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The pain in my thoracic is absolutely horrible...suggestions?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
So glad I found this site. I felt as though literally I was all alone in my thoracic pain.

I am working with two pain specialists and feel as though I am at the end of my rope. I have had several ESI and also just had a rhizotomy. I have two discs herniated in my thoracic and two in my cervical spine from an auto accident. I have had all of the tests and some more than once (MRI).

I have muscle pain, horrific nerve pain and also have permanent nerve damage. I feel as though I am on enough meds to knock me out, but it doesn't even knock out my pain.

I'm on Avinza, Zanaflex, Magnacet, Lyrica and Daypro. Why do I still have so much pain? Any suggestions on what I can do? PT didn't work either.

I'm lost. I'm 28 and have been dealing with this since Dec of 07. There are days I'm not sure I can make it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. As my title suggests I just take one breath at a time bc I'm not sure what the next will bring me. :''(



  • My name is Amber and I currently suffer from a thoracic disk herniation as well. :) Welcome to Spine-Health! I have not found a lot of people on here with this type of herniation, apparently it's rare? My Neurosurgeon says no surgery and doesn't believe that thoracic herniations don't cause pain, but I am sure as we both know, beg to differ! I have also found that no amount of medication helps my pain along with my reverse cervature of the neck. I have found though, that hot baths help, and soft rubs on that area helps. But, the pain not only causes shooting pains, aching pains, but it seems to cause stomach pains as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me. I will say that you are lucky to have doctors. I suffered because of Florida No Fault Laws, and only saw a chiropractor most of the 2.5 years I have been injured from a mva as well. Contact me at any time.
  • I feel for your situation. I have had thoracic and cervical pain since 4/07 (not a contest - just know how you feel)....I am amazed what a toll this has taken on me - like you - on my body, mind and spirit. And as far as meds are concerned - it is such a battle - but when pain brings yo to your knees, you've got no choice. And then when they don't seem to make any dents - WOW - how frustrating. I have been sober since 8/2/94 and still very active in AA, it took me a nearly a year of pain to be willing to take any meds. And still now i can under take the presciption. (Ultram and now a muscle relator belaphen - 2 days)

    I now understand how chronic pain can bring on depression. I have an appt. with my pm doc on Wed and I am not leaving his office until we have a definite game plan. I feel like I have lost a year with my children and life - from being fatigued from pain and so intolerant - my work has suffered and so on.

    I have found much relief emotional and spiritual here at the forum....please know you are not alone.

  • Let me first say congrats on your sobriety. Such strength you have and have had. I'm glad to hear you are so strong. I know that message is bitter sweet to hear, bc I'm sure like me you're so sick and tired of being strong. You are an inspiration for me on multiple levels. So thank you for being so strong, I know it is hard.

    Oh, thank you so much. Keep holding on is exactly what we have to do. I also feel on the same page with you and how ppl sometimes try and get in a competition with us, so you acknowledging that makes me feel you have dealt with that too.

    My work has suffered too, I just have a battle in my head with it. After reading these posts it scares me even more how I push myself with work. Sounds like you do the same. Nobody will suffer when we push ourselves, but us (referring to work and how we push ourselves) and our bodies.

    Don't leave w/o a game plan! Please let me know how it goes. PM if you would like.

    Ty Ty Ty I can't say that enough for letting me know I am not alone.

    I am hoping I too can find spiritual and emotional relief on this site.

    Thanks again!
  • hiya, keep after the doc till ya start getting relief K?
    like araine i used to get relief from massage, till wc took it away, maybe ask if you can get your doc to precscribe?
    try another different muscle relaxer?
    good luck to ya your not alone here!
  • Thanks for the message. I appreciate it so much. :-)

    I will ask my doc about the massage. That's a good idea. Sometimes I wonder how much pain should we accept? Any thoughts on how you feel about that?

