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The pain in my thoracic is absolutely horrible...suggestions?



  • My "rib pain" (omg...the flank pain too...sheez) is a screamer for DAYS if I do anything with my arms above my head. It's not really flank pain...it's my entire "lats" muscles. I broke a rib last Fall. First broken bone ever. I waited TWO WEEKS to see Doc because I thought it was "Fibromyalgia" concentrated in one area. THAT'S how bad I hurt. I decided to have it checked out ONLY because "Fibro" doesn't usually stay in one place that long so intensely. (Again, I don't think it's "Fibro")

    So, your PT advised you of all this due to thoracic issues?

    How the hell can you *think* pain that puts you on your knees is "imaginary"? ha ha...ya, I know...it's not YOU who thinks that - it's your doc.

    I can't get the tens unit on my thoracic parts. I truly need 3 units - for cervical, lumbar and thoracic.
  • I apologize for the late reply to you. I've been recuperating from a UTI and have been trying to catch up with everyone.

    Have you been able to get an appointment with your doctor? I am sorry to hear about your pain issues and hope they get resolved as quickly as possible.

    When I first started walking after my trauma and surgery, I could not stand up straight for quite some time. I, too, had to hunch forward to get comfortable enough to walk.

    The headaches you describe... wow. Very intense!

    I can't tolerate any kind of vibration, either, but heat is an absolute necessity for me. I use every kind of ThermaCare heat wraps they have available and I get excellent relief. I sometimes will improvise and put one around the front of my ribs and then wrap another one around it for my back area. With help from my hubby, I can sometimes get four of the big wraps around my torso and it is heavenly. The neck ones can be strategically placed in different areas, with the help of some white adhesive tape to secure them in place. I've had them as far up to my hairlines (both front hairline and neck hairline) as possible a few times for relief.

    Please let us know how you are doing. You have quite a lot going on and I wish you the very best in finding relief soon.

    Take good care,


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  • Ouchie... on your pains!

    I have had a couple of incidents of those "cutting" pains in my back and they HURT!!!! During my first two months out of the hospital, is when I experienced those and they were all related to my traumatized muscles. My doctor told me I would be experiencing a lot of "odd" sensations during my healing process and those were doozies.

    I also have a tremendous amount of rib pain these days, as I'm trying to strengthen my core. When I do the "pretend to touch your belly button to your spine" exercises... ohhhh... they smart. And, it feels like a basketball has nailed me in the tummy at times. My ribs are still tender to the touch and I totally rely on the heating pads for relief. I don't know how I would survive without those things!

    There are so many favorable posts on the TENS unit. I'm going to ask my Neurosurgeon about one of those. I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment today, but it's been rescheduled for Friday.

    Best wishes to you for less pain each day. I sure can relate to what you are going through and you're right... it does help to know that you are not alone. I was so relieved to find Spine Health. It's full of comfort, reassurance and great people.

    Take good care,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    Dealing with spinal problems for over 35 years now, I can easily state that thoracic problems are the most difficult to take care of.
    Most standard treatments do nothing to really take care of the pain and discomfort. Anyone that has suffered from any thoracic pain, fully understand just how uncomfortable it can be. You cant find a position that makes you feel ok, sleeping is non-existent and the pain stays with you every minute of the day.
    I lived that life for so many years. I had so many doctors look at me and come up with ideas, Physical Therapists tried to help me with out any success, Medications kept it in control, but still every day I knew how much pain I would be in.
    Everyone is different so, I cant say this will help.
    But for me, it wasnt until I started to have the genuine Thai Deep Tissue Massage that I started to see progress. My massage person, who I can only refer to as my Eastern Master (sort of like a Kung Fu person) was the only one that helped me.
    He put me through torture. I yelled and screamed at him so many times. He brought me to tears so many times during our treatment. I went for his sessions, and then I endured pain with a capital P
    Two years later I still see this person and he still hurts me, not as bad as before. Thats because I have come accustomed to his torture and my back is getting better.
    But without his help and getting to the deep inner rhomboid muscle, I will still be in pain every minute of the day
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I knew there was something I was forgetting here and I'm glad you posted this, as a reminder to me. Somehow, someway... you remembered I needed to write back to you about this exact subject! Thank you.

    As you know, I am presently at the 6 month mark from my fall and surgery. I have completely weaned myself off of the TLSO brace. I don't even use it in the car. I do, however, bring my walker with me. I still feel "off balance" when I walk for long periods of time and I do not want to fall or have someone bump into me at this point. I've come a long way and I don't want to undo my progress. I am still in pain, but it's getting more tolerable each day. (The set-backs drive me nuts, but I know I will have them).

