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Chronic Thoracic Spine/Lateral Muscle Pain and Spasms, 2+ years--getting worse as time passes, HELP!

mb7716mmb7716 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:55 AM in Chronic Pain
I apologize in advance for the length of this question, but I am getting desperate for answers, and I included as much detail as I could. Thank you in advance for your help.

I am a 28 year old female. 6' tall and 205 pounds.

I consider myself active: I attend jiu jitsu classes twice weekly and lift free weights and cardio at the gym twice weekly.

My profession is a photographer: about 20percent of my time is spent behind the camera, the other 80percent of the time is at a desk, editing photos on a computer.

Two years ago, I noticed a pain in my left midback region that felt like something was pushing on my lung with every breath, especially deep breaths. Almost like someone is digging their knuckles into the spot where my lat muscle meets my spine: close to the bottom of the shoulder blade.

I suspected that this was some sort of minor injury because of my sport-- jiu jitsu is very close contact grappling. At the time, the pain wasn't severe enough to make me worry, and so I (stupidly) ignored it, thinking it would go away on it's own.

Fast forward a year and six months later, and the pushing-pain still exists, except multiplied ten times greater. When it gets BAD, it sends my muscles on the left side of my back into spasm and makes it extremely painful to even take a small breath. When I am tired after a long day, my back will begin to spasm for no reason. The spasming seems to have a direct connection to this "pushing" feeling that I'm having in my mid-back. Even when my back is not full-on spasming, the pushing feeling is still there.

This pushing feeling is 100 percent of the time, every day, every breath, for now the past two years. It has recently become much, much worse.

Other minor symptoms is a very tight neck and feeling like I need to "pop" it constantly, a tired lower back (especially when the spasming starts), pain in the front rib area of my left side (especially when spasming) and sometimes my arm/hand on my left side feels weird. My right arm and hand on my right side occasionally goes numb and gets painful, which my doctor attributed to a minor pinched nerve.

When I breathe, ESPECIALLY when my back is spasming, I can hear lots of "popping" noises in my ears, which sound like they are coming from joints in my back: similar sounds to when a person pops their knuckles.

MRI results of my lower back showed nothing remarkable. X-ray of my thoracic spine came back fine. My upper back and thoracic spine have not been MRIed.

My family doctor sent me to a pain management doctor, who suspected my ribs were sublaxating. She put me on pain medication, muscle relaxants, and I went to a physical therapist for about a month. None of the above ever completely gets rid of the pushing feeling, and my back still goes into spasm.

My pain management doctor just tells me to keep taking the pain killer and muscle relaxant--which I really don't feel is doing anything at all.

My family doctor suggested I go to a deep tissue massage therapist. The massage therapist mentioned that all of my muscles, especially teres major/minor and lateral dorsi were especially tight, which could be putting extra pressure on my ribs--causing the "pushing" feeling. She mentioned that she felt some scar tissue around my teres minor. I've had five weekly 1.5-hour long (very painful and expensive) deep tissue massages. For about 8 hours after I leave, I have only slight "pushing" pain. The pain ALWAYS returns, though.

I have been stretching twice daily--stretches that the physical therapist and massage therapist suggested. These feel good, and I can tell they are good for my back, but they are not solving my problem.

The ONLY things that helps relieve the pain slightly is a) the deep tissue massage b) my TENS unit and c) laying in bed for a long, long time, which really isn't an option because of...well...my LIFE. Shortly after I stop any of these three methods, my pain comes right back. Even hydrocodone and muscle relaxants do nothing but make me feel woozy--the pushing sensation still exists (though, I will admit, the pain in the sensation is decreased).

And now, for the past two days, my entire left side of my body has been in complete spasm. My muscles are hard to the touch. I am having trouble breathing, I am fatigued, and quite honestly, scared. I can't miss work because we are so busy, so staying home in bed is not an option. I wear my TENS unit as often as I can around the office, and I'm out of money temporarily for deep tissue massages (last one was a week ago).

I am tired of living with this pain and it's really starting to take a toll on my life and my finances, and I fully regret not going to the doctor when this first started two years ago.

Please--does anyone have an idea of what's going on?