    Thanks Ranchhand. Good luck to you too. :-) Hope today is a good one.
  • I understand the pain you are talking about. I was taking alot of meds and now am trying methodone. It stopped all the pain. But now I am struggling with severe nausea. I hope i can get the nausea under control so I can stay on the methodone. The doctor said it is the only one that helps with nerve pain ( sharp stabbing and burning pain). Lyria and oxycodone used to take the edge off enough for me to be at pain 9 or 9.5 instead of the 10 I always lived with. I am still on the mad search myself. I am hoping this methodone will work like the doctor says.
  • I can feel your pain!!! I have three herniated discs in my thoracic and the pain is unreal. I have had three other surgeries two cervical and one lumbar fusion, so I know a bit about pain. Is any of your problems surgical candidates. I can tell you personally that all of my surgeries have been great. Immediately the pain wemt away. I know some people dont like fusions but they have worked for me. Good luck with the pain. I guess being a recently retired cop, I have never liked pain medicine. I have always only wanted the weakest meds possible much to my doctors dismay. I am currently taking oxycontin 40 mg three times a day, and percocet 10/325 2 every four hours. It doesnt do shit for my pain but might help a bit. If I didnt take anything, i would committ hary cary!! Good luck

  • I also have two herniated discs in my neck that are above & below a congenital fusion at C4/5. I also have 2 herniated discs in the T-spine. Does your pain go to your shoulder blades in the worst way? I was able to have the rhizotomy in the neck- but no lower than C6/7. Did you have any thoracic injections or procedures? What are they offering you in terms of pain relief?? I am now in a pain mgt. program. If you prefer heat over ice, I just tried the thermocare wraps ( generic ones), & they worked wonderfully between the neck & shoulder & next to my shoulder blade. I also use a TENS unit that I love. If you have time, I would like to chat with you more about this.

    I wish you all the best with your search for relief!!

    glo :)
  • I'm not sure I'm posting in the right place for this after reading your posts I think i can at least find help here. I had a fusion done of t5 to t10. I have 2 bars and 10 screws they cause me pain not only in the place that the fusion was done but it radiates all over my back and causes unreal headaches not to forget the odd things that happen like limbs randomly going completely numb. 1Breath I'm sure you know the fear and the problems with a social life these kinda thing causes I'm 26 and this has crippled my life in many ways. I couldn't have imagined so many people around my age have the problems I'm to a T. I was wondering how you all deal with this pain there's days I cant even find it in me to get out of bed. I've tried everything I could think of or find on the net to try and help it even a little bit and the neuro I just started to see gave me darvaset and zanaflex they helped for a week and now they dont even take the edge off. I also was wondering if anyone has had any odd symptoms with the pain and nerve damage like the limbs going completely numb as if they weren't there yet able to move them or any change in thought like completely forgetting things. Any help you could provide would help alot and thank you for taking the time to help.
  • not many people can find a doc willing to go into the t spine. when did you have this done? a very good friend had a surgery t spine for a tumor - that was making her limbs go numb. it was caught on a contrast mri by a neuro doc who just happened to be in the room during her mri.

    i have cervical and thoracic issues, though nothing has shown on an mri - i feel like i get stuck like a hinge on a door if i move my upper body at all...anyways, to let you know - laying down feels the best for me on a heating pad...but when i get up 80% of the time, my knees are numb and tingle, no other part of my legs. Sometimes the upper front thighes will tingle and get numb.

    the point is - it is all so strange, and interconnected and i have no answers, just symptoms - my arms do wierd things as well, but the numb knees can be oh so strange.

    hang in there - is someone working with you regarding your present status and pain?

  • I feel for all of you, who battle with thoracic problems and the pain associated with it.

    Last November, I suffered extensive back injuries from an 8 foot fall. 90% of my injuries were thoracic... fractures throughout T2 through T12, soft tissue damage and fusion of T11 and T12 with hardware. I was a hair away from being paralyzed as one of the broken bones almost penetrated my spinal cord.

    These past 6 months of healing, have been filled with horrific pain. All of my fractures have healed and the fusion was a success. My pain is MUCH better, but I still have bad days and weird pain days. I am under the care of my Neurologist, Pain Management, Physical Therapy and a family psychologist. Spine Health has been a huge part of my recovery and I will be forever grateful for this site!

    What I have learned about the thoracic area over the past 6 months is:

    "The nerves that are protected by the vertebrae in the thoracic spine control muscles, surface tissue, and internal organs. These nerves also control the arms from the elbow down, hands, fingers, the muscles of the middle back, the chest, and the ribcage. Nerves passing through the spinal canal of the thoracic spine also control crucial parts of the sympathetic nervous system including the heart, lungs, bronchial tubes, gallbladder, liver, stomach, small intestines, kidneys, pancreas, and kidneys."

