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Upper Back Pain and needs constant Cracking

Hi, I've just found this website...so please bare with me. :)
I fell off my horse about three years ago, it was a fall where I landed flat on my back, and I was winded. So I managed to turn onto my front - my hands and knees - and slowly start to breath properly. I then got my breathing under control and walked the horse back to the stables - I walked not rode.
I went to see the doctors straight after and she said I was fine, but ever since then, my back has had a numbing pain from about where the bra strap is up to my neck, and to release the numbing pain, I crack it by moving into various positions and it cracks and feels better, but I do this through out the day... I reckon about 10-20 times a day??
Sooooo is there anything I can do? Shall I go to an osteopath or to the doctors?
Thanks x


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 05/14/2014 - 7:27 AM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Try a sports physio if you don't want it to become permanent. They will put your spine back into the correct mechanical alignment. Ask them to tape it there the first couple of times so your muscles don't spasm it out again. Your muscles are probably spasming it out of alignment. It's your thoracic spine. Be careful with it.

    An oesteopath is better for soft tissue. I had many visits to a good oesteopath by mie was bone and a sports physio is better with bone. Please don't neglect it or you could end up in serious trouble later on.
  • Hi, so sorry that you are hurting. I would recommend going to an orthopedist and asking him/her to order an mri. It may not be anything with your bones or discs, but on the other hand it could be the cause of your pain. I wouldn't go to a chiropractor until you know what is wrong with you. To be honest I would never personally go to one, they scare the heck out of me and I think they end up doing more damage. You shouldn't have to be cracking your back like that all the time and I can't imagine that would be good for you, but that's just my opinion. Get the mri and see what it has to say and take it from there. Take care, Joe
  • Oh my gosh thank you guys! The MRI scan sounds like a good idea. And I might get in touch with a physio and see what they suggest too.
    Thanks so much for the replies, and the advice. X
  • If you are getting an MRI which is a great idea, try to get a sitting or standing MRI. It picks up other things because you are in a more normal position.

    A prone MRI didn't pick up some things with me. There are many sitting or standing MRI's in the US. Look on You tube and you can see the difference between prone and weight bearing MRI's.

    MRI's are apparently good for soft tissue but bone scans are better if you have bone damage. They don't like to give you bone scans as there is radiation. So you should check with your Dr or a specialist.

    I would never go to a chiropractor either - I use a Sports physiotherapist as they have to get professional athletes back to work. Try and get someone older with experience and they can check if your spine is in the correct mechanical alignment.

    It sounds like it keeps going out of alignment so taping helps me keep it there, as if she doesn't tape my spine, shoulder and scapula, my muscles pull it straight back out again. Hope you get better.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 05/15/2014 - 2:58 AM
    Yeah a lot of Drs haven't heard of it. In my case I think it would have picked up my T4 as well, instead of just my T5. My T4 was so out of place but was never picked up. I know the films aren't as good on upright MRI's but even the people who manufacture both machines say that around 25 - 30% of spine problems aren't picked up on a prone MRI.

    Mine was bone damage, my T5 was picked up I hate even to look at the images my T5 looks awful it is so wedge crushed and when I got built up shoes 10cm on my right side - I'm guessing that correlates to how much my vertebrae was crushed to the right. My new Dr said bone scans were much better for bone - MRI's for soft tissue.

    I'm guessing your soft tissue injuries were picked up just as well on a prone MRI but your vertebrae weren't picked up as much - am I guessing correctly?

    It's horses for courses (sorry couldn't help say that).

    The Drs with me weren't on any band wagon - most of them had no idea why I was in such severe pain, so guess I lost a fair bit of faith, lots of money and a sense of humour during this journey into pain.
  • My thoracic area always needs to be popped, many many times a day. Hurts worse if I don't pop. I thought popping bones were ok, just air or gasses caught between the joints. Is it not good to pop in that area?? It has only begun to pop there in the last couple of years or so.
  • I'm sorry to hear that you've been having to do that to get some relief. I honestly don't know if that would be good for your back in the long run. I wouldn't think having to do that so often would be good, but I really have no idea about it. I would ask a doctor about your back cause you could be causing damage.
  • I am in the same boat as you. I constantly pop the upper back between my shoulder blades about 20 or so times a day. Maybe more. I was diagnost with bulging discs in neck and have had two rounds of PT and it really seems like my neck is a lot better but that area between my shoulder blades is constant and feel i need to arch my back with my hands between my should blades and pop. I woke up last night and i could not move and had to have the wife help me get a heating pad under me so that i could loosen up. The surgeon that i was seeing about the neck says there is not much that they can do for the upper back. Is that true? I just know that is where the pain is coming from but I dont know what to do.
  • chefaaroncchefaaron columbus, OHPosts: 1
    i am a cook of 11 years and spend most of my time slightly bent in my thoracic region over a cutting board on a prep table. i crack my upper back all the time ( all between my c1- c7 verts and t-1 to t-12 verts.) i am looking for relief and nothing has worked. does anyone have any advise to help this pain to be gone or at leased reduced. thank you for your time.
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