  • It is possible you have a thoracic herniated disc. You should get an mri of that area.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Coming to Spine Health is a great place to find out a lot about your problems and to learn about the spine problems that can bother you. You have mentioned several symptoms that I can relate to in the thoracic area of the spine. I think you definately need to talk to your doctor about having a MRI for your thoracic part of your back, it sounds like you could have a herniated disc causing the problems. The thoracic area is the middle part of your spine, between your cervical (neck area), and the lumbar (lower area) of the spine. Doctors seem to have a harder time treating or diagnosing this area of the spine, because it is the least likely area to have problems, but it does happen. Check out this site thoroughly, because there is so much information to offer. The people on the forums are amazing, and they have so much personal experience that can help people like yourself. Ofcourse, this is just my opinion on your problems, the doctor is the only one that can diagnose anything. I hope this helps some, and I hoope you find answers and treatment so your pain will go away. If there is anything I can do just let me know.

  • Welcome to Spine-health.

    Actually, I'd get an MRI of your cervical area. My problems started with a stabbing pain in the middle of my back and if you're experiencing arm symptoms, it could be referred pain from your cervical area.

    It's true that x-rays of the thoracic area may not show if something is wrong, but starting with an x-ray of your cervical area might be a wise idea. My experience from my cervical problems were that the symptoms were not directly in my neck, but in my upper back, sometimes a little lower, and into my arms.

    Take care and keep us posted.

  • I would definitely recommend that you talk to your doctor about an MRI of the thoracic spine, and maybe even the cervical if you are having these symptoms in your arm. Some of your symptoms seem consistant with a cervical disc problem, while others are classic for a thoracic herniation. I, myself, have multiple thoracic herniations. Depending on which side the disc is herniated on, you'll feel mid-back pain that radiates around your side and sometimes to the front. I just had two discs operated on 5 weeks ago that were causing right-sided back pain. Since the surgery I have developed left-sided back pain that wraps around my ribcage and to the front. In any case, it sounds like further testing needs to be done. X-Ray will only show the bone and if there is less space between the vertebrae. But if it's not a very large disc herniation, then it won't show up on X-Ray. So really an MRI or even a CT scan would be your best bet.
  • Thanks so much for all of your advice. Now I know I need to get a cervical and thoracic MRI, but I am about to switch insurance to a better plan with a new employer. However, that's not until early September. I have a few questions, with that in mind:

    1) since this has been going on for so long, is there much that can be done besides surgery? If it is truly a herniation, are there any chances of it,healing naturally?

    2) again, since this has been going on for so long, is waiting another few weeks to get the MRI going to hurt anything?

    I am horribly upset with myself for not taking my back health seriously. If it is a herniation, I am sure it occurred in jiu jitsu practice. I love the sport, but not enough to royally screw up my back. I feel absolutely stupid. (Pardon my self-scolding)

    My bad spasms settled down last night. So far, they havent started back up. I took some Alieve. I'm downright sick of taking hydrocodine and Roboxin, and its become quite ineffective anyways. Today I feel like only the left side of my body had a brutal workout yesterday..my muscles and skin are sore to the touch.
  • Hello again.

    I got my MRI results back. According to my pain management doctor, who had her nurse call me, she has proudly reported that my MRI was "100% normal. There's a mention of a small bulge at t4-t5, but that's not doing anything. Your problem is completely muscular".

    This sounded awfully fishy to me. I asked the nurse, "Where does the t4-t5 line up on my body?". The nurse said she didn't really know (wtf?).

    So I did the cardinal sin: I Googled "bulge at t4 t5".

    I now want to cuss my doctor out.

    The t4 t5 area is EXACTLY where I have been telling my doctor that my pain is originating. In my most recent visit to her, I told her that I felt like I had a "marble" on my spine that pushes on my lungs and ribs, and seems to set off a huge muscle spasm when it gets irritated. She told me that getting an MRI was going to be "overkill", but she agreed to let me do it, anyways. For "your peace of mind", she said. I guess that's why she seemed to proud to report that the MRI findings were "normal"--she thought she had confirmed to me that she was right.

    Upon further googling, I've found out that a nerve that runs through the t4-t5 area connects to the ribs and lung area. My theory is that the "small bulge" in my t4-t5 area is pressing on that nerve, making it painful for me to breathe. And when that nerve gets overly inflamed, it sets off a huge muscular spasm.

    I now have lost all faith in my doctor, and I don't know where to turn. I know that I don't want to go back to her, and when I figure out how to fix my problem on my own, I plan on writing her a letter.

    I understand that many, many, many of you guys have far worse problems than something as small as a tiny bulging disc. I thank God that I don't have anything as serious as many of your issues, and I pray that you find some relief.