    The pains and weird sensations I get, throw me for a loop sometimes. The tingling sensations in my legs and feet have for the most part ceased, but it took a while. Sometimes I will have flare-ups in these areas, when I swell or the barometric pressure is falling. My knees swell and ache a lot lately and I've noticed that our barometric pressure is falling, when my knees start feeling this way. I get headaches... some radiate from my neck to the back of my head, others are similar to sinus headaches. If I am SUPER swollen, I will get the tingling and numbing sensations from my elbows down to my fingertips.

    Weird and odd... are very good descriptions of these pains... lol!

    Because I had to wear a TLSO brace for 3 1/2 months, I lost a lot of my core muscle strength. I excercise, stretch and do aquatic therapy as often as possible. Walking is what really helps, but there are days I am so swollen... that I can only walk around the house. The past week, I have been battling with being really swollen and it really makes me frustrated. I have read that people can battle with being swollen for close to a year or better.

    Heating pads really help with the pain and swelling, so I use those pretty much on a daily basis. If you can get on the right combination of pain medication and muscle relaxers, those are what really help get me through the day. I also had to start taking an anti-depressant several weeks ago, as being in constant pain and in bed all day long... really started to play games with my thoughts and emotions. I would have crying spells and would constantly wonder if this is how I would be spending the rest of my life. The anti-depressant helps, as I can think more clearly and no longer have the crying spells. I am determined to do whatever I need to do, to get myself back... as much as I possibly can. I am very strong willed and I am not going to let this chronic pain get the best of me.

    I don't know if my reply has been much help, but if I can answer any specific questions... please let me know.

    Best wishes to each of you for finding relief, to get you through each day. Sometimes you have to experiment with what works best, but the major component I have found is getting on the right medication to control the pain as best as possible.


  • I have a nero surgeon I think is awsome cause he was the first one to belive me and not tell me i was a to young to hurt. I went for 2 yrs with no help at all no pills no doctor cause they all told me I was to young to hurt. This new one almost had me in tears when he told me the pain I explined to him I was worse then I made it sound. He put me on darvaset and darvon and zanaflex. Wich after a week stoped helping sadly. I just was told by him that my fusion failed at t8 to t9 and that my t2 to t12 are basicly about shot from all the stress thats been put on it and that my fusion wasn't needed and that the stress from standing and sitting is pushing my lumbar into my spinal cord which don't sound good. I knew i was in trouble when I told him the name of the surgeon that did the fusion and who did my second opinion and how he reacted when he saw the scar on my back and the lack of care I had after it. I didn't get therapy till 6 months after it was done and i was in a brace the whole time I was to the point I took the brace off I couldn't hold my self up. He was so pissed off he started to curse and told me if he finds this was not needed he was gonna do everything in his power to make sure that surgeon cant practice anymore. It really restores my faith that there are still good doctors who care and I sadly am paying for the rest of my life cause the first one used me as a project. That's just a small part of the insane story I have of all of this sadly. I hope everyone here finds someone to help them like I got lucky and did and help you deal with the pain cause not many people and doctors truly understand how much it affects everyday life.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    and the solutions are even tougher. There is surgery for thoracic patients.. That has been relatively new. A few years ago, thoracic surgery was basically the same thing as how a fisherman could gut a fish without a knife! I listened to the procedure on how they would perform thoracic surgery and a few seconds after they told me they would crack my breastplate, move aside a lung, I passed out!
    Still, Thoracic problems are becoming more and more common. When I had my first experience about 10 years ago, most doctors didnt really know that much about the T-discs. All I kept on hearing was that "You cant herniate a T-Disc, they are too rigid, and if you did, there wouldnt be any pain" I only wish I could find the person who wrote that!
    I spent almost 3 years in physical therapy, 2 years in aqua therapy, all sorts of medications, ER, IR, ESI, Trigger points, Acupuncture, etc. Nothing really addressed the major problem. In my situation, the major rhomboid deep muscle was really bad. Over the years, it became like a piece of wood, so there was always constant friction in my upper back and between my cervical area in middle back. Finally my Pain Management doctor sent me on for pure Thailand Deep Tissue Massage. The most painful treatments I ever had. I've been now doing this for two years and it has been the one treatment that has helped me. Because of this, I was able to finally get off of Oxycontin ER and now I am using Opana, Neurontin, Cymbalta and Zanaflex to manage it.

