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?? for people with severe thoracic pain

jewelspetjjewelspet Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi - I've only made one other post I think where I posted my mri report - I am desperate for relief for my pain I'm in at present. I'm on back trying to type now & in awful pain.

My - T5-T6 is contacting the cord (but not compressing) per mri report in August. I think it's the one that is feeling like I have Knife stuck in my back. The pain is coming through to the front when I inhale.

I have not been able to sit much, especially by late afternoon & night the pain is so great.

Laying on my back flat hurts - because I feel the "knife in the back" pain. I can't lay on my left side - feels like the bulge maybe on that side, I don't know just hurts - I get a little relief lying on my right side - but I had rotator cuff surgery a few months ago on the r.shoulder & I can't lay on it long!! Sometimes I get some relief on my stomach - but it hurts the rotator - and sometimes I can't stand the stomach when the pain is coming through to my chest. .

I've been on Mobic for a long time - - found out today I have to stop it - - My blood work has been elevated for some time & I had to go to a Kidney Specialist - He said I have to stop it. I haven't got answers on my Kidneys yet will take 2 wks to be off the mobic then he will do more blood work & see if that's the cause of the elevated blood work.

Does anyone know - if the bulge is compressing the cord - does that mean you'd be paralized at that point?? Mine is in contact with cord but not compressing.

Which is better for pain - - heat or ice pak??

I'm taking tramodol - about 4 a day - - Neurotin, Bacofen muscle relaxant at bedtime. I guess I need to take it in the daytime but it makes me so sleepy and it makes me where it's hard for me to pee (empty). I'm going to ask for the extended release tramodol next - - Has anyone else tried it????????

I have the fullness/bloated, upper ab pain after eating & I read where another post commented as this was thoracic related. . It's around ribs around & in front. I've had stomach checked & it was okay - - I can only eat one good meal a day - since my thoracic has got worse - I am miserable in my stomach/left side ribs if I eat lunch and dinner both. I've just been eating yogurt in the morning & nothing else till night meal - just can't. I know if I do I'll be in trouble. .

OH one more question - - Has anyone had a steriod injection in the thoracic area?? I'm trying to get in w/a pain specialist. Should I be concerned w/this close to the cord?

I really think I have another one out since the mri.

This thoracic pain is the worse pain I've ever had. . Worse than any lumbar pain, worse than rotator cuff surgery, worse than any pain period I've ever had to deal with. .

I'm really scare of it getting worse - - I don't know how I can stand it any worse than this.

Please help or tell me what to do - - I guess I need to resort to stronger pain med - - I just hate starting it, but I may have no choice.

Thanks for listening and glad to know there are others here

OH - & I do want to know have you ever had this knife in the back - take your breath away pain - - & if you did how did you get it better?? Would staying in the bed help??

Sorry I asked so many questions!


  • I don't have thoracic injuries, but at L2, which is above the end of the cord I have a fracture that impinges on the cord by 7.4 mm, and I'm still walking around.

    I think it is a case where you have to listen to your doctor and take his advice. It is also very important that you trust your doctor!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    No question Thoracic spinal problems cause a lot of discomfort and pain. They are also very difficult to manage and try to get under control.

    It is so important to have an effective relationship with your doctor so that you can discuss all of your issues.

    Remember, additional or stronger pain medications is not always the answer to spinal problems
    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
  • Gosh Judy I am really sorry that you are in so much pain. I can relate but not at the same level. I am hurting to a 7-8 on the scale most days. 3-5 with pain meds. I am taking 10 mg norco about 2x per day and 10 mg of flexerile 1-2 per day (I can't take it all day since I have to work- I only take it after 5pm). I also take OTC tylenol & aleve daily. The ESI I had about 3-4 weeks ago didn't do much for me. I would go for the selective nerve root block if you know where your problem is- I have had some success with those at least temporary relief.

    Some one on here mentioned to me to lay on my stomach. I laughed at the time thinking "yeah right", but talked to my PT person about it. She encouraged it for me. So a couple times a day I lay down on my 4" memory foam topped matress and rest. It really helps unload my mid/upper back.

    As for pain relief with heat or ice, I use both. The ice helps numb things but the heat soothes. If I am laying in bed in pain and I am tired I get one of my big ice gel packs. That way when I finally fall asleep I don't have to worry about it burning or electrocuting me.

    Some times I pile up several pillows in bed and make a hump/hill and lay on my stomach over them. Or I take my large exercise ball and lay over it to stretch my T-spine with out compressing it.

    I think if you have questions about your herniations or bulges you should call and speak with your docotor or doctors nurse. Be very clear in your questions and hopefully she/he will answer you. I know when I have a question for my NS I leave a message and the RN calls me back and then we talk.

    I know with my neck, I was afraid mine was going get much worse. I was "stable" as long as I wasn't injured. Does that makes sense? I spent a couple months not doing anything while I was waiting for surgery. My PT said that I was over reacting and I just deconditioned. Of course she wasn't the one looking at a wheel chair either.