    But--I am asking if anyone has ANY information for me about how to heal this bulge in my t-spine (that I have apparently had for over 2.5 years, now, and has not healed itself).

    I stretch every day. I'm fairly active, but I have completely quit jiu jitsu because my back was getting worse.

    I have tried physical therapy and many different back exercises. I'm more conscious of my posture and use good lumbar support.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to DEbulge a bulging disk, especially in the t-spine?

    Thank you for all of your kind advice.
  • I have a t-4-5 protrusion. While I belive it is one of my pain generators I don't think it is the single reason I have t-spine pain. My latest NS opinion was to leave this level alone and address my worse t herniation at another level.

    The spinal cord has even less room for bulges at this level. It is not common, but I would speak to a specialist (who specializes in T-spine issues) and seek out a PM to get you started in some kind of pain relief.

    Incidently I had a brain mri about 2 decembers ago (when I was in the heart of my cervical issues). It said I had some lesions and couldn't rule out ms... My primary doctor interpretted it as normal. My NS didn't. He went ahead and had my spinal fluid checked.

    Hang in there,


  • I am asking because I have been dealing with the same. I have been trying something the last 2 weeks called sarapin. I have 2 more treatments.
  • I suffer from all of these same symptoms. I definately have rib subluxation (spelling?) and see a chiropractor three times a week for this and have been for just over a year. The levels that are out range from T4 down typically on the left. Over time as the stability of my ribs decreased and the muscle spasms increased sitting has become almost intolerable. I finally broke down and went off work (an office job) in January. I returned to work half days in February to a standing only position. I have finally been able to see a PM specialist (this is a long wait here). The PM specialist I am seeing diagnosed as Thoracolumbar Syndrome at the T12 - L1 level. He did this before getting MRI results which came back small herniations at T9 and T8. He scheduled me for a facet injection for last week. When I arrived he had decided to do muscular injections, wait seven days to see what results I got from them, then do the facet injection this Monday if he still felt it was warranted. The muscle injections were irritating, left a bruised feeling, and thus far don't seem to have done much. All of this being said with my new standing only lifestyle I have found some improvements over the past 5 months and am less than confident that the facet injection is a good idea. Perhaps I am suffering from fear of the unknown, but more than anything I am not willing to take any steps in the wrong direction.

    Has anyone ever heard of this diagnosis?

    Has anyone with these symptoms had any luck with facet joint injections?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  • I also have the exact same symptoms. Absolutely the same.
    It's been 8 months now and docs chiro physios all are stumped.
    I'm hoping the thread starter could update us with how he is going now.
    Anyone know how to get in touch with him?

  • Hi Rucker,

    I assume the person started this thread may have found their answers are are back living life as normal...... After my post I did go a head with the facet injections and had them at T11 and T12. Although I was skepticle because most of my pain is much higher than this level I can say after 10 days I am starting to believe this may have been benificial. By no means was it a majical cure however over the past few days with combining regular rib adjustments and massage I am starting to feel some small amounts of muscle tension improvement. I am not sure if you have the same muscle "kicking" spams like I do, but I am finding that the number of muscles spasming to the point of actually giving a jerking kicking feeling have started to slowly decrease. I like you have "stumped" many different medical and treatment proffesionals with this issue however I continue to play with different combination of treatments in hopes something will just click one day and I like the person above will step right back into my life as it was. The bad news about the symptoms we have (especially thoracic) is they seem to be very hard to diagnose. The good news is once they are figured out and treated properly from what I have read the success rate and quality of life is higher than for someone with lower back and sciatic issues. I am by no means an expert and like you on here looking to learn from others experiences so if you have anything at all that you think you have tried that is benificial please let me know!

  • Jenelle
    i sent you a pm
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Hi jenelle,
    I wish the thread starter had come back to tell his recovery! No one ever seems to do so!
    Yeah I do just hard muscle spasms where it's like a rock and jolts into a spasm.
    Iv just attempted to go back to work and had to fill out some paper work and lasted a whole 4 hours.
    I still simply just can't sit or stand for any period of time longer than say 10mins.
    Walking actually feels better than bring still.
    Work has decided to see how I go this work and if there is no Improvement they will send me too a neurological surgeon or orthopaedic surgeon to take a closer look.
    Iv had cat scans and mris of my whole back and they have been relatively fine. Nothing in the areas that I am sore.
    Hope for an answer soon!
    The only relieve I go is laying down or standing on an angle leaning on someone or floating around in the pool unfortunately.
    Thanks so much for your reply.
  • Hi Rucker,

