Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

SHARP awful pain between T3-T7ish???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:33 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hello I am new to this forum and hope some of you can help me to understand what has happened to me all of a sudden. Just a little history....I had a C4,5,6, fusion almost three years ago, Fibromyalgia and frequent migraine headaches.

On the 4th of July I was pushing a shopping cart around and felt that my back was a little sore, no biggie so I didn't give it much thought. WELL....the next day I started having extremely painful muscle spasms(?) and pain that would grip me for 10 or so seconds every time I moved. It hurts the most if I roll my shoulders forward and I can make it go away completely if I lay on ice and get in the exact right position. It shoots sharp pain down to both of my elbows but the pain stops there. When I am not on pain meds it even hurts to take a deep breath.

This is in the T3-T6-7 range, a very odd spot for a 'back injury'. I don't believe I hurt myself in any way; it just sort of developed over a few days. PM gave me prednisone, Soma and Vicodin. Pred helped but when I was off of it the pain came back. Soma And Vicodin barely help and I am now on my second round of Pred. (I hate taking this stuff but it's better than the pain)

I have an appointment with my neurologist on Monday but I'm really worried about this; it is just not going to 'get better' and leave me alone any time soon. Has anyone else experienced such a thing???????

Thank you for any and all suggestions. I am NOT a hypocondriac!!!


  • Hi ConnieB, I'm new to this forum too but I wanted to tell you that I know what you are feeling. Sounds like what I am going through. I have a herniated discT6-T7. I was rear-ended on my way home from work. It didn't total my car, but boy I've been in pain since. It's really bad on my left rib area-hurts me too to take a deep breath. I also get electrical stabs from my shoulders that stop at my elbows (when I sneeze,cough,burp :) that dosen't hurt, but it feels really weird. I had a epidural steroid injection on July 1, but it only worked for a few days, so gonna have another one on the 29. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE ICE!!!! It's the only thing that numbs the pain. Anyway I just wanted to write you and say I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! Hope you find out something monday.
  • Thank you Seattlegrl for your reply!! I am so sorry to hear about your accident and injury. I had a triple cervical fusion (C 4/5/6) three years ago after suffering for over ten years with horrible, debilitating headaches and neck pain. Nobody believed me, thought I just wanted drugs. Xrays did not show a problem so obviously it did not exist and my doctors refused me an MRI."You have classic migraines" and the worse one "I want you to see psychiatry." Migraines four times a week???? I lived my life in a dark room laying on an ice bag! I eventually got the cash and paid for the MRI myself - the report was a full page and a half long! I felt so vindicated and I cried for hours! I was afraid the scan would be inconclusive as well. The surgeon who did my cervical fusion found even more injury and bone spurring while I was in surgery so even the MRI did not tell the whole story.

    There are those of you reading this who are thinking "I would have stuck up for myself and gotten more help faster." I was once a Neonatal ICU RN and High-risk Labor and Delivery Nurse (before headaches) and believe me I am no shy shrinking violet. Having medical knowledge actually worked against me and being a medical professional apparently makes me a higher risk for drug addiction according to the 'experts'. Break down in tears out of frustration in a doctors office and I confirmed what they already believed. Changing docs also is a redflag for drugs abusers, so the more I looked for a doctor who believed me the worse I looked on paper. Since the fusion I have had three migraines. THREE. I used to have that many by Thursday in any given week. Doctors need to treat the patient in front of them and not lump us all together with those who choose to abuse drugs.

    Why am I telling you this???? Know how you feel, write it down and take your notes to your doctor and stick up for yourself. If he/she doesn't treat you, find another doctor no matter how it looks. If surgery is ever an option and you have exhausted all other treatments, don't wait. I had my fusion four weeks after the MRI results came back; I couldn't wait to get on that table!