    Today my hubby and I went out for a couple of hours. We went to lunch and did some walking. I climbed in the truck all by myself, got out all by myself and our overall 2 hours was wonderful. For the first time since my fall and surgery, I was PAIN FREE... in my back. It was wonderful. My abdominal muscles, however, started to get really sore towards the end. I came home and laid down for a while and decided to wait it out, before I took any break through meds. After an hour of relaxing, I did need to take one percocet... but, that's okay.

    Each day, for the past two months, I have been doing stretching exercises on my own. When I have good days, I do aquatic therapy in the pool. The stretching exercises I do are done while sitting in a chair, laying on the couch or laying in bed. I do them multiple times throughout the day. Last night, I was almost able to sit "indian style" on my bed. It has been ROUGH, to say the least, to get to this point. Lots of pain, but well worth it.

    I am VERY interested in this technique you recommend. At what point would you suggest I start to implement this technique for myself and how often would I go? I am very protective over my back and who touches it, so I will probably have to travel to get this kind of expert treatment.

    I believe what you say and would like to experience the same.


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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    I was about 8 to 10 years into my thoracic problems, before my pain mgt doctor recommended this person for deep tissue massage.
    It is not for everyone, no question about it. The person I see only comes from recommendations from doctors and that is his client base.
    I was recommended to him because everything else failed.
    I did so well with his treatments, as painful as they were, but I also learned so much about Eastern Medicine and Holistic Medicine. Not everything needs to be formal and medication driven.. So much can be natural. His work on aroma therapy, relaxation therapy has played such a big role in helping my situation. That piece, Tammy, I would have no problem in going into details. But his deep tissue work... that is more define to the patient. After working with this man for two years now, I know that some of his patients need a gentle tap tap massage, which he hates to do and generally gives it to one of his staff. He loved to dig his elbows into my back and neck, and then once I am on the floor he walks on my back, digging his heels and toes into pressure points and then jumps to a specific point. It all hurts, but I feel good afterward.
    If this is something that your doctor thinks would be good for you, then I would be more than happy to go into deep dialogs with you about this. Even if you are not sure, please, email me and we can discuss this offline in details. If it is better for us to discuss things online for others, I am happy to do that also.
    If I can get just one person feeling better physically, then I have done my months work... It is easier for me to help people emotionally. Thats only because there is a give and receive surrounding with people that I come in touch with.
    I am just like you and me, I guess the only difference is that I have been through this for so many years, I know what to expect and what not too.
    I am so happy when people listen to what I have to say. I am still a novice when it comes to spinal problems, but I promise everyone I will do whatever I can to help and when I cant help, I will also tell you.
    Tammy, thank you for your kind words... I am more than glad to help you in any way I can
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Thank you, so much, for the insight. I am very glad this man was placed in your life and the lives of others he has helped, and continues to help.

    I have used alternative treatments and the occasional alternative "medicine" since I was 20 years old. I will always be open to these, due to the great results I have experienced. I put medicine in quotes, as herbal remedies and teas are what I used. I had to do a lot of research on the herbal remedies and teas, as they were not widely recognized in the US, 22 years ago.

    When I was 18, I had my tonsils taken out. I kept having recurring tonsilitis and my tonsils were pemanently swollen with deep craters in them. (Sounds pretty gross, but that's what they looked like). After my tonsils were removed, I started getting a lot of hay fever, allergies and then asthma. I started seeing an allergy specialist who performed the skin tests and found out all I was allergic to. I chose to do the allergy injections, once a week, for 2 years. The injections helped tremendously, however, I was still taking oral medications for the asthma. I did not like the side effects from the oral medications (they made my hands shake and I felt jittery). I knew I had to take the medications, in order to control my asthma... but I kept wondering about homeopathic and alternative treatments. That is when I started doing my research and stumbled upon a book titled: Back to Eden. After reading that book, I started reading books by Dr. Andrew Weil. I was captivated by his theories on self-healing, relaxation and destressing. After many months of gathering information on these alternative treatments, I experimented with peppermint and chamomile teas... in addition to relaxation methods. When I had finished my series of injections from the allergy specialist, I was seeing an internal medicine specialist (family doctor) who kept me on the prescribed asthma medication. I decided to have a consultation visit with him one day, and presented the information I had gathered on alternative treatments for my asthma. He was quite skeptical at first, but knew I would never do something drastic as to completely stop my prescribed medication for asthma. Long story short... he worked with me on my idea of wanting to try the alternative method, in an attempt to wean myself off of the prescription asthma medications. Within a years time... it worked. I implemented other herbs and soy products into my herbal tea "medicine" treatments during that time, which contributed to my success.

