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Thoracic pain, almost two years and still a mystery.

Themeanjellybean wrote:

"About 4 months ago, I lifted a bin that was too heavy. I twisted to the left and dropped it to my knee. I held it there yelling for help. About 2 minutes before someone finally helped. Since then, I have had a sharp pain in my thoracic spine that radiates to my right rib just under my breast. I've had X-rays, a CT scan and an MRI. All negative. I'm at my wits end. I'm in so much pain, especially when I exert myself. I'm getting sick of taking medication. I can't even do the dishes without having to medicate afterward. Someone please tell me what this could be. I've heard possible herniated disc and also rib subluxation but all scans say no. Please help."

That was me almost 2 years ago. Now, new doctor, new MRI and still no findings. Right now I'm taking Cymbalta but it barely touches the pain. I've finally gotten an appointment with a neurosurgeon. My primary just smirks at me like I am making this all up, but I just want to find out where the pain is coming from!! The pain is still sharp in my thoracic spine area and it frequently radiates to both left and right ribs now. Any activity, including standing or walking exacerbates the pain. I take 800 Ibuprofen 3 times a day and Flexeril at bedtime. These help enough so I get some sleep, but I am always in pain. My baseline is at 5/10. After exertion, I can get as painful as 8-9/10. What tests should I be asking for? What could possible be wrong? I feel like I'm going crazy. Someone please help me out.


  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,806
    Thoracic spine should only be treated by someone familiar with the details and difficulty with thoracix injury. Do you feel best or worst in morning?
    I had work injury that herniated T67 disc but 6 years lyer we found I had also torn the discs above and below that level with one above causing pain so much worse than herniation. I dealt with same from doctors early on Mri didn't pick up herniation and they didn't beleive could have herniated a disc there, so it was Advil and go back to heavy lifting job in their opinion which I did. 2 years after initial visit found herniation and was told to give up that line of work cause it was hell on my spine. 6 years later found tear with discogram and treated it with great success. I would read about annular tears if I were you and mention to your dr if a possibility .
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • devondumplingddevondumpling Posts: 4
    edited 07/16/2015 - 11:40 PM
    Over the last 5 years I have encountered these words from professionals. Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, facet joint injury, muscle spasm, oesophogeal spasm, heart attack, reflux, pneumothorax, poor posture,phantom pain. However they all say one thing in common. "There's nothing we can do for you". How many of you have visited chiropractor, physiotherapy, mctimoney,alexander, gym,flotation tank,sports massage,traction,chinese acupuncture, cupping etc etc etc. Drugs tried- lidocaine patches,pregabalin,amytriptoline,ssri,neurofen,solpadol,paracetamol, tramadol,naproxen etc etc etc. Paid for tens machine, massage chair, gym membership, acti patches, magnetic bracelets, ice packs. Paid privately for mri, mri spect, ultrasound, xrays. Seen rheumatologist, neurosurgeon,spinal surgeon. Attend pain physiotherapy, pain psychotherapy, pain clinic.
    Result? Reduction in symptoms or pain NO. Reduction in bank balance YES. Reduction in self belief YES. Reduction in faith in health professionals YES.
    I am amazed to find this page and comforted by a collective story telling most of which sound like me.
    where to now? On a 12 week waiting list for trigger point injections.
    The most infuriating response has been the health professionals pitying stares or focussing on a point just over my shoulder you can see them thinking will this woman ever shut up, doesn't she know it's all in the head. Then you get the patronising "I wonder if you've heard of the pain cycle" ? "Although there's evidence of extensive disc degeneration in the thoracic soine, it shouldn't be causing you this much pain. (Medic speak for man up you wimp, get over it).
    Phew, sorry about this rant but I now have severe depression, can't work as a nurse, officially assessed as disabled and so frustrated, drained by facing this pain every single day, unable exercise, put one foot in front of the other for fear of my whole torso exploding with pain - similarly sitting and standing - in fact anything weight bearing. How can you describe a pain which needs at least 10 different adjectives. Jabbing, stabbing, burning, pulsating, barbed wire, hot needle, sabre, ache, constriction etc etc.
    Thanks for reading. What's going on? Are we all suffering from something specific which has yet to classified

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