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I am discouraged - pain has increased

Chloe_s_momCChloe_s_mom Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi there,

My thoracic pain (that initially wrapped around, one side, to my sternum), started one day, out of the blue. That was close to 9 years ago.

In those 9 years, I'm not much further ahead in understanding WHAT is causing this single side, horrible pain.

I have had a couple of MRIs, which showed mild DDD in the thoracic area, but not enough to grab any doctor's attention.

My pain specialist is the only doctor who is trying to do anything about it, but he is focusing more on stopping the pain than understanding what is causing it (in fairness, I have also been dx with fibromyalgia, so makes sense to shut down/calm down some of the signals, as they aren't conveying important/relevant info anymore!)

I thought that we were getting somewhere with the medial nerve blocks (facet joints), the occasional trigger point block (scapula area) and a careful intercostal block.

My mid back seems to be moving more freely (I also see a chiropractor, massage therapist and have just started physio again), it makes all sorts of snap, crackle and pop sounds which bring temporarly relief.

I like the sensation of pressure on parts of my ribs, gives some pain relief as well,

However, the intercostal neuralgia can be close to hideous pain - feels like a lightening bolt.

I am also starting to develop odd 'heavy' sensation in my legs, more so the right side. I feel like my leg isn't responding to my brain. I have had on and off numb patches, same leg, for over 20 years, with no explanation.

MS has been ruled out recently.

Any thoughts? What kind of surgeon would deal with thoracic area (what if it is ribs as well as spine?)

Many thanks!


  • In fairness to your doctors you wouldn't expect them to do anything dramatic (like surgery) unless and until you developed really severe symptoms or tests had revealed the precise cause of your problems.

    It's not a nice place to be, I know I've been there.
    The heavy legs and numbness are something to watch out for. Doctors do a simple test (Babinski sign) to check for central nervous system involvement and they can check the strength in your legs by getting you to push against their hands.

    If I was you I would mention the heavy legs and if you find yourself losing your balance, or falling or tripping unexpectedly get in touch with your doctor straight away.

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
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