    I realize that not ever Thoracic problem is the same. The upper T-discs are so much different from the lower ones. But if you do experience upper back pain, burning, stabbing between the shoulder blades, I think it is worth talking this over with your doctor. It has changed my life, I no longer need to walk around like a zombie, I can function, I still have pain, but its not like it was before.
    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
  • When i was in therapy they streched the massive amout of scar tissue i have and it hurt and burned like hell but after about a hr of pain I could move more and felt better so there's a connection with the scar tissue and right now as we speak cause it's raining here my whole spine feels like its on fire and my neck my god the pain.
  • Man, thoracic pain does suck!

    I made it through cervical issues and successful c6-c7 ACDF last year to have thoracic pain this year. Not sure which was worse, neck pain hurt like hell, but mid-back pain does too. Plus thoracic wraps around your ribs and into your chest.

    I have been on decompression for just over two weeks now... Fells better, but really only the lower back pain really goes away. Been doing the chiropractic things for almost six-months now. Some days good, but the bad days...

    My neurosurgeon said my t6-t7 disk bulge is small, not really going into my spinal canal... Going back in three-months, wants me to try Celebrex.

    Anyone have anything else but any thoracic bulges?

    I also have some anterior wedging of t8, whatever that is and Schmorl's nodes on t6, t7, t8 and t9. I also have anterior osteophytes and modic type 1 changes from t5-6 thru t9-10.

    Not sure what all that means, but I know my mid-back hurts like hell most days!

    I was hurt at work, slipped and fell into a table... They say I am fine, reached my maximum treatment. Been on my own, that sucks. No matter what went on with my spine in my life, when you slam it into a table you really can screw more up in the process!

    My neurosurgeon does not believe in the injections, as he thinks they are bad for you, and will not correct the problem, only mask it and wastes your money.

    I am not sure what is next, but hopefully we all feel better sooner rather than later ;)
  • I was re-reading your posts... EncounterZero. When did you have the fusion performed on T5 to T10? I don't know your whole story yet, but man... from what you have shared so far... my heart goes out to you. What are you doing now to control your pain?

    I do get the weird headaches as you described and the barometric falling days knock me out.

    You know... this new doctor sounds to be a blessing to you. I believe in miracles and you never know what the future may bring to you. I believe people are placed in our lives for a reason and whether it's through this new doctor you found or perhaps a person here on Spine-Health, I think you WILL find some relief in the future. Keep thinking positive and keep sharing your experience. Everyday, there are new discoveries we hear and learn about.

    Jersey... thoracic pain bites! LOL...big time!

    It amazes me sometimes, how the thoracic area affects so many different parts of the body. I have broken fingers and toes in the past and the pain pretty much stayed in those areas. Oh, my tailbone too. (Yes, I am an admitted klutz and my last klutzy incident was a lulu! The "normal" klutzy me truly does enjoy snow skiing, boogie boarding, dancing, ice skating, horseback riding, etc.) Any hoo... whether it's breaking thoracic bones, damaging thoracic muscles, have bulges, etc., to the thoracic area... holy cow, the pain scatters everywhere! Literally, from your head to your toes and from the front of your body to the back of your body! It is incredible.

    Whatever you find that brings relief, continue doing. You obviously have activity going on in the thoracic area and I hope it gets better. Glad to hear the decompression is helping. I hope it decides to start touching on the thoracic area next for you. :)

    Best wishes to everyone for a good rest of the weekend.

    Tammy >:D<

    P.S. I need to write a separate post to you Papa Ron for what you shared. I need to lay down for a bit, as it is time for my meds. Be back soon! :H
  • I had my fusion done 3yrs ago and its been a nightmare from that time on. Im on a few meds and i try various other things like heating pads,tens unit,cold and heat shocking any thing to take the edge off of it even a fraction. Ive been getting god awful headaches and noticed changes in my mind set and just started to notice my hands sometimes shake badly when I'm hurting. I think the one thing that binds us all here to this site is that most people have no clue about how bad the pain is unless they live with it and the fear of being in that pain for life or it getting worse and just from the short time I've been on here I've found great comfort and support in knowing others share my feelings and fears.If anyone would like to find out more of my history or just need someone to talk to I'll be more then happy to do what I can to help just send me a message on here and we can take care of the details then. Good luck to you all and thank you for helping me feel better about this situation.
  • I have had 5 discs herniated from t2-t8.....surgeon (of one opinion) has told me surgery would be "very" risky, as the herniations are consecutive, and would cause a pancake effect.

