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Unknown pain in thoracic spine

dan4011ddan4011 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Alright, about a month or 2 ago I started noticing some pain in my thoracic region, the pain was tender to the touch of one of the vertebrae on my back, in the lower thoracic area. It didnt seem to come on very suddenly but then again im not sure.

the pain continued to bother me, it hurt with activity and lifting etc... seems like a pain that is localized to one of the vertebrae or between 2 of them and doest seem to be a muscular pain.

I went to see a doctor a little over a week ago, he felt the area, said it was probably nothing major and gave me a couple weeks of anti inflamatories.

After about 8 days of taking the anti inflamtories it hasent seemed to work at all, the pain is still there, possibly even worse than when it started.

Again, I cant think of an event that triggered this, but I am relatively active so i may have had to lift something or could have fallen or something. who knows, but i cant remember a sudden onset of symptoms. I dont notice the pain radiating down my legs or anywhere else, nothing crazy, no neurological symptoms from what I can tell.

I am a 21 year old male, no history of any kind of back problems. This is really worrying me, Should I go ahead back to the doctor or wait until i take the other week of these anti inflam. pills?

anyone had a similar experience, any kind of explanation? I went to see a doctor on campus (bc it is free) should I see my family doctor at this point, or follow up with the original doctor?



  • Hi Dan how is your pain now?
    I too suffer from pain in the thoracic spine and have been in constant pain for five years.Although not severe, the fact that it is constant and unrelenting is tiresome some days.
    It sounds like you might have a bit of degenerative disc disease. Anti-inflammatories won't do much other than prevent muscles in the local area from flaring up.
    You could go and get a Thoracic Xray and a CT Scan just for peace of mind. That would show up DDD or if something else is wrong. You will need to go to a GP for a referral.
    I have developed some thoracic stretches that have really helped my condition.

  • Dan, Welcome to Spine Health.

    I completely understand about your back pain. Mine radiates out from one spot and tingles (going numb) constantly. I use a lot of ice, heat and pain meds to help me manage.

    If your pain is getting worse the only thing you can do is tell your doctor. Getting a proper diagnosis can take a long time. Specially since the Thoracic spine is the most uncommon part of the back to get injury.

    I would suggest you follow up with your doctor so he can go through the proper channels with your insurance. He may prescribe massage, PT, and stronger meds first. Then if that doesn't work he may order the MRI or CT scan.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  • i know you posted this months ago, but i thought i would still throw my 2 cents out there.
    i am a 19 year old, lean female. i do have history of low back pain, but nothing i couldnt handle. about 8 months ago (in february) i started having crippling back spasps..blah blah blah. basically, i have DDD at 2 levels in my thoracic spine. but before finding this out, one of my chiropractors said that the tenderness could be do to something called facet syndrome. which is something like, when those vertebrae rub together, due to the DDD, it causes it to be tender to the touch. i think this is a pretty accurate description. i had an MRI back in march, which showed DDD and the 3 vertebrae around those 2 discs ahve already begun fusing. but now the issue they have ran into is, why is nothing working. nothing has eased any of the pain and it only seems to get worse. not trying to be a debby downer, but things can get pretty frustrating and tiring.

    what kind of doctor did you go see?

    ive been to 2 chiropractors, an orthopedic spine specialist, and now a neuro surgeon. if you are still in pain, and they still say it is nothing to worry about, i would see another dr.

    being young and in pain is completely awful. i can completely relate.

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