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Thoracic pain blues

Hi there. Recently decided to push myself to get out there and talk to those with similar pain. I was diagnosed Jan of 2011 with a herniation in T6-T7. Effects my breathing and sleep. I can get through the day but its the sleep issue bringing me down.I talked to one specialist and we came to the theory that this was brought on by years of playing football and it just recently became more of an issue due to the disc herniation working into the nerves space.

Been stuck in the same rut for about a year now that I see many of you are in as well: Get fed up with the pain, research specialists online, make appointment and go in, get told to go to pt, pain management, chiro, get prescribed a bucket of pills/injection, massage. Follow through with the suggested routine. Get hopes up that all of this will help. Decide pain is getting worse. Try to figure out what exactly is making it worse. Take a break from whatever is making it worse. Then start the whole process over again.

I feel this is just something I'm going to have to just live with. I came to this forum for hope of finding people with my same issues and hopefully insight and fellowship into the world of being afraid to get out bed quickly or drop something on the floor.

My true hopes are to one day find a specialist in my area (Dallas) that is well experienced with my condition and not an expert in sending me to see someone else......


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  • mickkrmmickkr Posts: 166
    edited 06/26/2013 - 8:43 PM
    I'm one of the lucky ones for whom surgery has worked well and I have been able to remove myself from that uncomfortable, tedious fairground ride you so well describe.
    Tedium and discomfort punctuated by episodes of excruciating pain and frustrating bureaucracy is not a good way to live and I wish I had an easy answer for you.
    I don't, except to say there is hope and there are people here who understand what you are going through.
    God willing, one day, like me you will find a happy resolution. In the meantime keep researching, keep nagging for tests and treatment, make yourself as comfortable as possible and have hope.

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

    I suffer from disc hurniations at a slightly lower level than you., T8-9 and T9-10. I agree sleeping, especially trying to fall asleep is horrible. I now take zopiclone (lunesta) to help with sleeping. It has made a huge difference. Life in general improved greatly once I started taking these to sleep. The pain is still there, and each day is still a struggle. but at least now I get a break from it and a good night sleep at night.

    You may want to look into this medication if you haven't already tried it.

  • I have a similar issues but no definite diagnosis, yet. I called my NS this morning. I am fine during the day, but I cannot sleep one night without my mid back hurting extremely bad sometimes I have a hard time breathing while in pain.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • When your discs are damaged usually the disc or vertabrae above try and compensate by taking the pressure from your damaged discs. Get someone to feel the ones above - mine were out of place and had great pain relief when the one above was put into alignment. Worth a try - worked for me.

    I agree with everyone else you have to get some sleep. Sleeping is the time when your body heals itself so no sleep no healing. I take Amitryptaline for sleep. At first I didn't think it did much but now I can really feel the difference in pain levels if I forget to take it. Your body does need a rest from the pain. or it's a vicious cycle.

    I now also sleep with a pillow between my knees - it is supposed to take the weight off your spine when you sleep. If you take painkillers combine them with a muscle relaxant - stops the muscle spasms when you muscles are trying to protect the damaged area.
  • I sleep poorly too. I'm doing better with AC on even with my ice pack. I sleep on my back, leaning on a pillow under my right side.

    I really don't see how I possibly get through some of my days.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 07/08/2013 - 11:25 PM
    I got my thoracic damage from a motorbike accident. I broke some ribs which I didn't find out for years, and lots of specialists who didn't pick it up after charging 10 bucks a minute. Only found out, when someone noticed they had healed and told me.

    If you have thoracic through trauma, please check if your ribs have been broken and if they have healed in the right place,
    - you can see on the dermatone chart on Sandis avatar above, where the pain radiates so if you have pain in those areas you may also have broken some ribs.

    Think sometimes they look at the most damaged area - my T5 looks horrendous in the MRI, and forget about the rest.
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