    Hang in there- hugs :)

  • As some with thoracic issues but starting in at T10, the one thing I know is laying in bed to long only creates over all pain for me. I need to control the amount of sitting, standing, walking and laying down. It is kind of a big mix. AS far as to the heat/ice thing it is a on and off thing. Sometimes one works better than the other, but I do it 15 minutes at a time.
  • yes please send...i can see that i have the same problems like you,directly at this area t6 t7...
  • Thank you all for your comments as you all have some good ones.

    Julie - - Lying on my stomach does help sometimes, I really appreciate all your comments.

    Tam Tam - I sure have to limit my sitting the most - & getting worse

    Dilaro- I need another Dr. - he just seems not to care - He's a surgeon - I'm too risky, too much wrong, - he has no compassion - I'm done w/him. Problem is there are no others around here except in same clinic & they problem would not see me since same clinic. I don't feel like riding any distance.

    Aneisen - - What type of injection did they put in you?????? -

    I just updated my mri profile today - - Only thoracic & lumbar mri's are recent - - I'm upset because I just looked at my old cervical from last yr (6/09) - - I couldn't remember how many I had - had no idea it was this many - - 5 in cervical - 1 of those (C5-6 near ventral cervical cord abutment. Mild spinal stenosis) - - I don't know if I have more since last yr or not (I surely have more pain)

    Can cervical disc cause thoracic pain??

    So, that's a total of 13 bad disc - - It's by God's Grace that I'm walking - -

    Is there any hope for me or I'm to only get worse????

    Depressed & pain today

    Thank you guys

  • Jewel,

    Re: intense pain you are feeling, thought I'd just offer another condition that can cause similar symptoms and you mentioned in earlier post eating and down to one meal...mentioned saying you think your stomach is okay...

    I had severe gallbladder inflammation come on that was pain in the front mid-breast bone do intense I couldn't bear the pain or eat. it was at times more the left side, most the time without indigestion, but unable to tolerate much eating.

    I ruled out heart, rib-head muscle pull, and with time and two terrible episodes discovered I was having gallbladder attacks.

    Not wanted to shift your focus thinking it was thoracic but the symtoms you mentioned are very similiar to gallbladder issues as well and often gets misdiagnosed because of existing spine issues that are chronic...it did for me!

    Re: Your ? can cervical issues cause thoracic back area pain

    For me, YES, I have pain from C-6/7 T-1/2 that radiates down my thoracic spinS mid-back, as well asd typical across shoulder blade into shoulder down arm.

    Sure hope you are able to find out the true source of the pain and can get some adequate support and relief of your pain. That intensity and not knowing what is v-e-r-y difficult and can be a lot to bear.

    Wishing you relief and resolve soon and (((hug)) to you.


  • I know the Thoracic pain is terrible. I think that is my recent problem, laying in my brace and huring them again.

    I love the ice after surgery but for my Thoracic, I don't know why it was always the moist heat that helps the most.

    I also never lay on my back because I hear everything crack break up and get active again, if that makes sense. It has been years and I was always told there was nothing I could do.

    Well, I did get a steriod shot in my hip, and that helped me overall.

    My heat stays plugged in next to the bed. If you don't have a Moist Heat, wet a towel and put it in the microwave.

  • THanks -

    Someone posted on here about infrared heat pad - -
    That it penetrated deeper. . Does anyone know about that & where you get them?
  • THanks -

    Someone posted on here about infrared heat pad - -
    That it penetrated deeper. . Does anyone know about that & where you get them?
  • No, I do not know about it but I do have every intention of finding out.

    The answer will probably appear here from someone that does know already before I get it. It will not be until next week. I have had to cancel my P.T's appnt'.

    You could always call a Pain Management Office or Call the drug stores. It has been twenty years ago that I had neck surgery and I never needed or looked into anything else.

    I would guess that Infared would be like ultrasound....deep....sounds like it would be great.

    Let me know if you learn anything before I do :)
  • You can probably do a Google search for them. If memory serves, I think Charry on another post mentioned she had one? Not sure now, but I'm sure they will pop up on a search. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi everyone...

    I would be happy to give you the website I ordered mine from. Feel free to PM me.

    Charry recommended this a year ago and it works wonders! Penetrates heat 2 1/2 inches into the muscles.

    I have hardware in my back and was given the okay to use this from my Neurosurgeon. Please check with your doctors, as well.


  • If you google infrared deep heat, you will find information about it and how it works. There are various ways that you can receive it, but a heating pad is probably the easiest to use. They can be expensive, especially in the UK.

    I did look into getting one some time ago, but the price put me off.

    The trouble with getting one from the USA and shipping it here, is that the postage is high, and then we have to pay duty on top of that!!

    I think if I could find one at a reasonable price, I would get one to try.

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