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thoracic back pain

Hi i would like to introduce myself. I am a 53 year old female who has been suffering with back pain for a few years now. In november last year i was admitted to hospital for a ct scan because i had been suffering with very severe back pain which had been coming on in waves and kidney stones were suspected, The ct scan was clear but i was still feeling very unwell. Going back to my doctors the following week he examined me and on making me twist to my left the pain was agonising and he then diagnosed thoracic spine pain and recommended physio. I had my first visit to physio last week and was examined and given exercises to do. I am going back to see her agaqin tomorrow. I am on anti inflammatoties and codeine for the pain. Sometimes the pain can radiate to my left shoulder and neck. The pain i have is definitely worse on walking and does not improve when resting. I would very much appreciate any experiences from other members and how they cope etc, thank u


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 02/04/2013 - 6:53 AM

    There are quite a few of us suffering from thoracic spine pain.
    It sounds like you need an MRI scan of your thoracic spine (perhaps the whole spine) to see what is going on.

    How have you got on with the exercises? I have to be very careful or I get horrid spasms around my chest.
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 02/04/2013 - 6:47 PM
    I too have suffered from thoracic pain for the past year. I had microdiscectomy on T7-8 last yr. I agree with Jellyhall. You need to see a ortho or neurosurgeon and get an opionion and perhaps MRI and x-rays. I thought I was having heart problems but whole time it was my spine. Wow it seems more and more people with thoracic spine problems are joining and even though it is nice to have more to talk to it is sad that so many are suffering. I was never able to to PT before or after my surgery and still have severe pain since surgery but gotta keep thinking positive and know there is something or someone out there to help me :)

  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 02/04/2013 - 6:50 PM
  • Hi everybody have been to see the physiotherapist again today have been given more exercises to do. I am in a lot of pain today my back feels like it is breaking in half mind u i did do a lot yesterday. I did say would i need an x ray but she said an mri is the usual thing but has not mentioned anything about me having one. Also my husband did ask about a tens machine and that is being looked into i will be gettins a phone call about that later this week. I am due to see the physiotherapist again on the 26th of this month
  • Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
    edited 02/05/2013 - 1:43 PM
    Did your physio comment on your muscles at all-knots, tightness, that sort of thing?

    I get great benefit from back pain by having regular remedial massage to undo the knots. If your spine is out of alignment at all, the muscles work hard to cope, and can get very sore as a result.
    Consider also the activities you do and which ones may be contributing to the problem.
  • My physiotherapist couldnt really do a lot with me yesterday because i was so sore. I think she wanted to do some is it manipulation movements i think thats what she said but she couldnt because of the soreness, I just fine that my back is very stiff and painful when i get up out of a chair etc but hopefully i will feel the benefit of the exercises that she has given me to do. Also today i am finding down the left side of my neck and shoulder very painful too but they may be to do with being out in the very cold wind yesterday.
  • Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
    edited 02/08/2013 - 12:41 PM
    Are you left handed? Sounds like your left side is being overworked somehow.
  • I have suffered from T-pain for a very long time, I have been through the ringer. All of my problems stem from an accident when I was in the Navy 22 years ago. Needless to say, I have been dealing with this for quite some time and just recently I was examined by NSG in Baltimore where the doctor discovered that I have a T6-T7 disc protruding into the Spinal cord. I now have to have major surgery in a couple of months. Unfortunately, I have no other choice because I have also recently been diagnosed with a neurogenic bladder/bowel, as an incomplete quadriplegic due to my C5-C6, and have been classified a 100% permanent and total disable veteran. It has been a crazy year to say the least.

  • calamityccalamity Posts: 19
    edited 02/09/2013 - 2:00 AM
    Hi everyone thank u for all your comments. No i am not left handed but i can see where u are coming from it does seem to be my left side which is worse affected. i got a phone call yesterday from my physio and she is going to sort out a tens machine for me on a trial period so see what happens, my appt is in 2 weeks time.
  • Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
    edited 02/09/2013 - 2:52 PM
    I've used these at a physios place and it can help. You adjust the power level yourself.
    I have a small TENS at home and that's quite useful too. Hard to attach to some areas though!
  • Thank u Peter B for your post. Well i am hoping that the tens machine does help once i am shown how to use it. Having quite an off day today mind u i have been pushing myself the last 3 days doing a lot of walking an household jobs i guess thats the case really u feel a bit better and start doing more and then u pay for it the next day. One question i would like to ask anyone i cannot make out why i am not being given an mri or x ray at all is this a normal
  • Yes, learning how to pace yourself is something that I have found difficult. I seem to do more and more when I should be resting, and can't stop myself. I'll lie down and read, get up and do something, lie down again, do some puzzles, get up and do something else, and so on. Then at night I can't sleep.
    It's very hard to do nothing when you are in pain and must rest-so boring.
    But I seem to become very restless when I've already overdone it, and when that happens I know I'm in for a bad time very soon.
    Usually the next day, as you say.
    It's certainly weird, happens a lot to me.
    If your problem is muscular, those items you queried aren't of much use.

  • Hi everybody as I have explained in my previous posts I am having problems with the left hand side of my back it has been going on for some considerable time now. My doc says that it is due to my thoracic spine and I am now having physiotherapy and have obtained a tens machine to use as well. The thing that is really getting me down is how I can feel fine one minute and then the pain in my back gets worse and I feel lightheaded and very tired and can't seem to concentrate for a while. I have also noticed that I get pins and needles in my left hand periodically. I am taking an antidepressant at night because I began to think that all these problems are in my head. I am going to see the physiotherapist on wed again and as yet I haven't been offered an x ray or anything. My husband is very understanding and can tell when I am not feeling right he can tell just by looking at me. I would gratefully appreciate anyones feedback as basically I just want to feel well and normal again and not feel like I am going mad
  • You are probably quite stressed over it all, and I'd guess not sleeping well? That will affect how you feel and cope, so do try to get some good sleep if you can.
    Rest during the day, too.
    Looks to me like cervical issues as well. Get the physio to check it for you.
    I get similar things but they do go away. Stress does it for me, as well as too much PC use. After the physio gently massages the neck joints I'm much better.
    I also have regular massage to beat my muscles into submission.
    At the last visit last week she said I should return within a week as my neck was so bad, so off to see her today.
    Underlying muscles can be in stress but with no obvious symptoms to you.
    Physios and masseuses find them immediately.
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