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Sorry let me try again... Do you feel your thoracic area pain is dismissed

I have been dealing with neck, arm, shoulder and unrelenting thoracic wrap around the rib cage pain that is unrelenting. Physical therapists at multiple places have said well is it lower back or neck or shoulder pain? For the billionth time I say NO ITS MID BACK. It wraps around the right side of my rib cage. Nothing seems to help this. Yes meds take the edge off but pt makes it worse. Sometimes they are massaging me and they all the sudden do a chiropractive move that leaves me unable to breathe deep for 1-2 weeks. Or they will make me lay on a hard roll and that also causes severe pain. I have had ESI IN MULTIPLE THORACIC DISCS and one helped for 4 ish weeks about 40 percent but it wasn't worth the 400 bucks I had to pay.! Does anyone have this and had any results? I feel like I'm doomed with this neck and back pain. I'm broke and everything is expensive. I pay 300 per month out of pocket because I'm an insurance agent. I have a low deductible so I always meet that quickly with meds, but then I still have a 20 percent co insurance. I had to take a big pay cut when I got let go from my restaurant job after I got back from FMLA. Every time I see my pain doc I pay 50 bucks. I spend over 500 per month in medical and I only make 2000 per month. I'm 28! I got denied life insurance because of my meds and I try to keep them to the min. I take cymbalta 90mg daily, robaxin 2x day, norco 10/325 up to 3x day and Xanax 1mg as needed for anxiety. I use a tens unit. Massage helps but I can't afford it. Im stuck because everything except meds are super expensive! Help!
ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg


  • Hi Donnabe, I can't answer your questions, but I can tell you that you're not crazy. I'm just starting this journey, having recently been diagnosed with a "small" protrusion of t7-8. I'm in a lot of pain, and was told it was fibromyalgia. I've had this band of pain going around my ribs for 3 years. It wasn't until I begged my pain doc for a nerve block that an MRI revealed the disc issue. They're quite convinced that's what the problem is because it's at that dermatome level where my pain is. They said it should really be on the right side only, but it's on both sides.

    I just got my first ESI yesterday. No improvement today, but the doctor performing it and the nursing staff said not to expect anything for 3-7 days, so I'm crossing my fingers.

    My limited research tells me that symptomatic thoracic issues are rare, and I don't know if doctors understand how to deal with it. I suspect that's why you're having trouble finding answers. I too am having trouble getting clear cut answers and advice on my back.

    I've had really poor luck with most medications, which makes this hell. I can tolerate tylenol 3, though lately it's been making me very nauseous (which seems to be my bodies default way of dealing with anything bad. Thanks body). I can't handle stronger opiates. I can't handle prescription NSAIDS so I end up taking ibuprofin. Which makes me bruise, but it at least provides some relief. Cymbalta was horrible, first it made me twitchy, then trying it a second time at a lower dose gave me a migraine. Savella sent my blood pressure through the roof a couple days in. Lyrica and gabapentin made the pain worse.

    My opinion is run away from anyone doing chiropractic maneuvers. If they're doing that in physical therapy, find a different physical therapist. I know people differ on their opinion of chiropractic treatment, but it absolutely can make you worse. I would not risk it.

    I wish I had some sort of good news for you. My injury pales in comparison to yours and I am in SO MUCH PAIN that I can't imagine how bad you must feel. I guess I'm just replying because I know how terrible it is from this tiny little spot in my back.

    You said the ESI gave you 40% relief? Have you had it just the once? My understanding is that there can be progressive improvement with ESIs. I believe there are two schools of thought, one where they do them back to back 2-4 weeks apart in hopes of reducing inflammation and letting your body heal naturally. (Physical therapy during this time is supposed to help). The second is to space them out as fair as possible so you can get the most coverage throughout the year. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet; the doc performing the ESI wants me back in 2-4 weeks. But first, I want to see if this provides any relief.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    The toughest to understand and treat.

    For so many years there was an opinion that the thoracic discs should never herniated and if they did it would not be painful. A lot of that is because those discs are supported by your rib cage

    Well the time has changed and so many folks suffer from thoracic problems and it is painful.

    I have 4 herniated thoracic discs and no physical therapy, ESI, acupuncture helped
    My only relief came from Thai Deep/Soft tissue massage that release my major rhomboid muscle
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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