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Have had pain for years

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,294
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am not new to Thoracic area pain, but new to talking about it. I had an ACDF earlier this year C5/6 in the Cervical spine. My thoracic spine has felt pretty good over the last year or so while on the pain meds and muscle relaxers for the cervical spine. But now as I'm trying to come off everything, the pain in my thoracic area just keeps getting worse.

It is this constant pain on the left side over what I believe is the bottom of the trap muscle (if it goes down that low). It's in the middle of the back, but on the upper edge (I hope that makes any sense). I am trying to figure out what meds work better for it, but in the meantime, I am in pain.

I have tried massage, trigger point injections, and meds and they all seem to help but not for to long.

Also, the pain seems to wrap around my left side all the way to the front of me. Sometimes its worse when I breathe. My pain mangt doc said that it may be a herneated disc there. Great....

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas on how to make this better?



  • Anyone???
  • Marc, I'm sorry you are suffering and wish I could help. I have lower lumbar issues with nerve damage, so don't know much at all about cervical issues.

    That's tough coming off meds - I personally can't imagine imagine that. I've been told I'm in lifelong medical management.

    It can be time-consuming to find just the perfect combination of meds. For me, as an example, Soma works tons better than Skelaxin as a muscle relaxer, and Flexeril knocks me flat out. I was thrilled to find that right med for me.

    Also, when I switched to long acting meds, it made a huge difference. I was no longer watching the clock, waiting for my next dose 4 to 6 hours later. Now, I theoretically go 12 hours. I say theoretically because it honestly doesn't last 12 hours, but it has made a dramatic difference in my overall pain level.

    If I had more pain when breathing, I can only imagine the panic I might feel. Maybe someone will be able to answer you soon that has more experience with your issues.

    Hang in there and welcome to Spine Health!

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  • I have osteoarthritis in the C 23456, and radiofrequency has helped tremendously, but the thoracic pain, between the shoulders and into my sternum, hurts sometimes when i take a deep breathe, has not been solved. I have had multiple mri's and no herniation, or arthitis, or DDD. I am in constant pain unless I take meds. I take ultram, which only gives me releif for @2 hours and then I watch the clock. The pain doc is trying Lyrica at night, but really no relief. I am about to come unhindged due to the pain. I hope that you find out some answers - but pain in the thoracic is horrible and there is not alot of research on that area of the body.

  • I have DDD C&T. I get like a tight feeling in the middle of my back at times stabbing too. I haven't had surgery though. Is your pain management Dr. going to order an MRI if he thinks it's a herniated disc? I had trigger therapy injections and they didn't help much. I'm going for a second opinion pm Dr. also tomorrow. I hope they find out what it is so they can better treat it. Are you trying some heat? I even use ice once in a blue moon for pain there also. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I've used some heat or even just let the shower run on it when it gets real tight. I think my PM will order an MRI. It's probably about time. I also have Ulnar Nerve entrapment in both elbows I'm told since the cervical MRI's are clean. I'm trying to figure that out as well.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,579
    it can be triggered by some very deep muscles (Rhomboid) along with posture related problems. The thoracic discs are very strong and difficult to herniate. For years, medical journals kept saying, you shouldn't be able to herniate a thoracic disc and if you do it wouldn't be painful.
    Well, since you are in the correct forum area dealing with Thoracic problems, you know that so many of us suffer from it.
    After my other spinal surgeries, I began to herniate thoracic discs. There really wasnt a treatment that took care of the problem or the pain. It took me about 8 years before I found relief. Normal Physical Therapy could not help me, but it was Deep Tissue Massage that gave me the relief. My rhomboid muscle was so tight and rigid, I had little flexibility and movement in my shoulders and upper back. Instead, my thoracic discs took the strain.
    I am not saying that the Rhomboid muscle is in your situation or that Deep Tissue Massage is a valid treatment.
    But I would say look at muscular and posture related situations first. Muscle relaxers may be very good for your situation. Whatever it is, make sure you discuss this all with your doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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