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My Thoracic Pain

TreadmillTTreadmill Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi kids! I have been following this website for years and have appreciated reading the stories that you all have shared. It is nice to be in a place where others really understand what you are going thru.

I noticed that there has been an increase in the thoracic traffic lately, so I wanted to post since my thorcic is causing me lots of grief lately.

I entire spine is in quite bad shape and I have been in pain management treatment for 7 years. I am trying to avoid surgery. My thoracic has been leaving me bed boung for several months and I have been trying to get my PM doc to zero in on the right location for the injections.

It is so frustrating sometimes because (I love my doc) I don't feel like the staff is really listening to me sometimes. When I told the PA my pain was lower in the Thoracic she said that that was just pain radiating from the upper. Grrrr. Right now my worst pain is at T11,12 and T1,2,3.

After weeks of saying this was emergency status, I recently got IntraSpinal injection at T6-7-8 levels. They did not go low enough. And yesterday, I was injected at C5-6 instead of T1-2-3.

I asked to forgo that injection and address the Thoracic levels but the answer was no. I have an appt next week to address the levels that are keeping me bed bound. The pain is so excrutiating, it feels like my spine has snapped. My ribs hurt and burn with pain. Upper T makes my shoulders and neck ache and give me incapacitating headaches.

For the first time I am starting to believe I might start looking into surgery. (in 2008 I saw a surgeon who said "I can't help you, I'd have to replace your entire spine" - he was a real *@%$).

Now I am seeing here that people are actually getting surgery to help them with the Thoracic level. It is encouraging and I hopw that those of you undergoin these procedures will continue to post and keep us informed.

I really, really appreciate this forum.

Scoliosis and other problems at every level.

2013: C-5 to C-6 ADR
2014: C-5 to C-6 fusion/revision of failed ADR
2014: Total hip replacement, right

Cancelled multi-level fusion - fear being more crippled and in more pain.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I'm glad you posted. I have that horrendous ribcage pain that is crazy making.
    Injections have never been helpful to me for that area..I get more pain and nausea and vomiting.

    Surgery is not an option for me, so can't speak to that, but my doc will get a certain look on his face letting me know he has made a decision before I have finished a sentence. It is very frustrating.

    I've been told this is my new life, but I didn't realize it meant he didn't want to hear what the pain is doing. There aren't any answers that I have, only shared experience.

    Good luck to you as you investigate surgery, and keep us posted. This is the best site! It's been a lifesaver on many levels to me.
    Take care!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Thank you for your response. My PM doc gave me 3 intercostal injections about 8 weeks ago to address the rib pain. Last year an injection (I think it was facet) at T11-12 & 10-11 helped my rib pain a lot. I noted on the pain log she has me fill out after injections that that injection helped my rib pain so that in the future we could address that area when the rib pain got bad again.

    So I thought she would do that injection when I told her how bad the rib and thoracic pain had gotten. The intercostal injections provided some relief but only briefly (a week or two). Its not that I did not need the other injections, they just were not a priority pain-wise.

    I try to note on my pain logs which area the injections help because I know that it is hard sometimes to figure out which pain is caused by which level. I am also trying to educate myself more now so that I know exactly what is going on. There was a point where I quit researching and reading about my health issues because it didn't seem to matter when I talked to my doctors.

    My experience has been that they form their opinion and mine doesn't count for much so I became somewhat apathetic about it for a few years. I just can't continue to do that.

    If the next set of injections don't help I will probably look into surgery again but I really want to avoid that. Like you, I have been told that I am not a candidate for surgery but that was only one doctor's opinion in my case.

    I am wondering if you know what the source of your ribcage pain is? I'm sorry to hear the injections make you so ill. I am still able to get at least some relief from many of the injection location sites.

    The reality of living with this pain for the rest of my life has been setting in for me, as well.

    Thank you so much for welcoming me to the site!

    Scoliosis and other problems at every level.

    2013: C-5 to C-6 ADR
    2014: C-5 to C-6 fusion/revision of failed ADR
    2014: Total hip replacement, right

    Cancelled multi-level fusion - fear being more crippled and in more pain.
  • Thoracic back pain is so common in adults that every adult is going to be affected by it sometime in their lifetime. It is not a disease but a symptom. A symptom that prompts you towards the underlying concern. It is best to consult with your doctor because your doctor know the exact details of the pain as only then will they be able to prescribe the right treatment for you. If you find no relief from the pain then you can try low back pain exercises. These exercises are recommended by the doctors themselves and have brought about great relief.
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