    I hear you all on the burning pain, and "funny" things that happen.
    I was told that at my age , and with some therapy, things wouldd get better. It's now 2 years and a bit in.....I've had physio...massage...accupuncture(which IMO provides the most and lengthy amt of relief, if you can find someone who knows what their doing).
    Godsend has been my TENS machine. I am fortunate that my work insurance plan payed for 90% of it.
    I cannot walk for any length of time or stand without it.

    Somedays, I seem to have more pain in extremities, or areas not directly surrounding the spine. I have this incredible stabbing pain in my right arm, that feels like someone is cutting into my bicep muscle. It's a 'positional' thing. Doesnt bother me during the day when I;m upright, but interupts sleep constantly, as feels like a constant tearing. Only thing that remotely stops that is actually sleeping on that shoulder (it must be shutting off that nerve).....I dont know if anyone else here suffers from rib pain, I can palpate it now to the point, that I think I'm doing my own trigger release.

    It's quite amazing how doctors are willing to say, "well you shouldnt really have thoracic damage/pain".....I actually thought I had some kind of tumor or something in my spine, the pain was that bad at the beginning, it makes me a 38 year old, drop down to the floor and cry like a baby.
    I can only equivilate it to "being in labour" which never stops and has no productive end!

    If you haven't tried a TENS Machine and can hook yourself up with one (in Canada we have to have a drs rx for it), it works quite well....to the point that I only had occasionally had to take T#3 instead of regularly. But now I seem to be suffering some kind of flare up.....it's usually from doing something that we were told "dont do", but you forget when you feel better.

    I find if you have to do any kind of "work" above your head for longer than 2 minutes...it's enough to trip off days of misery......my PT says you have to "plan" how you lift, sit, turn and lie when you have this kind of ailment....so my friends be careful.

    Thanks again to everyone who has shared their stories here....it is "relief" in a way just knowing that the pain isnt 'imaginary'/
  • Reading these posts this a.m. has been absolutely phenomenal for me. Thank you all so much. TTLC - your description of all the areas thoracic problems can affect - with the "backup" of all the other posts has convinced me to ask for a thoracic MRI. I wasn't going to because I just had cervical & lumbar MRIs done...what an expense. The thoracic pain/problems rival my cervical and lumbar. To adjust my posture for one is to aggravate either of the other. I truly believe that what they call "Fibromyalgia" is simply spinal cord irritation...especially thoracic (now that I've read your post, TTLC). I KNOW there are thoracic issues because if I stand or walk too long, I must bend over (almost 90 degrees) to continue upright because of the pain in the middle of my back. Bending relieves it to the point that I can carry on whatever task if I stay bent over. I also 'suffer' from severe thoracic episodes that go from the middle of my back to my tailbone....liquid pain - as tho' acid was poured into my spine.
    I'm going to call my doc TODAY and request a thoracic MRI over the phone. Hell, I've never complained about my thoracic because pain killers don't touch my cervical/lumbar pain...so what's the sense? I still wonder what the sense in paying for a thoracic MRI would be - because obviously you guys can't find pain relief either. I guess, I'm hoping an MRI would open the door to stronger pain meds? My last appt, I asked for Morphine for the Fibromyalgia...but I'm convinced now that it's THORACIC issues! Hell, I've googled thoracic tumors to find a reason for the HELL.
    Thank you all ...
  • I have unilateral headaches (15 months) - constant - but ebb/flow in intensity. (If the "volume" of these headaches ever increases, I'll find a gun.) For the last two weeks, I've had to whisper because the vibration of my voice is unbearable in my head. The pain is in my facial bones, ear, eyeball, nose - all the left side. I found my vibrating/heating torso pad the other day - when I used it for thoracic pain - the vibrations made BOTH SIDES of my head, ears, nose, face pain unbearable. I'm glad I know that now - because I feel one step closer to figuring out the source of my head pain - and 3 specialist can't figure it out. They just say, "It must be neuralgia of some kind."
    Thanks again.
  • My "rib pain" (omg...the flank pain too...sheez) is a screamer for DAYS if I do anything with my arms above my head. It's not really flank pain...it's my entire "lats" muscles. I broke a rib last Fall. First broken bone ever. I waited TWO WEEKS to see Doc because I thought it was "Fibromyalgia" concentrated in one area. THAT'S how bad I hurt. I decided to have it checked out ONLY because "Fibro" doesn't usually stay in one place that long so intensely. (Again, I don't think it's "Fibro")

    So, your PT advised you of all this due to thoracic issues?

