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driftwoodddriftwood Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
is it normal for vertebrae, specifically t-4-t6 region to hurt? Pushing directly on it and then more so to right side I find it to be quite tender. It has been tender for quite a while.

My initial injury started with a twitch/tingle stimulation sensation in a muscle at about that level while working out and eventually my whole right trap from top to bottom locked up. I have had neck and back problems since the injury six months. In trying to figure what is causing this I am really not sure I am finding an explanation.

I had MRI's of the neck and two doctors cannot agree that it is causing my issues Its been six months and I am still not able to tilt my head very much to the left.

Since most of my issues seemed to be in the neck are



  • Drift ever since my surgery at T1/2 I have had severe muscle spams along the right side of my spine. The PT works them out and then they come back. He says this could be a forever thing for me. It goes along my incision (6 inches) and up to my neck and out to my shoulder. Big area.

    That said I don't have much surface pain from it. Most of the time I don't feel it at all. But when I do it's usually deeper.

    Maybe what you are feeling is muscles that are guarding the injured area? If it is they might be able to do trigger pt injections or some deep massage.

    I can sympathize with you about the vague diagnosis. I've been dealing with this for almost a 1 1/2 years now and it stinks. One says this and the other says that. One tries this and the other says it wont work. All I can say is don't give up. Something will work for you.
  • When my NS examined my thoracic, any pressure on my T8/9/10 caused me to yelp in pain. For me, I have DDD, spurs and arthritis (arthritis throughout the T-spine). My NS thought at first I had a hernia there, but one didn't show.

    Have you had an MRI of the thoracic region yet? Remember, the x-ray will only show spacing, alignment and spurs.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Kris - it's definitely frustrating. Next week I go back to the neurologist. Just going nuts seeing all these doctors. Not sure if the pain is in the muscle, its litterally to the right side of two bones, so maybe its a ligament? But that region had all locked up and it was only the trigger point injection that released it.

    I had been focusin on the neck a lot cause of what the chiro said along with the neuro said I did have DDD there, but that was not the issue.

    Hey Brenda.
    NO MRI there, I hadn't given those two areas much thought since I it was my neck and trap then later lower back.

    I just was not sure if t4-6 can cause these issues as well and when I was being examined the doc pushed on the c6/5 etc to see the pain but it really did not hurt. But t4 area definitly hurts. When this injury first happened and after the chiro I was not able to hold my head up hardly for almost a month and that is why the focus was so much on c6/7.

    I am just trying to rule anything and everything out.

    Thanks for the response as always.

  • ugh - ok so I was pushing on that are feeling around the bone that hurts - now it's all poofed up like a big moasuito bite.........I havent been outside. I am crazyyyy or is this coincidence?
  • Nope not a coincidence. You might want to try ice or heat.
  • "is it normal for vertebrae, specifically t-4-t6 region to hurt?"

    Mine sure does.... Not sure if it is excatly the same area as you but my MRI & report state that I have a hernaition with annular tear central at T6/7 and I can't bear to have my husband massage me in this area any more.

    Hang in there,

  • so its that a symptom of a herniation? Why did it poof up like that. It really feels like I got bit by a bug.
  • I think I am going crazy...

    the sking just lumped up and hardened over the vertebra where I having the pain.

    so either it's coincidence, a spider bit me right where i was feeling or....

    its not soft, its hard like rubber..

    here is a link to see it

  • That is very strange looking. So perfectly round and raised. You sould probably consult your doctor.

    I know my brother has something similar but I haven't seen it since we live very far apart. His came after a surgery (about 12 months) and stayed. His felt like it was filled with jelly. I don't know if he found out what it was yet. Sadly we don't communicate often.

    Hang in there,

  • Driftwood,

    I agree with Julie about getting that looked at. From what I get looking at it, it isn't on the spine, but to the left of it. It could be a lot of things, like you said a spider (or other bug) bite, a puss filled cyst, all kinds of things. A GP would be my first place I would go.

    It almost looks like those "cup" shapes after that new massage thing where they suck your skin with these very warm, almost hot cups! I don't see any color differences either which is odd. Is it hot to the touch, and do you see any dots or white spots to say it might be a bite? I'd love to know what you find out!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Wow perfectly round. Do you go for PT or massage? Or had any recent injections or trigger point injections? I had a lipoma on my back before and on my rib and I could feel it but not see it and it dissolved on it's own. Had you had any heat or ice that area? Maybe a bug bite but doesn't look red, itchy at all? Hope you find out what it is. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • It all started when I was pushing on the tow vertebra as I was feeling around I noticed that on the right side of it it was hurting more, almost like a sting. Naturally I kept pushing on it more.

    Then it just poofed up. IN the pic it looks alittle more to the right but when I am sitting straight its right over the center the protrudes to the right.

    I was hot right in the center and every coarse/hard.

    This morning there is a bruise where I had been pushing with my finger and redness around it. It is super tender.

    It just got me thinking if it is a ligament attached to this or something else wrong with those two vertebrae.
  • oh, yeah I had a trigger point injection 5weeks ago a little higher to the right. NO message etc.
  • I know for me, I am running out of ideas Driftwood. Have you gotten an appointment with your GP, or are you calling Monday? If it's the GP, I would let them know how fast this thing came up, then maybe they will get you in asap, even if only for a few minutes to say "it's nothing, life is good", or decide on some test. Please let us know, as this is new to a lot of us I know.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks Brenda,
    yeah this is just nutso. Not going to the GP - I don't fit the norm of patients and their probability based diagnosis is kinda getting old.

