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Worried about thoracic

emerald94eemerald94 Posts: 5
edited 11/23/2015 - 1:01 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi everyone,

I'm a 21 year old female, healthy, active. I think being so active is in fact a problem for me, because no one believes me I am in pain...

So 4-5 years ago now, I have had a laparoscopy to treat my minor endometriosis. A small hole was made in my abdomen to laser the endometriosis off my uterus. During this operation, no contact is made with your back. The operation went without any problems, except when I woke up from the general anaesthetic my whole back in a terrible spasm, this awful, stagnant tightness, and I had pains shooting down my shoulders as if both were pulled... Very strange. I was told this will subside so decided not to worry.

Over time, however, it didn't get better - it got worse. The shooting pains through the shoulders faded and went away, what felt like a tight band around my bra-band area ensued... It got so bad, wearing a bra was torture because it felt like the band was pressing so hard into my muscles. My neck was always sore, and I tried everything - massage, chiropractic, even some physiotherapists who I would never go back to as they took a lot of money for doing very little. This went on for 2 years.

Then, I have found a better physiotherapist, a proper sports physio, who did manipulation on my back using the balls of his feet. This provided much more relief. Finally things got better, though from what I remembered a normal back feeling like pre-surgery, my back was still never 100%. I spent a fortune on those appointments and felt well enough to part take in 3 marathons over those 4 years. However, a lot of time after my spinal manipulation and massages, even when the back was loose, there would be an occasional spasm around my t5 - t6, like a very sharp sudden pain that went away just as quickly. The physio said I have a problem with my t-5 and t-6 being out of place, but I still didn't understand what that means. What I do know is my thoracic constantly cracks, the neck less so, but it is so much it actually scares me.

Now I never feel normal wearing a bra, the arms of sports bras feel so so tight on my back shoulders (as if they are DIGGING IN and radiating down my back although they might not be so tight) and currently going through a flare up. I am so upset. It's been 4-5 years of on/off tightness, back/neck pain, and I don't know what to do anymore.

I am getting an MRI soon and am terrified that if, say, it is a pinched nerve which has not been fixed through so much physio etc, then the only thing left is surgery. On the other hand, I read over other people's symptoms of pinched nerve, and they seem more severe than mine? But my pain and discomfort due to tightness is SEVERE. It's just that it's not going into my limbs (well i did think my grip got weaker but am not sure) too much and does not sound like some of the things described by other users on this forum.

Is it possible that a pinched nerve produces this sensation of tightness in my back? Is it responsible for 'picking up' bras as if they are super tight and pressing down into my muscles, when they aren't? Also, if it gets better as i warm up with exercise but then returns to what it was or even worse, is it still possible it is a pinched nerve?

Right now as I'm typing it I have pain going through to my neck and down the column of my thoracic, and I can make vertebrae click if i move my neck back. I heard even during simple procedures strain can be placed on your back if you are being moved etc, and discs can be put out of place, but I was 16 at the time of operation, is it possible it caused such a severed slipped disc? I just don't know what to do anymore. I am so scared.




  • 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

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Could I please get a response? This is really helping me pull through until the MRI.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    The questions you ask can only be answered by your doctors.
    They are in best situation to access, explain, and or reassure you.

    You say you will have an MRI soon. That sounds like a good thing.
    It really doesn't help to get too worried about the testings and the "what ifs?"
    Any anxiety, in my experience, can cause the painful symptoms to be stronger.
    Which of your doctors ordered the MRI?

    My primary doctor tried to work with my pain about two years before referring me to pain management/spine specialist.
    My PM also is neurologist..did several other testings to find my problem areas.

    You may find the search on this site helpful.
    Type in your concerns. You may want to check out about doctor's appointments, how to prepare.
    It may help in communicating your symptoms to help your doctor to assess your symptoms, and it may lead you to questions for your doctor that you didn't think of before.

    Please know, I realize it is easier said than done, but try not to worry and do take it a day at a time.
    I, for one, will be looking forward to hearing how you are doing!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • emerald94eemerald94 Posts: 5
    edited 11/29/2015 - 8:12 AM
    Thank you Savage, I took your advice and had everything written down properly for the appointment, questions were not answered but MRI is on Wednesday so I shall have some answers soon.

    Doctor who recommended the MRI is an orthopedist. If nothing shows up on MRI, next step is neurologist...

    We will see.

    Thank you again.
  • An MRI is a good choice. It may not give you answers to all of your questions, but it is a good tool. I've had neck tightness and occasional clicking for years. More recently, the clicking started happening every time I turned my head. I had a cervical MRI taken because I had some nerve pain in my arms and hands. The MRI results pointed to mildly bulging discs and reverse lordosis as the main culprit. A previous MRI showed nothing, so it took a while for the problem to appear on an MRI report.

    I'm not a surgical candidate and even though it sucks to live with the problem, it helps to think there might be better alternatives available when I need surgery. I wish the pace of change in spine surgery technology were faster, but even relatively recent advancements like minimally invasive surgery have been helpful to many people.

    I wish you all the best in your search for answers.
  • Hey guys,

    So apparently there is nothing found on the MRI. I've scheduled an appointment with a neurologist for January. There is one vertebrae, on the same level as the feeling of tightness, where, if I touch it from the side, it relays a sharp tingling neurological sensation to my whole left shoulder blade and arm. I'm convinced this has something to do with it. I just can't give up on this :(
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