    I sincerely hope you do not have the long, life changing, career ending road that I was on, but these types of injury change as life goes on. What I am dealing with now is 'severe arthritis with bone spurs pinching the nerve roots at T6 and 7'. I had lidocaine/steroid injections this morning and it didn't touch the pain. Being flat on my back with ice and Vicodin is all that helps, but I can't live my life this way. PLEASE, NOT AGAIN!! I am absolutely sick with this diagnosis, yet another long and unhealable prognosis.

    Has anyone else had this 'It's JUST arthritis/bone spurs/pinched nerves' diagnosis??? What remedies did you try and what worked for you? Any information I can gather now to shorten this new road will be welcome!!

    Thank you for listening to my past and future stories. I am only 52 and don't even want to imagine how much worse these impinging osteophytes will get in the next 10, 20, 30 years.

    The doctor I saw today (Neurologist) wants to see me back in four months. Is he kidding me??? Is there nothing he can do for me in sooner than four months? Is there any other help out there??? Help??!
  • advertisement
  • It is amazing the relief when you are vindicated for what you have been feeling all along. I had a situation like that myself some 10 years ago....and know one say anything on the mri's and so on. But when they finally went to remove a lipoma at the surface they found one inside my body cavity (hip, lower spine area)....the pain was immediate relieved and I told the whole world - went back to each doctor I had seen along a 3 year path and told them what was eventually found...it felt great!

    I don't understand myself the "well it is arthritis, and lots of bone spurs, but that can't be your pain" statement. No drug seeking here and not trying to get out of work...just wish to be free from the pain. My pain is from jaw line to bra line. They are aware of the herniation, bone spurs and arthritis, but my emg came back normal - and i don't have alot of numbness, just lots of pain. The numbness comes and goes but the pain is constant.

    I am hoping on the 5th of August I am seeing a neurosurgeon and that he will finally try surgery for me. It has been a long 2 1/2 years and I am done doing all the other treatments that have made no improvement.

    thanks for listen connie - I am not saying doctors are not good, just sometimes, though the tests don't read like they would be like, I know my body and some thing is really pressing on something else and I would like to try and ellivate that if possible.

  • I hope all goes well for you with the neurosurgoen baffled. When I was dealing with my neck problems surgery was definately the best option! Go for it! I truly hope there is a surgery that can make it all go away for you. Please keep me updated.

    I was told for years that there was no surgery to help me, even tho I had described exactly what was so painful. I consistantly stated it felt like 'a vice grip poking into my nerves' and ultimately that is exactly what it was - for 10 years. Now the same thing is happening in my thoracic region.

    Being an RN and working with doctors, I know they depend more on the objective tests and not so much on what the patient is telling them. If it is not confirmed with a test, it does not exist. Doctors need to listen and not JUDGE!

    Just FYI - don't ever tell a doctor you have been doing research or talking to others online. They read this as 'she has done research and knows exactly what to say to get what she wants.' My doctor didn't say that arthritis and bone spurs were not the cause of my pain, he just doesn't believe it hurts that much and won't give me enough pain medication to make a difference. I am currently on three Vicoprofen a day and I usually go through that before noon because the mornings are so brutal. If I had something stronger for the AM only I would do well with the 3 Vicoprofen +ice for the rest of the day. He doesn't think I need it, i.e. 'I don't believe you.' He wants me to come back in FOUR MONTHS! I will go insane in four months! I don't work (I can't) so I'm not getting disability or out of work. In fact, I would love to go back to work!! I hate how drugs make me feel but it's better than the pain.

    Any hints out there from anyone regarding pain meds and doctors???? I am so sick of this song and dance and I now know why chronic pain patients are so inclined to commit suicide. Pain = depression and hopelessness. Who wants to live like this??? Why can't I get adequate help??

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me???????
  • What type of doc are you seeing? Being a nurse I am sure has helped and hurt you at times. I have found that the pain mgt docs are very well equip (know which type of meds work best for nerve vs muscle pain).

    Are you able to see another doc during the 4 month wait?

    I don't think I can help in what meds etc. My docs and me both decided to take the narcotics off the table for me - (sobriety date 8/2/94). I realize that I could be more comfortable, but I ruined that with my past. I guess the good news for me - if they are willing to do surgery - post op meds will be able to work for me.

