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Help with Diagnosis/Treatment

wretzelwwretzel Posts: 1
edited 04/14/2015 - 10:31 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi, I'm a 33M, and I've been dealing with back pain and discomfort for about 3 years.

The current pain is in my thoracic spine, between my shoulder blades.

It all started, I think, with an injury to my lower back. Using a lug wrench on a tire, i wrenched my back. I developed a real pain in my back after that, and for months couldn't lift my arms or any weight above my head. If I laid on my stomach, certain spots along my spine would be so tender that just touching them caused me to yell out.

I eventually did a course of treatment with a chiropractor. He couldn't really diagnose me, but just doing general loosening up of things did help quite a bit. But because he couldn't diagnose my issue, after we finished the 10-week course, I quite going back.

It was also during this time that I discovered relieving the pressure on my spine. My wife could put her arms around me, under my arm pits, and lift and squeeze, popping my back. Sometimes quite big pops. The first few times we tried this, I really felt like my spine was moving back into place. For awhile afterwards, I could effortlessly stand up straight.

Here's where I should mention that I've always had bad posture. I've repeatedly tried to fight it, but I'm tall and have weak back muscles (can't do pull-ups). But I slouch and round my back. It takes a lot of effort to stand up straight, and eventually my back will cramp up from the effort, and I have to stop.

Eventually I would up at a 2nd chiropractor. At this time I was complaining still of residual lower back pain, but also of thoracic pain. He examined me, and noticed my hips were out of alignment. One hip is considerably higher than the other, resulting in one leg appearing to be longer. This was causing pinch in my back and inflammation, resulting in the pain. We worked through a course of treatment together, and it helped.

I live in a different city now, unfortunately. My lower back no longer bothers me, but my thoracic spine has been a daily burden. I still get relief from being lifted and having my back popped. I always feel, however, that there's one big pop that never comes....and I'm afraid it might be a really painful one if it did. I'll try and explain: if my back is feeling really out of sorts and locked up, if my spine is decompressed by the "lift and squeeze" method, there's a brief period of slight pain, which swells...and then, pop, the pressure releases and my back feels better and I can stand straighter. But it always feels like there's a deeper one in there, and I can feel it the pressure build and swell...but it never releases, and I'm afraid of pushing it too far (though I've pushed it pretty hard).

At this point, I'm not sure what step to take next. I feel like I've been stuck at this level of discomfort for a long time. I've set alarms on my phone to remind me to keep my posture upright. I foam roll. I stretch, but not routinely.


There is nobody on the forum qualified or permitted to give medical advice, all responses will be personal expeeiences


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Suffering for three years must be horrible.

    I would go and see an orthopaedic surgeon, ask for a clinical evaluation and some diagnostic imaging. Then ask for a treatment plan guided by the orthopaedic surgeon.

    Oh, and don't go near a chiropractor again. They can cause more damage than good.

    That's just my opinion based upon personal experience.

    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
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