    The only thing I have found helpful that I don't know if you tried yet is chiro. For me, having my ribs set into place a few times a week seems to be beneficial also. It isn't a cure by any means however it allows me to be in a standing position for longer periods of time. I now am back to working full time standing only. It is a struggle some days when the spams are bad but in my case tolerable and allowed me to be to get back to some kind of life as normal. Did your Dr do a physical examination of each spinal level? It was actually a sports medicine specialist in my case who discovered that my spine wasn't "moving" properly and sent me to a PM. He did look over all tests but then also used his physical examination to decide where to treat. For me it was so nice to finally find a Dr that was willing to use his hands to figure things out and not just look at tests and ask questions!

    Best of luck to you!!! Please let me know what if anything you find out!

  • Hi jenelle,

    I was having quit bad chest pain aswell and a chiro did pop them and realign g them and I did get a bit of relief in thst area.
    The pain just moved over to the left though after a few days.

    When I fly home from work I'll go see a chiro again I guess.
    I havnt had a doctor check out my ribs at all really as I havnt been very happy with any of the doctors I've seen.

    I also havnt had them check out my spine at each single level to be honest. Once the doctor did that with you and saw your spinewwasn't moving correctly, where did he refer you too?

    Thanks heaps
  • It was the sports medicine Dr that found it and she reffered me to a PM specialist. He then did a round of injections into the actual muscles to try and get them spams to let go (this didn't last more than a few days). The next week he did facet injections at the two levels. His theory is that the inflamation and at those levels has irritated the nerves and that this is causing all the muscles to spasm. I like you have it spreading around the side and into the front of my ribs. The injections have helped a little bit, although I still have ribs that are not staying stable, I do feel that the condition as a whole has improved slightly in the 12 days since I had them. If it is useful to you at all I use ice regualrily on the inflimation in the front of the ribs and this does seem to provide a little bit of temporary relief.

    In my case, the plan with the PM Dr is to add prolotherapy to the tiny ligaments in the spine that hold the ribs stable if my condition is not greatly improved by the facet injections by the time I see him again. The sports medicie specialist was also the one that came up with that idea as she felt that after the ribs being out for so long there may be damage to the ligaments preventing my body from being able to hold them in place.

    Hope this helps! Best of luck!!

  • Rucker_RRucker_ Posts: 16
    edited 05/16/2013 - 1:31 PM
    Thanks for all the info!
    I'll definitely suggest all of this when I have to go see the doctor next.
    Pm meaning pain management I'm guessing?
    Whilst stretching I do notice that my ribs pop and click all over the place, but mainly at the same levelwhere I get the pain and aching in my back.
    Do you get the same aswell?
    I'd love to hear your story if that's possible? Feel free to email me at Stephenseitz@live.com.au
    Thanks so much for your advice and info so far, hoping we can get on top of this!
  • JanelleJJanelle Posts: 30
    edited 05/16/2013 - 3:30 PM
    I sent you an email.
  • richcan3021 said:
    I am asking because I have been dealing with the same. I have been trying something the last 2 weeks called sarapin. I have 2 more treatments.
    This is the first time i have been on this forum. I'm trying to learn more about Sarapin. I have Cervical Spondylosis, Cervical Stenosis, degenerative discs throughout spine, but the worst is at C5/C6, at least per my pain and MRIs. This has been ongoing for about 8 years (not from any accident per se - mostly wear and tear), but in last 18 months pain has been much worse. (I should also note that i've been a Type 1 Diabetic since i was a kid.) Insurance protocols required me to try pain meds, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy and last fall i made it up the ladder to a visit with a neurosurgeon. The neuro guy started with trigger point cortisone shots around my c5/c6, lower skull and right shoulder (where pain is worst). That was really not a great idea for the diabetes, but i was told it would help him narrow down or pinpoint the origin of the pain. The pain subsided for about 4 months. To get better data the neuro guy next referred me to a spinal pain clinic, where last week i was given shots of sarapin (supposedly better for those with diabetes) in one area of c5/c6.

    Those sarapin shots were excruciating! I needed 3 days to recuperate from the pain and the headache. One week later - i have only minimal relief. I'm not sure if it is worth doing more shots and i cannot find very much data on the web. I was wondering if you (or anyone else) has any more experience or advice.