    How the hell can you *think* pain that puts you on your knees is "imaginary"? ha ha...ya, I know...it's not YOU who thinks that - it's your doc.

    I can't get the tens unit on my thoracic parts. I truly need 3 units - for cervical, lumbar and thoracic.
  • I apologize for the late reply to you. I've been recuperating from a UTI and have been trying to catch up with everyone.

    Have you been able to get an appointment with your doctor? I am sorry to hear about your pain issues and hope they get resolved as quickly as possible.

    When I first started walking after my trauma and surgery, I could not stand up straight for quite some time. I, too, had to hunch forward to get comfortable enough to walk.

    The headaches you describe... wow. Very intense!

    I can't tolerate any kind of vibration, either, but heat is an absolute necessity for me. I use every kind of ThermaCare heat wraps they have available and I get excellent relief. I sometimes will improvise and put one around the front of my ribs and then wrap another one around it for my back area. With help from my hubby, I can sometimes get four of the big wraps around my torso and it is heavenly. The neck ones can be strategically placed in different areas, with the help of some white adhesive tape to secure them in place. I've had them as far up to my hairlines (both front hairline and neck hairline) as possible a few times for relief.

    Please let us know how you are doing. You have quite a lot going on and I wish you the very best in finding relief soon.

    Take good care,


  • Ouchie... on your pains!

    I have had a couple of incidents of those "cutting" pains in my back and they HURT!!!! During my first two months out of the hospital, is when I experienced those and they were all related to my traumatized muscles. My doctor told me I would be experiencing a lot of "odd" sensations during my healing process and those were doozies.

    I also have a tremendous amount of rib pain these days, as I'm trying to strengthen my core. When I do the "pretend to touch your belly button to your spine" exercises... ohhhh... they smart. And, it feels like a basketball has nailed me in the tummy at times. My ribs are still tender to the touch and I totally rely on the heating pads for relief. I don't know how I would survive without those things!

    There are so many favorable posts on the TENS unit. I'm going to ask my Neurosurgeon about one of those. I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment today, but it's been rescheduled for Friday.

    Best wishes to you for less pain each day. I sure can relate to what you are going through and you're right... it does help to know that you are not alone. I was so relieved to find Spine Health. It's full of comfort, reassurance and great people.

    Take good care,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    Dealing with spinal problems for over 35 years now, I can easily state that thoracic problems are the most difficult to take care of.
    Most standard treatments do nothing to really take care of the pain and discomfort. Anyone that has suffered from any thoracic pain, fully understand just how uncomfortable it can be. You cant find a position that makes you feel ok, sleeping is non-existent and the pain stays with you every minute of the day.
    I lived that life for so many years. I had so many doctors look at me and come up with ideas, Physical Therapists tried to help me with out any success, Medications kept it in control, but still every day I knew how much pain I would be in.
    Everyone is different so, I cant say this will help.
    But for me, it wasnt until I started to have the genuine Thai Deep Tissue Massage that I started to see progress. My massage person, who I can only refer to as my Eastern Master (sort of like a Kung Fu person) was the only one that helped me.
    He put me through torture. I yelled and screamed at him so many times. He brought me to tears so many times during our treatment. I went for his sessions, and then I endured pain with a capital P
    Two years later I still see this person and he still hurts me, not as bad as before. Thats because I have come accustomed to his torture and my back is getting better.
    But without his help and getting to the deep inner rhomboid muscle, I will still be in pain every minute of the day
    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 knew there was something I was forgetting here and I'm glad you posted this, as a reminder to me. Somehow, someway... you remembered I needed to write back to you about this exact subject! Thank you.

    As you know, I am presently at the 6 month mark from my fall and surgery. I have completely weaned myself off of the TLSO brace. I don't even use it in the car. I do, however, bring my walker with me. I still feel "off balance" when I walk for long periods of time and I do not want to fall or have someone bump into me at this point. I've come a long way and I don't want to undo my progress. I am still in pain, but it's getting more tolerable each day. (The set-backs drive me nuts, but I know I will have them).

    Today my hubby and I went out for a couple of hours. We went to lunch and did some walking. I climbed in the truck all by myself, got out all by myself and our overall 2 hours was wonderful. For the first time since my fall and surgery, I was PAIN FREE... in my back. It was wonderful. My abdominal muscles, however, started to get really sore towards the end. I came home and laid down for a while and decided to wait it out, before I took any break through meds. After an hour of relaxing, I did need to take one percocet... but, that's okay.

