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Pt for Thoracic pain

MaggiePMMaggieP Posts: 349
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I started PT on Tues. The Therapist, did some light massage, then ultrasound, and then strapped round T-8 in a square. This strapping stays on until tomorrow's appt. Don't know if they will replace it, move it, or? Also gave me a couple of exercises. I know the thoracic area is concerned with deep muscles in back and stomach. My stomach muscles have hurt ever since he did the strapping, and sometimes getting in and out of car, both front and back muscles scream! :''( Has anyone on here had that done? I'm not a realy big believer in PT, as I've had it several times before, and the benefits don't seem to last. Therapist will also work on cervic and lumbar areas, if we can get thoracic area flare to quiet down. Any input appreciated.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,736
    Maggie,I never had luck with standard Physical Therapy when it came to dealing with my Thoracic problems. All the standard treatments (Ultrasound,Heat,Ice,Massage,Traction,Exercise) did little to make any noticeable improvements. Finally after about 14 months of PT, we both came to the conclusion that there was really nothing they could do to help me. I continued on at the same Rehab Center, using the Aqua Therapy treatments which did help more. I discussed this with my Pain Mgt doctor and we swtiched things up a bit.

    - Started Deep Tissue Massage therapy (Thai Style) to work on the Rhomboid muscles
    - Started using Foam Rollers (1/4 and Full) to 'open' up my chest muscles and provide some Thoracic relief
    - Acupuncture concentrated on my Thoracic area

    The one thing that provided me with the best results was the Deep Tissue Massage. I've been doing that every since, in fact I just got back from one of my treatments. I went from weekly treatments to now every other week and I hope at some point I can go to 1x month. But as long as I continue working in the field I do (Computers) there will always be additional stress placed on my thoracic discs.
    So, its sort of like a Catch22 situation.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for seconding my opinion about PT. But thought I'd give it a try, since I've met my out of pocket expenses for the year, and the insurance will be paying for it. When the therapist removed the tape today and did ultrasound, it was still very tender. He did some more massage, and was about to end the session, when I asked him to check my neck, shoulder, and upper backmuscles. He said okay, and started on my neck. Stopped, and said, lay down. He started in, and couldn't even move the muscles in my lower neck, upper back, across towards the shoulders. He said they were really a mess. He finally could get them to move some, but I could actually feel them rolling over knots. He said we will have to work on these muscles first before thoracic, and lumbar last.Which is where I thought I was sent to him for in the firt place! He put different strips of tape horizontally from the occipital area of neck, down to end of shoulder blades. All this fancy stuff. And I left there hurting like he**! Made working tonight a misery. What is different about Thai massage? I know it's the deep muscles that need the work, but living in a little town of 16,000 people, don't have much choice in massage therapists. I've seen you mention this before. I always seem to move better and feel better after massage. I've had PT several times before, and never felt it was of much benifit for my situation. Thanks for your reply.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,736
    Maggie, I am glad you are getting some relief. Its good that your therapist is working on your muscles. When the upper back deep muscles get so tight and rigid, they produce additional strain on your thoracic discs. So, part of the relief is getting those muscles to move and be more pliable.

    Curious about the taping. I was taped for about 3 months.
    It was a criss/cross taping of my back. Started up by the top of my shoulder down to just about my butt. The "X" that was form with this special tape 'pulled' my shoulders back and put my chest out which gave relief to the thoracic discs. It might have looked funny when I was at the beach, even funnier when the tape was gone and I had an 'X' tan line on my back.

    It just seems that there is not as much knowledge in dealing with thoracic problems.

    Good luck
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I just started Physical Therapy this past week and I am really keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will help. I haven't heard a lot of postive outcomes for the thoracic area though.

    They did give me stretching excercises to do at home and although it is painfull to do them, I think my back feels better for a little while.

    If this this P/T doesn't help I'm not sure what direction the doctor will have me go. Or maybe he will have to go. :?
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