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So frigging frustrated..

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hello everyone - I am searching for some much needed answers or at least suggestions as this is driving me nuts...

In April of this year, I began going to physical therapy for an assumed pinched T4 nerve (I say assumed because I had no XRays at the time, and my symptoms seemed to fit the description). I ended up feeling better and stopped going about a month and a half later, only to end up back at physio in August for the same thing. With a few weeks of sessions, the feeling went away, and again, just last week, it fired up again. This time seems quite worse...

I should describe my symptoms - all three times, it felt like my chest was about to split open down the middle - a pressure from inside almost. I have major discomfort in the upper left side of my chest, like a crushing feeling, to the point that it feels as though someone is trying to suffocate me. I have some soreness in my neck and between my shoulder blades, but no intense or radiating pain. I have no pain going down my arm or into my hand at all. The feeling of discomfort is constant, though it does go away being stretched at physio and strangely also when I cross my right leg over my left leg. There are some spots on my back (between the spine and the shoulder blade, down by the bottom of the rib cage) that seems to bring some relief when I push on them. Pain medication doesn't seem to do anything because it's not really pain. Bending, lifting, wakling, etc. don't seem to cause a problem. I feel best and almost normal when I wake up in the morning, but as the day goes on, it gets worse again.

I am waiting on the results of my XRay right now and then will proceed to MRI I am sure, but does anyone have a clue what this could be? Does it sound likely that it's a nerve problem? I just don't know how a slipped disc or pinched nerve could cause no pain, and only discomfort...I am going away for what is supposed to be a nice Florida vacation this Monday and am willing to try anything if it means I won't be suffereing constantly...
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Comments

  • HELLO AND WELCOME I JOINED THIS WEEK ALSO, I HAVE LUMBAR AND CERVICAL HERNIATIONS AND SHOULDER PAIN. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS. IT SEEMS PHYSICAL THERAPY HELPS THEN YOU STOP AND THE PAIN COMES BACK. WELL MANY PEOPLE HAVE DISC HERNIATIONS AND DONT FEEL PAIN IT DEPENDS ON MANY THINGS. HERES WHAT I THINK BUT I AM NOT A DOCTOR SO YOU SHOULD ASK ONE. I USE TO GO TO PHYSICAL THERAPY AND CHIROPRACTORS HAD SPINAL DECOMPRESSION AND IT DOESNT WORK FOR ME I STRETCH MYSELF AT HOME TO MY COMFORT AND LIMITS. I DO IT ATLEAST 5-10 TIMES A DAY. SEE I WAS GOING THRU THE SAME THING SORT OF GET BETTER THEN GET WORSE. SELL MY ORTHO TOLD ME WHAT HAPPENS IS YOUR MUSCLES SPASM FOR MANY REASONS DISC INJURY, MUSCLE STRAIN, OFT TISSUE, ETC. SO WHEN YOU ARE IN A CONSTANT SPASM FOR A WHILE AND JUST FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE YOU O TO PHYSICAL THERAPY THEN STOP. WELL SOME PEOPLE HAVE CONSTANT MUSCLE SPASMS FOR YEARS AND MAYBE NOT THAT BAD IN YOUR CASE. SO WHAT I AM SAYING IS WITH ME I WOULD GO AND FEEL GREAT THE NEXT DAY PAIN AGAIN. ESPECIALLY STRETCHING MY SPINE WITH DECOMPRESSION PUT ME OUT FOR A WEEK IN BED. THE DOCTOR SAID YOUR MUSCLES ARE SO USE TO BEING IN A SPASM AND ITS THERE NATURAL STATE AND WHEN I GO GET THEM STRETCHED OUT THEY TRY TO GO BACK TO THAT ABNORMAL SPASM STATE THAT THEY ARE USE TO. SO I GUESS IT TAKES ALONG TIME TO GET YOUR MUSCLES STRAIGHTEN OUT PROPER BUT MY EXPERIENCE ITS A FIGHTING BATTLE THEY HURT WORSE AFTER BECAUSE THEY ARE SPASM BACK TO THE INJURED STATE I WAS IN FOR YEARS AND MY MUSCLES ARE BEING STRETCHED THEN PULLED BACK IN OUT AND ITS PAINFUL. I KNOW THIS PROBALY DOESNT MAKE SENSE TO YOU ITS REALLY HARD TO EXPLAIN IN WORDS MY DOCTOR EXPLAINED IT WITH HIS HANDS MAKING A FIST AND RELAXING IT THEN TIGHTENING IT. HOPE IT HELPS SOMEWHAT MAYBE YOU NEED TO GO TO PHYSCICAL THERAPY MORE OFTEN OR BUY THE BOOK OR GO ONLINE FOR THE MACKENZIE METHOD. AND DO THEM YOURSELF THE DAYS YOU DONT SEE THE PT. ONLY ONE THING EVER HELPED ME AND THAT WAS TAKING PRIVATE LESSONS OF PILATES IN 3 MONTHS I NEVER FELT BETTER, ITS EXPENSIVE AND I HAD TO STOP DUE TO A PREGNANCY I BECAUSE OF SPOTTING BUT I AM GOING TO START AGAIN AS SOON AS I SEE THE NUEROSURGEON.

    SINCERELY DAWN
  • BECAREFUL ON YOUR TRAVEL, WATCH YOUR BACK WHEN YOU LIFT LUGGAGE AND ALSO IF YOUR FLYING OR DRIVING MAKE SURE YOU GET UP AND WALK AROUND SO YOUR BACK DONT SPASM TO MUCH

    DAWN
  • BC, welcome to SH. This is a great site full of information and support. Just to be safe have you had your heart checked? Your description of crushing, suffocating, neck and shoulder involvement just makes me concerned. Have you tried any other conservative treatments like chiropractic? My chiropractor sometimes adjusts my ribs as well as my upper back with relief of pain between my shoulder blades and around the rib cage. I hope you find some answers. Good-luck and welcome again, Cali-Sue
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum. :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. make yourself at home and get used to the forums. you will meet alot of great people. good luck and i hope to see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to S~H.. :H

    I can't answer your questions because my issues are in the cervicle area,but here is a link-you might find some answers here:
    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/upper-back-pain/all-about-upper-back-pain

    I do agree w/Sue,in that you should get your heart checked..and perhaps a complete physical(IMO)just to be safe.Hope you have a great vacation!
  • Thanks for the great responses everyone. I had actually never even thought of the possibility of muscle spasming. I am starting to wonder if that's part of the problem. I had a professional massage last week and the therapist could not believe the amount of knots in my left side as compared to my right side. My whole back felt felt much better afterwards, but the discomfort returned the next day.

    Yes, I have had my heart checked probably 4 times in the past 5 years. I had some bouts with anxiety, so my doctor ordered heart tests galore to make sure nothing was seriously wrong. I have had an EKG, a heart monitor, an echocardiogram, and whatever else they could throw at me, so it would seem as though my heart is in order. I am 27 years old so I would HOPE my heart is still in good order, lol. Oh, and I am quite certain this is not a result of anxiety. Very frustrating because once you are diagnosed with anxiety, everyone is quick to tell you that EVERYTHING that's wrong with you has to be anxiety.

    Right now I am only doing physical therapy. I get my Xray results tomorrow, so depending on how that goes, I may visit a chiropractor afterwards.
  • Now that the heart question is out of the way (lol).Dawn may have it right on with muscles spasms..I get them and they are painful,but the worst of mine are a bit higher than yours and the feeling would be different.

    Of course I am only offering an opinion,and have no medical experience to speak of,but the 'knots' can be quite painful.

    Let us know how your results turn out..I'm always interested to hear.
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