    Each day, for the past two months, I have been doing stretching exercises on my own. When I have good days, I do aquatic therapy in the pool. The stretching exercises I do are done while sitting in a chair, laying on the couch or laying in bed. I do them multiple times throughout the day. Last night, I was almost able to sit "indian style" on my bed. It has been ROUGH, to say the least, to get to this point. Lots of pain, but well worth it.

    I am VERY interested in this technique you recommend. At what point would you suggest I start to implement this technique for myself and how often would I go? I am very protective over my back and who touches it, so I will probably have to travel to get this kind of expert treatment.

    I believe what you say and would like to experience the same.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    I was about 8 to 10 years into my thoracic problems, before my pain mgt doctor recommended this person for deep tissue massage.
    It is not for everyone, no question about it. The person I see only comes from recommendations from doctors and that is his client base.
    I was recommended to him because everything else failed.
    I did so well with his treatments, as painful as they were, but I also learned so much about Eastern Medicine and Holistic Medicine. Not everything needs to be formal and medication driven.. So much can be natural. His work on aroma therapy, relaxation therapy has played such a big role in helping my situation. That piece, Tammy, I would have no problem in going into details. But his deep tissue work... that is more define to the patient. After working with this man for two years now, I know that some of his patients need a gentle tap tap massage, which he hates to do and generally gives it to one of his staff. He loved to dig his elbows into my back and neck, and then once I am on the floor he walks on my back, digging his heels and toes into pressure points and then jumps to a specific point. It all hurts, but I feel good afterward.
    If this is something that your doctor thinks would be good for you, then I would be more than happy to go into deep dialogs with you about this. Even if you are not sure, please, email me and we can discuss this offline in details. If it is better for us to discuss things online for others, I am happy to do that also.
    If I can get just one person feeling better physically, then I have done my months work... It is easier for me to help people emotionally. Thats only because there is a give and receive surrounding with people that I come in touch with.
    I am just like you and me, I guess the only difference is that I have been through this for so many years, I know what to expect and what not too.
    I am so happy when people listen to what I have to say. I am still a novice when it comes to spinal problems, but I promise everyone I will do whatever I can to help and when I cant help, I will also tell you.
    Tammy, thank you for your kind words... I am more than glad to help you in any way I can
    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
  • Thank you, so much, for the insight. I am very glad this man was placed in your life and the lives of others he has helped, and continues to help.

    I have used alternative treatments and the occasional alternative "medicine" since I was 20 years old. I will always be open to these, due to the great results I have experienced. I put medicine in quotes, as herbal remedies and teas are what I used. I had to do a lot of research on the herbal remedies and teas, as they were not widely recognized in the US, 22 years ago.

    When I was 18, I had my tonsils taken out. I kept having recurring tonsilitis and my tonsils were pemanently swollen with deep craters in them. (Sounds pretty gross, but that's what they looked like). After my tonsils were removed, I started getting a lot of hay fever, allergies and then asthma. I started seeing an allergy specialist who performed the skin tests and found out all I was allergic to. I chose to do the allergy injections, once a week, for 2 years. The injections helped tremendously, however, I was still taking oral medications for the asthma. I did not like the side effects from the oral medications (they made my hands shake and I felt jittery). I knew I had to take the medications, in order to control my asthma... but I kept wondering about homeopathic and alternative treatments. That is when I started doing my research and stumbled upon a book titled: Back to Eden. After reading that book, I started reading books by Dr. Andrew Weil. I was captivated by his theories on self-healing, relaxation and destressing. After many months of gathering information on these alternative treatments, I experimented with peppermint and chamomile teas... in addition to relaxation methods. When I had finished my series of injections from the allergy specialist, I was seeing an internal medicine specialist (family doctor) who kept me on the prescribed asthma medication. I decided to have a consultation visit with him one day, and presented the information I had gathered on alternative treatments for my asthma. He was quite skeptical at first, but knew I would never do something drastic as to completely stop my prescribed medication for asthma. Long story short... he worked with me on my idea of wanting to try the alternative method, in an attempt to wean myself off of the prescription asthma medications. Within a years time... it worked. I implemented other herbs and soy products into my herbal tea "medicine" treatments during that time, which contributed to my success.

