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Could this be Thoracic Disc Hernaition??? Constant Pain!!

Speedy3SSpeedy3 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm posting this for my boyfriend. He has had lower back pain for over a year now and was diagnoised with a Torn Rim and a disc out within the last 9 months. The pain hasn't been constant up until 3 weeks ago. He started experiencing severe pain that radiated up the middle of his spine, then his shoulders and now it has settled in his chest. Last week he saw the chiropractor twice. On friday they did an x-ray and it showed bone spurs (Not sure which disc). He has him coming back every day this week for adjustments. He was very sick this past weekend in pain. He kept ice packs to the sites of pain and his family doctor called him in some Hydrocodone which was a little help. He is scheduled to see his family doctor on thursday. I have been scouring the internet for any possible clues as to what else could be going on that is causing the constant pain. I just happened to find this one and read about the Thoracic Disc Herniation Symptoms. It sounds like this may be what he has but just was hoping for some insite from some of you.
Has anyone on here had unbearable pain in there back that has radiated to the chest area and won't go away?? If so what are your suggestions?? I know he needs to have an MRI for sure and I hope that his family doctor will order one. I wanted him to go to the ER sunday, but he wouldn't have anything to do with that idea. I think at least they would have done alot of testing and he may have already been on his way to healing.

Thanks for any comments,


  • Hi Karen, I can only help by telling you that I am currently dealing with my Thoracic along with existing Lumbar/Sciatica problems. My Thoracic started with extreme burning sensation mid back and running down the back of both upper arms. That burning has also had some aching joining it. I have had the muscle spasms that radiate on my left side and if I didn't know better I would swear I was having heart troubles. The muscle spasms have settled down as well as the intense burning but the aching pain is bad. I have problems raising my arms above my shoulder level. They ache worse, and lose strength within seconds when I raise them like that. I had a MRI done and they found 2 disc bulges, disc desiccation and space narrowing (disc deteriating), and spurs throughout the thoracic spine. I am currently having Epidural Injections done to see if I can get some relief from this new pain. I am already on a regime of medication (pain, muscle relax, nerve, ect.) that has not helped. I ice constantly and use a TENS when it helps. I have no herniations at this level but I have alot of pain and weakness. I myself am not sure if I need to look at the Cervical to rule out everything. This is what I am currently experiencing and don't know if anything sounds the same or is even helpful. But it is all I can offer you.
  • Thank you so much for your in-put. I'm sorry to hear that you've been through so much and are still battling pain. Back problems are horrible and it seems once you get them, they plague you forever.
    He hasn't had alot of pain in his arms. It's mainly in his chest and shoulders along with the center of his back. It puzzels me that it does move around from place to place. Hopefully he'll be able to ge a MRI soon and find out more.
    Take care and I hope you soon get relief!

  • Hi Karen,
    I have been dealing with pain in my thoracic region also. It hurts when i take a deep breath and also when i raise my arms above my shoulders. I have hardly no range of motion in my neck. Is your boyfriend having this problem too? I am going to try decompression therapy at the end of April. Maybe this would help him. I hope the pain lets up soon. Chronic pain is such a burden.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    is a medical professional, so that all the posts and information you may read (forums only, not the Spine-Health articles) are personal opinions only and should be treated that way.

    Without the proper diagnostic tests, it is impossible to determine is your boyfriend has any Thoracic disc problems. The thoracic area is the strongest of all of the Spinal discs. They are connected to the rib cage, thus providing strength and stability.

    It normally takes some major action to cause problems to the thoracic area.

    My best advice would be to follow up with your family doctor and see if they feel any additional follow ups with a specialist is in order.
    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
  • Naturegirl88,
    Thanks for your response. He is having pain when he raises his arms. He is basically hurting all over now but it is really hurting in the chest area.
    He went to his family doctor today and he did a complete exam and took x-rays. He said the x-rays didn't show up anything suspicious. He said the lungs and heart looked good and his blood pressure was good. He put him on Prednisone for 5 days to see if that helps. If it does, he said it is muscluar. If it dosen't then he's gonna order an MRI. It's still a waiting game.....and it really sucks!!

  • Thank you for your reply. I do realize that these are just opinions. He is seeking medical advise from his family doctor now.

  • I had the same pain for 10 years and an MRI showed a herniated disc at T-11 however every specialist said it wasn't bulging enough to cause the central spinal pain that radiated around to the chest. I went through the Epidural and facet injections with no luck. I finally saw a new Neurosurgeon and they performed a disco gram which did show tearing in the disc but was still skeptical as to performing the surgery. They left it up to me and I was tired of dealing with the pain so I went for it. They performed an XLIF procedure going in through the left side and deflating my left lung. Once they got to the disc it was worse then it appeared on any of the MRI's. They removed the disc and fused it with a cage placed around it. I am about nine weeks post op and have not felt the back pain that I had prior to surgery. The nerves on my left front are all going crazy but this was expected. You mostly hear the negatives on the forums because it is usually those that have problems that speak up.
  • He had a CT Scan done that looked suspicious so his family doctor sent him to an Oncologist. He went through an MRI,Metastatic Bone Series and a Bone Marrow Biopsy and after all that, we found out this week that he has Multiple Myeloma. He starts chemo on Monday and if all goes well with that, in August he will go to Duke to have a Stem Cell Transplant. It's gonna be a long road but it should be able to be put in remission with the transplant.
    Good Luck with your healing. Back surgery is painful.
    I hope you get along well.
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