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Mobility aids for walking with T6/T7 pain

ArianneAArianne Posts: 1
edited 12/26/2015 - 12:27 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi, I'm very grateful to have found this forum months ago and have been reading especially since it's one of the only places that has such a place for us upper back pain sufferers! I have a disk protrusion in T6/T7 as confirmed by MRI in 2014 after suffering pain between the shoulderblades, in the shoulders, and neck, since childhood. I've tried PT, chiropractor, exercise/tai chi, OTC meds, you name it all with no relief. Trigger point injections made it worse. I currently get epidurals several times a year and tramadol 50mg PRN which lets me function but barely. My pain is every single day and I've noticed it especially since the holiday season when I've had to be on my feet more cooking, shopping etc. which I normally don't do at all because of my back.

My triggers are being in any position except lying down or reclining, like sitting at a desk or driving, but standing is the worst. I can only stand for about 10 minutes before I'm in excruciating pain. I can't walk much longer than that.

My question is, does anyone use mobility aids for this type of pain? I've noticed I can walk longer when I use a shopping cart, for instance, and have considered a walker or rollator (so I can sit down whenever I need). I see my doctor next month and will ask then, but in the meantime... I've never tried a wheelchair, cane, walker, or any kind of aid, but maybe it's time to invest in one.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    I don't know the size or if cord impact is occurring but I was very similar, not as extreme, but all my issues were upright. I would be pain free waking and gradually increase in pain from the moment I stood up to horrible knifing pain at the T6-7 level were my herniation was. My surgeon suggested surgury and I was in such good shape i felt I could recover from anything so I agreed but upon doing the pre surgury disco gram we discovered the herniation at T6-7 was a pain generator but nothing compared to T5-6 annuallar tear that had not shown up in any of the MRI. We stepped back from surgury , I asked if ESI by tear would help , dr felt worth a shot and after one something was immediately different . I could sit longer, stand longer, do things without the dreaded knifing after, I exercised better muscles started to work in that area. Started to feel a twinge and did another ESI months later , but I can say I am 85 percent healed from thoracic pain maybe 90 percent some days. If another injury would not occurred in my life , I see no reason I am not living as close to my pre back injury life as possible. I think if be in best shape of my life and probably mostly pain free, life had other plans but I really believe that's where id be . All those years we believed it was all from the herniation trusting MRI as the guide, but in the end it was an annular tear at the disc above it causing the majority of my pain. Just food for thought if you have never had discogram. I had multiple ESI at T 6-7 that had no positive effect prior to the one at T 5-6.
    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.
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 158
    After I had  a T4-T10 fusion, I have resorted to a cane.  Getting up was hard for me. Standing with nothing to lean on. The cane was something to keep my balance. If it helps you walk better, why not.  
    Greg fisher
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