    The overall experience was wonderful. It was not a quick fix, like conventional medicine, but well worth the wait. I was not foolish and did keep an inhaler with me, in the event of an asthma attack that could not be controlled by the alternative method.

    I have not used an inhaler for almost 12 years and have been off the alternative treatment for the same amount of time. I still will use teas on my family and myself when we have colds or the flu.

    Aromatherapy and relaxation therapy has been a part of my daily life, since I discovered it for myself. It works and I truly believe helps with any kind of ailment we encounter. The mind is a powerful tool and can be used to our benefit in ways we aren't "accustomed" to.

    What you have experienced with your Eastern Master, reminds me of the time in my life with my asthma.

    If my back should need more help in the future, I will definitely seek your assistance. You can count on that... lol. When I put my situation in perspective... it's much too early for me to consider deep massage therapy. I will mention this to my neurosurgeon, when the time is right. He and I have a wonderful relationship and I feel comfortable presenting this to him... again, when the time is right.

    I would be more than happy to get a thread going on our success with alternative treatments, including relaxation and aroma therapies. Patience is key to the success in these methods, but sooooo well worth the outcome!

    Thank you, as always, Papa Ron. =D>

  • This has gotten to be a long thread, but I would like to add my two cents. After several problems about 2 years ago, Drs determined I had spine problems, 11 herniated disk. I had surgery for the neck first a year ago. I just had surgery for the thoracic about 3 weeks ago. It gave me some immediate relief, but there are still alot of lingering issues. It relieved the cord compression at T7-8. I have had digestive problems and bloating for 1.5 years. It got a little better, but not alot. The thoracic is a very tight area because there is not much movement here, much different than the neck and lower back. It also has alot of nerves for vital organs, which can cause a number of other problems. I am hopefull that the improvements will continue, especially since nerver regeneration takes a very long time to heal. Drs are very skeptical about any thoracic work because it is not explored very much and has the greatest chance of risks. My Dr would not do any work on it a year ago. Now the technoly for microsurgery has improved and was helpful in removing the compression. Good luck to you all.
  • I am hoping I can get a greater understanding of my situation and advice from those with more experience.

    Description of Pain: (Lumbar)
    Dull stabbing pain primarily centralized in lower back. The pain radiates into the hips with more pain on the left side. Above both sides of the hips there are “knots” that are tender to the touch. When touched sharp pain is felt. At times there is dull aching sensation felt in my left and right knees, but the aching sensation can be felt into my left ankle and across the top of the foot. When going up stairs there is weakness felt in the left quadriceps just above the knee. At times there is less sensation felt in the outer part of the left calve primarily hot / cold sensations. Occasionally when taking deep breaths a dull stabbing pain can be felt in the lower left side of the back / hip area. The pain is normally at its worst in the morning.

    Deep dull aching pain primarily centralized in thoracic region of the back. The pain is felt from the base of the rib cage up to the middle of the shoulder blades. At times there is pain felt along the spine up to the base of the neck and across the shoulders. There is numbness felt on the outer part of the left & right hand and sporadically sharp stabbing pain in the right elbow (hurts to extend) and an aching sensation into the right wrist. Occasionally there will be muscle spasms in the back on the right side near the base of the rib cage. At the climax of pain a pulsating sensation is felt between the shoulder blades

    I have had 6 facet injections in my lumbar (no help), 1 ESI in my lumbar, and 6 weeks of physical therapy. The ESI has changed my lumbar pain from a sharp stabbing pain in my hips, to a dull ache in my hips & random pain in my knees, but no affect on my thoracic.

    MRI Results:

    L5/S1 minimal circumferential buldge without indentation of the thecal sac. No cancal or foraminal stenosis is seen.
    Thorasic: (primary source of pain)
    Desiccation of the T10-11 disc. Schmorl's node in this inferior endplate of T10 with reactive fatty marrow signal change in the adjacent T10 vertebral body and also in the superior endplate of T11.

    I am just tired of hurting and feel that there is no end in sight. It is so refreshing to read and know others feel as you do. I have been dealing with thoracic pain for over four years and recently dealing with lumbar pain for almost one year. My source of strength is to be there for my wife, but it is difficult because even remedial tasks either cause immediate pain or residual pain.
    I look forward to reading more posts. Thanks!
  • I'm the same as you but it all moves around, never stays the same intensity...and can't plan crapola in my life from one hour to the next.

    nice description.

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