keep a log. Sadly, it will likely take a while for you to find some resolution and this long term info will really help. So, rate your pain each day morning and night. Record your meds and any activity each day. Keep track of what interventions you've tried (yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage, etc.) and what results they were: same, better, worse. Also, what you do at home (rest, ice, heat,, etc.) to make yourself the same, better or worse. If you can log this on your computer and print the most recent copy whenever you go see a specialist, it really helps them. And they take you seriously!

    Stay in touch and let us know how you do. This is a great support group. You're not alone!
    - Margaret

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 03:06 AM   #5
    Saz
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Thank you Sammy and Margeret for your words of support and advice. I will let you know what happens next week.

    ibake&pray - thanks. I was unsure where to post as even though it's mainly my thoracic spine, i have trouble with my Lumbar also. I will try the other thread you suggested aswell.

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 11:38 AM   #6
    chatterboxsd
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Saz, I cruise the Spinal Cord board, but it's not nearly as active and doesn't have the strong bonds that the Back board does! I look at the Pain board sometimes, too. Back is the best for support, humor, and searching old threads for info.

    - Margaret

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
    Saz
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Thanks Margaret. I had a look at the other thread and saw that it isn't very active.

    My symtoms have gotten worse these past few days and i'm very worried.

    I have been in tears with the pain just lately - had a bad spell last night with my mid - lower back - felt like late stages of labour but in back! I have started getting 'pins and needles' in arm hands and fingers, been feeling very achy, heavy and numb all at the same time. Really strange. I am taking co - dydromol but they aren't helping. I can't take the Tramodol or the diclofenac sodium and stronger c0 - codomol as they made me sick / sleepy / confused and itchy. Had a very dry mouth constantly with the Tramodol.

    The base of my neck is tender to touch aswell as thoracic. I feel my lumbar area is tender. What's happening to me? I have been keeping a diary since Tuesday to take to my specialist. I can't wait to see him - i cannot stand this for much longer. I am quite scared about it though as don't know what will be suggested to me.

     
    Old 08-17-2007, 10:32 PM   #8
    chatterboxsd
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Saz, I don't know much about the health system in England, but with these rapidly changing (and worsening) symptoms, can you see someone sooner? I would not minimize these and try to get some attention right away. I'm not a doctor, but these changes seem like they should be looked at.

    If your misery loves company, here goes: I went to my first PT appointment since my surgery in Feb. Just the eval. No real exercises, stretching, and such. But the little that I did left me in bed and in tears all day yesterday and most of today. It's just pathetic. I used to run half-marathons and lift weights a little more than a year ago! I called my pain specialist (the one who recommended the therapy) and I'm seeing him Monday. They don't know how bad it is unless we squeak.

    Let us know how you're doing.
    Hugs,
    Margaret

     
    Old 08-21-2007, 03:53 AM   #9
    Saz
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Hi all.

    Feeling terrible - having the most horrid pains and numbness with pins and needles in legs and arms - especially right side. Symptoms extra worse since last night. Keeping me awake. Been having a few 'dizzy' spells also.My back is still achy. I will be leaving in a couple of hours for my appointment with Ortho at hospital. Will let you know how i get on. I am quite nervous and worried about what will be said....i know i should not worry until i've seen him.Okay, wish me luck and i will report back later. Saz.x.

     
    Old 08-21-2007, 08:20 AM   #10
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Welcome to the board Saz. I too suffer from upper, mid and lower back pain. There are places on my back that I've warned the doctors not to touch. If/when they touch those places I have a tendency to get very "upset". Not to discourage you but I've been living with this for about 5 or 6 years. The pain management doctor has been a lifesaver. He told me right from the start that most pain meds don't work with nerve pain. So he put me on neurontin,cymbalta,and trazadone for the nerve pain and tramadol and vicodin for any other stuff that comes up. At times I get the idea that the drugs are causing more problems than they solve/cover. Then I forget to take them for a few hours and realize they do help. I too get the tingling hands the pain down my leg[s] and the rest of the stuff plus memory and concentration problems. I guess the mental might be caused by the drugs or depression or old age. I am worried about the dizzyness. I am a widower, living alone and I've had a few close calls on the basement stairs and other places. If I fell down the stairs it might not be a very pleasant trip. Well as usual I ramble. later, Fred

     
    Old 08-21-2007, 01:25 PM   #11
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Saz, thought I would reply I have had a horrible week to. Oddly enough my pain is getting worse, my neck & head have been so painful & lets just say the whole thoracic area, my leg feels like cement & my foot is either hot/cold or tingling & numb, driving me crazy, no sleep in three nights. Back to work tommorrow & I feel no better. Can't see rehab. doc till sept,10, No relief from this pain & naseua all the time, trying a new topical cream, anything for relief. Hopefully my sister-in-law picks it up for me today I don't dare drive today. Good luck @ your appointment I will be thinking of you & hoping you get the help you need. Sammy

     
    Old 08-21-2007, 01:32 PM   #12
    sammyo1
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Fred, be careful on those stairs, if you have a rail then hold on to it, I would like to say just avoid them period, but I am sure you can't. I don't know your age but have you thought of a med alert system, since you are alone? I do home health care & see all kinds of things, Please be careful, as for as pain meds not working on nerve pain well I am beginning to believe that. I just had a doc tell me sometimes to much medication can cause more problems. Of course since he removed a majority of mine I am back in major pain.
    Be careful & take care. Sammy

     
    Old 08-22-2007, 02:50 AM   #13
    Saz
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Hi all.

    Well, i didn't really get much help yesterday. Ortho said he wanted to do an MRI of my thoracic and cervical (about time!! That's what my doc should have requested for me months ago!)

    He said that 'most' people get better from RTA's within 2 years - great, only another year of pain to look forward to then? mmmm.......

    He did a few tests, and didn't seemed concerned that my right leg and arm was pretty numb and very achy with pins and needles coming and going...

    I have a doctors appointment this afternoon to see what he thinks about these new symptoms, and the rest.
    Hope the rest of you out there are doing a bit better.x.

     
    Old 10-01-2007, 06:34 PM   #14
    librandi
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    Talking Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    I've got multi level degenerative disc disease. been diagnosed since 2000. T-boned in a car accident.
    I'v e got good days and bad days. I use Tramadol and Ibuprofen daily. Getting a good nights sleep isn't easy. I've been using a Sams Club memory foam mattress to which it makes me feel hot and uncomfortable.
    Since reading some of these Threads, its appears us pain sufferers need pain management through clinic, medications to ease pain, aid in depression, get deep sleep, support groups to boost our morale and some sort of exercise/gentle movement program to keep our bodies muscles from going to pot. Not to mention intestinal/BM relief aids because pain meds can be constipating. Big drag. You are not alone. I am here. feel free to talk with me. Anyone who wants to talk.

     
    Old 11-05-2007, 05:22 AM   #15
    Saz
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Disease - anyone help?

    Hi all.
    It's been a little while since my last post, but nothing's really changed. I had an MRI done on my Cervical and Thoracic spine and am awaiting the results. They said it might be 4 weeks so, still waiting.
    My back is pretty much the same, although my right leg is worse again. I really struggled to get to sleep, and even jumped up in agony at one point with the spasms / numbness/ cramping and pins and needles. The tingling sensation was much worse. It constantly hurts and my leg feels very 'heavy'.
    My doctor has told me he can't do anything else for me until we get the MRI results back.
    I am going to phone the hospital again in a moment to see if there is any news.

     
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