    (And, here i will also note that i find it very odd that the spine clinic told me to say i had at least 50% improvement or else my insurance company would deny additional shots. It also seems odd that spine clinics in my area seem to be full of folks who know about pain, but there is not an orthopaedist, neurosurgeon, or spine specialist among them.)

    Again, any insights would be greatly appreciated!
  • If anything makes me worse I stop it immediately, if it's meds I tell my dr, everyone reacts differently.

    Have had throracic Spine pain for over 7 years. The whole story is posted somewhere in the depths of this site under This thoracic pain is insane.

    Firstly I would advise you to read the post on Intractable Pain Manual, this is an invaluable piece of information. Thank you again whoever posted it. It is very insightful. It makes me feel totally vindicated so is good for my shattered ego.

    If your injury still hurts, because your thoracic spine is joined to your ribs, every twisting movement makes it worse.

    The body is a healing instrument and tries it's best to look after you. I have discovered as my T5 was 80% wedge crushed my T4 has been trying to take over. So everyone has been working in the wrong place. I have been to the physio today and she gently pushes my T4 back into place. It does pop sometimes.

    Thoracic does not seem to get better. We twist everyday. The thoracic spine cannot be examined without taking into account the ribs, so gently pushing the rib that joins to your Tspine helps to take it off the nerves or seems to free it. The spinal cord is narrowest through the Tspine.

    Remember the ribs have an upward motion when they join to your spine but you will feel the rib in the damaged area even if you push it from the side, you can tell where it joins your Tspine. Heat also helps. The IT pain manual it says if it still hurts badly, PT is not good, well it wasn't good for me which was disappointing as I loved doing weights.

    If you broke your arm and kept twisting it it wouldn't get better. Have to wait until it calms down a bit.

    I kept thinking it would get better by itself but it didn't.

    You have to do the research yourself. 67% of people who have Tspine damage through trauma have other injuries and die, so it's not very common and it's an extremely dangerous operation. The other thing I didn't realise until I did the research is that most people with thoracic injuries report no pain. That is why doctors give you the quizzical look and find it hard to believe. It's hard for them to fix, they normally don't want to know and would rather think you are putting on the pain, heavens knows why you would, but it happens.
  • justinjjustin Posts: 39
    edited 02/08/2014 - 8:16 AM
    Janelle. doctors call it whatever they think you will believe so that they get there 50$ for the appt. he gave you muscle injections because he was too afraid to give you one near your spine wear you actually needed it. or he did it to get an extra visit out of you.. im in the same boat. ive been diagnosed with probably 4 different things each doctor I go and see. if its been over a year and your still in pain you will always be in pain. you just need to find a way to cope. a couple more books to read and I could have been a doctor and im no smarter then average joe blow down the street
  • Just cause in pain a yr does not mean always hurt.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • I have been having similar symptoms and have been through just about every treatment in the last 2 years of hell. I am a bodybuilder who still feels strong, but the tightness around my thoracic spine and chest area cause it to not function properly and make the postural muscles below it carry all of my body weight. Needless to say, I cannot stand or walk long before they fatigue out, and the the "end of the world" knock you down pain hits you.

    I have had nerve ablation done three times, nerve blocks, pt etc and am fighting hard, but surgery is very unlikely due to how dangerous it is. Taking Lyrica has helped some, but the nerve block has been the best, yet temporary help.