    I hope that someone is able to help you out -

    take care and update us - pm anytime
  • advertisement
  • hi....my name is pete and i was reading your post. i've had trouble in that area and it was nothing more than a muscle spasm. the trigger points act up and you get bad pain. see what neurologist says but if it is muscular deep muscle massage may help....
    good luck....pete
  • Hi Pete-
    Thank you so much for the suggestions; I am a big believer in deep tissue massage and have used it a lot with good success before I had my cervical fusion. I could take it pretty hard and it hurt like hell while I was being worked on but I felt soooo much better after the massage. Ice and massage are always the first two modalities I turn to.

    This pain.....it is so awful and unrelenting my husband can barely touch it or even hug me. Last night was the worst night I have had since this problem fired up. My husband was running to get ice for me every hour and it was so painful I was in tears all night. This pain SCARES me because I can't get any relief. I will go absolutely crazy if this continues much longer and I can't get someone to listen to me.Even with rest, ice and anti-inflammatories it it getting worse, not better.

    I see another doctor Monday but he is just my primary MD and I don't expect he can do much for me other than refer me to a back or pain specialist. I'll take it; something has to happen and soon!
  • Dear Connie,

    I feel so bad for you.

    You shouldn't have to be in such excrutiating pain like this.

    It is so wrong for your doctor to minimize the pain you are in... so so wrong.

    I really hope your visit on Monday goes well with your PCP and he can prescribe something stronger for your pain. Is your husband going with you to your appointment? I think it helps when a family member is present and in the exam room with us. My hubby will often ask questions and voice his own concerns.

    Best wishes to you on your Monday appointment. I hope you can find better pain relief, real soon.

    Take care,

  • Thank you for your thoughtfulness Tammy; it's so nice to know someone understands. Doctors are reluctant to treat pain when it is not the result of something tangible, such as a fall from a tree house. My spine disabilities have been slow and chronic and therefore not believed by my doctors. Even though my xrays show pressure on the spinal nerves, it "shouldn't hurt that bad."

    I want to scream and shake somebody! If I don't get my PM to really listen to me, give me some relief and run some more tests to figure out what we can do about this I am going to go to the Parient Care Advocate at my hospital group. I want something new to happen now because I am miserable and I dread nightime. Thanks for the good luck wishes - I will take them with me today. -Connie
  • I went to my PM and he ordered an MRI and referred me back to my Neuro surgeon.(cervical fusion C4,5,6 April 2006) He would not help me out with this miserble pain until I can get in to see the neuro, and his first available appointment is in three weeks. He started me on another two week course of prednisone, beginning with 40mg a day for seven days straight and then another week on the taper down. After two days I started having terible heart palpatations as well as nausea and horrible nightmares. I can handle the other stuff but the high resting heartrate (about 100, I'm normally around 70-75) and what felt like could be arrythmias were very scary. I called him and he told me to stop the Pred immediately (I had already stopped it the day before after talking to my pharmacist as well) but he still would not give me any pain meds to hold me off until I can get the MRI and to the specialist.

    I am NOT a druggie!! I am in horrible pain and without the Prednisone I will be in agony by tomorrow as this stuff leaves my system. I will go crazy in the next three weeks and I have nowhere to turn. Also, for some reason this round of prednisone did not take away all the pain as the first two courses did, maybe it relieved by half. The first try 95% of my pain was gone as if by magic. I got the same effect with the second round, but this try was not very effective even though the dose was higher. Any insight????

    This is one scary pain and I am fearful of what we will find on the MRI. There is *something* in my spine that should not be there. Any advice on where to go now until I can get the MRI and see my specialist??? I have been to my PM twice and a Neurologist once. I have never had a drug or alcohol problem and I don't see my doctors for every little thing; I am definately not a whiner. Why the reluctance to treat for a pain like this??? Michael Jackson rebound???? Any advice wil be very helpful!!
Sign In or Register to comment.