    Tuesday I see a highly rated neurosurgeon, I got the mri of the neck he can decide if the DDD is ann issue or not. I will try and have xrays done at an urgent care center tomorrow of the thoracic region. This way he can tell me that its ok or needs further investigation.

    I know it was definitly triggered by poking on it. There is now a nice dime since bruise with redness. The welt like thing is gone.

    Basically the GP's have left me with the option of cymbalta or "everything is ok, this is all anxiety."
    Perhaps, its not helping. But I just want to know knwo what is really causing these things.
  • Aaahhh, the "norm", I hear ya there! Unfortunately if that disk thing is what I think its made of - soft materials, the x-ray won't yield much help there. I had a 'bubble' behind my ear a mazillion years ago, and what they did then, was went in with an 18 gage needle and aspirated a sample. In my case it was a puss filled cyst. They drained it, and it never came back...never found out what caused it in the first place.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for you that all turns out well. :)

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

    Well it was really weird to push on those two bones, they definitly hurt and thats how they reacted by pushing on them. I think the xray is just for him to see if it needs further investigation. Just don't want to go there complain about it then have to take an xray then run back.. I thing if the xray is normal then perhaps there would be no need to explore it further.

    I would like to put a conclusion to the last six months.

    Have the MRI of the upper and lower. WIll get an xray of the middle and if that doesnt show or warrant and MRI. THen I think I jiust let this go and accept that it is what it is.
  • Driftwood,

    The one thing I have learned in life, and echoed so many times on this site alone, is 'never just accept' to accept. If your body is still telling your brain that something is wrong, you need to listen to it!! Now if you go in, they x-ray, find nothing, they might run a blood panel, or take a biopsy and go from there. It could just be a puss pocket - but from what is the answer needed now, right?

    I don't know if you could have induced it or not. I know my hubby knows not to push on my lower thoracic. I am not sure if my black disks are what cause the sensitivity, I am more thinking that the bone spurs are "in the normal positions" not touching nerves, but when pushed in, they bump em, and as such = pain. As I mentioned earlier, my NS said I was showing classic signs of a hernia there, but none was evident on the MRI.

    Stick to your guns. If they look you over and say it is nothing, ask them (if they don't already offer) why is it of no concern. They will probably be able to give you answers and solutions. Just stick with your guns, okay?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks Brenda, appreciate the support.

    So I went it and they think its an infection???? Some kind of cycst that got infected?

  • Driftwood,

    Remember my ear thing? It was a cyst as well. Did they drain it out and give you medicine to take for the infection? Glad to hear you have found out what the problem is. :) You're very welcome for the support. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • yea they said if I don't it will get worse. Boo.

    They also took xrays of that bone isnce its where I first started having issues.

    SO tomorrow I go with MRI of upper and lower, xray of Thorasic. Am hoping the Neurosurgeon can say if it is the root of the problems or not.

    I doc says it is another says its not.
  • Now it looks like you might be on track. Let us know if they find anything, and too if there's a game plan at that point. Now of course, if you have one doctor saying this, and another saying that, then it moves to '3rd' opinion time. Sometimes getting to the diagnosis is the hardest part! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • yeah, that's what it seems like.

    Do I trust the radiologist or do I trust the "neuromuscularskeleon medicine." :(

    The radiologist looks at MRI all day and reads em etc.
    THe specialist...

    SO the neurosurgeon should hopefully make sense. Is there an advantage between having an Neurosurgeon vs Orthopedic look at them?
  • Howdy!

    If I have to get a revision for my neck, I will probably opt for a Orthopedic Surgeon this go around. My reason for that is a lot of 'bone' work will have to be done, so I want a spine specialist that has that knowledge as well.

    The key Driftwood is "Spine specialist" that works just spines! Neuro-surgeons for me have worked best due to disks *manly* being the cause of my problems. Now my C2/3 has disk issues, but also one side is being closed off due to a complex of osteophytes, and my C6 vertebra is cracked, so that is why I am probably going Ortho on this one. Shrug, who knows, I may find a great NS and go with one again. :)

    Orthopedic has trained in bone and joints, then the nerves and spine for their specialty.

    Neurosurgeons trained in nerves, the brain and spine for their specialty. Either one if trained, certified and commonly practicing in surgery of the spine can be equally as good. Of course I simplified their training, just giving a quick point.

    The key is what is their specialty, is it spine work, and how good is their work, their reputation in the medical community, patient success rate, any law suits against for malpractice. Things like that.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • The guy I am seeing is highly recommended. I have hoping he will be able to tell me if the issues are related to DDD or something else. So am thinking in this case then discs seem to be the issue..

    However if its not the discs then what is cause the problems. Might just see both :)

    oh well.

    Cracks in your bone or disc? do they heal? :(
  • The crack is between my last two fusions - in the C6 vertebra. It's been six months since it cracked, so at this stage, it's unlikely to heal on its own. :(

    Please let me know how it goes with your doctor. :)

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