    The overall experience was wonderful. It was not a quick fix, like conventional medicine, but well worth the wait. I was not foolish and did keep an inhaler with me, in the event of an asthma attack that could not be controlled by the alternative method.

    I have not used an inhaler for almost 12 years and have been off the alternative treatment for the same amount of time. I still will use teas on my family and myself when we have colds or the flu.

    Aromatherapy and relaxation therapy has been a part of my daily life, since I discovered it for myself. It works and I truly believe helps with any kind of ailment we encounter. The mind is a powerful tool and can be used to our benefit in ways we aren't "accustomed" to.

    What you have experienced with your Eastern Master, reminds me of the time in my life with my asthma.

    If my back should need more help in the future, I will definitely seek your assistance. You can count on that... lol. When I put my situation in perspective... it's much too early for me to consider deep massage therapy. I will mention this to my neurosurgeon, when the time is right. He and I have a wonderful relationship and I feel comfortable presenting this to him... again, when the time is right.

    I would be more than happy to get a thread going on our success with alternative treatments, including relaxation and aroma therapies. Patience is key to the success in these methods, but sooooo well worth the outcome!

    Thank you, as always, Papa Ron. =D>

  • This has gotten to be a long thread, but I would like to add my two cents. After several problems about 2 years ago, Drs determined I had spine problems, 11 herniated disk. I had surgery for the neck first a year ago. I just had surgery for the thoracic about 3 weeks ago. It gave me some immediate relief, but there are still alot of lingering issues. It relieved the cord compression at T7-8. I have had digestive problems and bloating for 1.5 years. It got a little better, but not alot. The thoracic is a very tight area because there is not much movement here, much different than the neck and lower back. It also has alot of nerves for vital organs, which can cause a number of other problems. I am hopefull that the improvements will continue, especially since nerver regeneration takes a very long time to heal. Drs are very skeptical about any thoracic work because it is not explored very much and has the greatest chance of risks. My Dr would not do any work on it a year ago. Now the technoly for microsurgery has improved and was helpful in removing the compression. Good luck to you all.
  • I am hoping I can get a greater understanding of my situation and advice from those with more experience.

    Description of Pain: (Lumbar)
    Dull stabbing pain primarily centralized in lower back. The pain radiates into the hips with more pain on the left side. Above both sides of the hips there are “knots” that are tender to the touch. When touched sharp pain is felt. At times there is dull aching sensation felt in my left and right knees, but the aching sensation can be felt into my left ankle and across the top of the foot. When going up stairs there is weakness felt in the left quadriceps just above the knee. At times there is less sensation felt in the outer part of the left calve primarily hot / cold sensations. Occasionally when taking deep breaths a dull stabbing pain can be felt in the lower left side of the back / hip area. The pain is normally at its worst in the morning.

    Deep dull aching pain primarily centralized in thoracic region of the back. The pain is felt from the base of the rib cage up to the middle of the shoulder blades. At times there is pain felt along the spine up to the base of the neck and across the shoulders. There is numbness felt on the outer part of the left & right hand and sporadically sharp stabbing pain in the right elbow (hurts to extend) and an aching sensation into the right wrist. Occasionally there will be muscle spasms in the back on the right side near the base of the rib cage. At the climax of pain a pulsating sensation is felt between the shoulder blades

    I have had 6 facet injections in my lumbar (no help), 1 ESI in my lumbar, and 6 weeks of physical therapy. The ESI has changed my lumbar pain from a sharp stabbing pain in my hips, to a dull ache in my hips & random pain in my knees, but no affect on my thoracic.

    MRI Results:

    L5/S1 minimal circumferential buldge without indentation of the thecal sac. No cancal or foraminal stenosis is seen.
    Thorasic: (primary source of pain)
    Desiccation of the T10-11 disc. Schmorl's node in this inferior endplate of T10 with reactive fatty marrow signal change in the adjacent T10 vertebral body and also in the superior endplate of T11.

    I am just tired of hurting and feel that there is no end in sight. It is so refreshing to read and know others feel as you do. I have been dealing with thoracic pain for over four years and recently dealing with lumbar pain for almost one year. My source of strength is to be there for my wife, but it is difficult because even remedial tasks either cause immediate pain or residual pain.
    I look forward to reading more posts. Thanks!
  • I'm the same as you but it all moves around, never stays the same intensity...and can't plan crapola in my life from one hour to the next.

    nice description.

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