    This sound familiar to anyone??
  • jdrejjdre Posts: 6
    edited 08/06/2014 - 3:44 AM
    Sorry to hear about your challenges. So was your diagnosis T-5 T-6 Herniation? Did you get an MRI?
  • medanommedano Posts: 20
    edited 08/07/2014 - 4:11 AM
    My problems are a t6-7 herniation,8-9 and 9-10 bulges. I got "lucky" too. I have sat through the "if we did mri's on 100 people, 30% would show problems like that and not have symptoms" talk along with a " it's good you are seeing a counselor because I don't think anything will help you".
    Honesty ,I don't know how it happened. A year ago I was known as a man of my word and somehow I lost my credibility. I have a mind numbing ache between my shoulder blades. Under my arms and across the top of my hips ache.I have sharp pain around my bottom right rib. The pain never goes away. Sometimes my legs don't work very well. Activity makes it worse ( sitting, standing, walking). I have about 2 hrs that I can be up before I can no longer handle the pain and then I am literally on ice the rest of the day.
    I had a disc at c6-7 that was bulging, causing my right arm to hurt so bad,in a way that difficult to express. My doctors didn't have any problems believing me and replaced the disc. Up until after surgery the ache ran from the base of my neck to the bottom of my shoulder blades. Now its just between my shoulder blades.
    I wish I could offer hope but all I can say is good luck, I found I am unable to communicate in a way they understand.I now know what it's like to grovel. I am sooooo discouraged, tired of being discounted and treated as subhuman.
  • unfortunately, little is understood about them. The best suggestion that we can make is to find a large inner city medical facility near your home , and find a thoracic spine surgeon. Those tend to be found at large teaching hospitals, rather than a regular spine surgeon.
  • medanommedano Posts: 20
    edited 08/08/2014 - 3:26 PM
    I used the spine-health search to find a doctor nearest to me that claim thoracic spine. I have gotten 2 responses and my wife is going to help me choose this weekend and then an appointment with my gp Wednesday to get a referral. He is up to sending me but didn't know where.
    I am absolutely desperate, each day the ache grinds deeper and I am struggle harder to keep my attention diverted from it. When I focus on it ,it takes my life over! My legs ache today and are weak or heavy is a better word, to the point I have trouble with my balance and use a cane.
    I am going to try 1 last time to reach out ,then I'm done. I cannot handle 1 more conversation like I had with my surgeon. All I know is June 17th of last year I didnt feel this way and 6:30am the following day changed everything.
  • jbacon 123456jjbacon 123456 Posts: 1
    edited 08/16/2014 - 4:48 AM
    I have suffered from this horrible pain for over ten years. The symptoms are exact and I have three blown thorassic discs. The 8,9,10 are crushed and I have no injury or reason. There is no surgery for this area and one surgeon in the country that would even try and he denied me. I am all but debilitated due to the pain. I have a pump implanted with fentanyl delivery throughout the day, but honestly it doesn't help much. The only thing that helps me is having my wife pull on my under arms whilst I lock my feet under the couch. I have tried traction and it is wonderful while there but it's temporary. I am sorry, but I haven't found anyone that can help, not even EDITED. I know you are looking for help, but I want to tell you I haven't been very lucky and I pray they find a help for this eventually. Mine continues to get worse too. I am addicted to pain pills and my outlook is Grimm. I hope you have better luck than I have wherever you are in the world.

    Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
    You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities , devices or product names on Spine-Health.com.


  • SarahLSSarahL Posts: 3
    edited 09/12/2014 - 8:43 PM
    Hi all :-) I'm a newby, but have the same issues. However, my treatment and diagnosis is totally different to what you guys are saying so I'm going to out it out there and see if anyone can relate. Bear with me it's long winded and there will be lots if spelling issues cause I'm using my iPhone ;-) Like all of you, I'm very active. However for the past 4 years my exercise has consisted of mostly Exercycle work with no stretching. I also have a tilted pelvis on my right side which can be tilted for a long time before I notice it. I see a musceloskeletal dr who realigns my pelvis when my ribs hurt and back starts to spasm. Normally everything goes back to normal, however this time I'm having I going issues. She calls this 'restricted movement' she also says my tight back is from poor posture. She firmly believes that fascia (google it) is the cause of the pain because it becomes tight when you have restricted movement. She is blaming my thoracolumbar fascia (google it and see how it joins to your muscles) in particular. She says it isn't working properly and pulling like an over tight elastic band. This is where the cycling plays a part - I have an over tight IT band from too much cycling and your IT band connects to your TCfascia. Can you see where I'm going? I'm working on loosening this with a foam roller and yoga work. The yoga is hopefully helping to stretch the TCfascia and I'm also have myofascial release massage. I have also found Chinese cupping and accupunture helpful for the tight trapezius muscles. I have also figured out for myself that my pec muscles at the front if me are very tight and pulling my shoulders forward so I am working on these with a spunky massage ball (I lie on the ball on the floor till I find a tight spot and work it out - good for trapezius too against the wall and also TCfascia against the wall) the pecs are tight from our 'forward' lifestyle - computers, iPhones etc. I'm am getting relief from the rib pain also from a stretch called the thorasic windmill - it's amazing! 2 sets of twenty 3x a day, I'll post a link after. It's great for mobilizing that area of the spine and I'm guessing it's stretching the fascia. I also believe I have tight lats, and this is because the TCFAscia is pulling and this stretch helps stretch them too.

    Please keep in mind, what works for one patient my be harmful to another. Its always good to hear what others have tried, but before you try it on yourself, contact your doctor
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