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T Spine causing major chest pain.

hisbeauty4asheshhisbeauty4ashes Posts: 185
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:02 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
HI all

I can not tell you the frustration I am having. I am in more constant pain in the T 7.8.9. area. It causes massive chest pain all the time and it makes me so immobile. The spine doc who is a Orthopedic spine doc seems to not be worried about it and in the mean time I have shallow breathing and constant chest pain.I have dizziness, headaches, neck, shoulder and burning down my arms and hands. Often I experience my hand getting numb cold and tingly.I have allot of blurred vision.I had multiple neck surgeries that has left me in even more pain that I am sure is also causing the above to occur.

I finally see a neurosurgeon next week.How in the heck do I get his attention about my thoracic chest pain? I feel like i am not heard and I have had injections so now they no longer work. I have had PT that does not work I even had chiropractor work done and that was the worst decision I had ever made. It popped out as soon as it popped in and I had bad headaches.

Any advice would be appreciated.




  • I have the same exact issues that you are having! I have quite a few bad disc in the thoracic area my self. My rib cage hurts do bad I can't sleep at night. I can't lay on either side and I have bad disc and pinched nerves in my neck and it hurts to sleep on my back. I have the same dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, it always feels like something is in my eyes! I went to the emergency room 2 times because I couldn't breathe and was having chest pains. They did X-ray of my lungs and said they were clear and diagnosed me with bronchitis . Haha! Well I have this problem all the time now and I know it's from my thoracic disc! Who would ever have thought a spinal problem would cause all this? I sure sympathize with you! They say the thoracic area is the area where the least amount of people have problems. I also read where it's so close to the spinal cord that doctors don't wanna mess with it. They say you could be paralized with a slight mistake. Mate that's why people are saying their doctors act like they don't want to discuss it. I wish I knew of something to help. I know first hand how painful it is. I have problems with my neck ,mid and in my lower back but the thoracic I would say is the worst! God help these physicians to help us get some relief. I requested to add you to my buddy list. If I find anything that's helpful I will let you know and you do likewise please. I know when I wake in the mornings I feel like I'm ready to go to bed like I've had no sleep! When I go to bed I know I'm gonna face the same thing when I wake and it's very disheartening . I know it can be very depressing. I can't even make a grocery store trip and walk that much without being in terrible pain! I'm 37 and have to ride in a motorized cart to shop! I was wondering if anyone else had breathing problems and chest pains with this! It's an awful feeling!
  • P.s. When I went to the er both times I thought I was dying with a heart attack!
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  • Hi Kristy I so feel your pain hon. I am so sorry to hear what you are dealing with. Yes I feel he same thing with the breathing. I feel like something is crushing my chest with the chest pain and feel like I have lack of oxygen. It is just horrible.

    I would be glad to fill you in on anything that might be helpful. I see a neuro this Wednesday man I hope he can suggest something that will help.I am getting a stem if my insurance will pass it through. I was told that wont work for the T spine man I am wondering because they are afraid to mess with anything there and they is why they are afraid to put a stem there. So I will bring this all up to the doc.

    I will add you to my list.

    Hugs to you

  • Hi Jeanie ! Nice to hear from you. I really hope that your dr can offer you some kind of relief. I've never heard of a stem so I don't know what that is but hopefully it will help you. I am so scared of having anymore surgeries. I have only had the 1 surgery 3 years ago when I was 34 and my back has gotten so much worse.Everyone keeps telling me to hold back on surgery as long as possible. You really just don't know what to do sometimes. I only know that it's very painful and depressing to always wake up feeling so tired and crummy. People talk about exercise and I try to but it honestly hurts so much. I can barely bend and I can't walk far at all. I just hope to God as far as we've gone in technology in this world they will come up with a miracle something to help! I hope your appointment goes well and you get some good news leading to some relief for you !
  • Hey Ladies,

    I am a multiple spinal fusion ( neck & lumbar) with an auto accident ( t-boned 7 weeks after my ACDF). I have almost every level of thoracic spine herniatedmin some way or form, some with tears. My NS finally listened to me when I had my first thoracic injection esi ( fluoroscopic pics were sent so he could see some damage). I begged for the nerve block referral at that point and he finally decided it want in my head or neck.

    It has been 2 years since the MVA and I turned down thoracic fusion, I had 2 referrals last summer. Tomorrow I am trying a SCS at t4 ( they think they can cover my ever increasing arm pain and my rib, nipple, chest, upper back pain). I was referred to another NS in my current NS practice who is doing a study with an excellent reputation who believes he can help me.

    I too was told for a year by my pm that a SCS would not work, my NS said how would he know until he tries it? We did a final esi/ nerve block at t4 and hit the sweet spot so we are giving it a go.

    If it doesn't work I will go back to looking at fusion. I was recommended a XLIF by one NS and another older procedure (deflate lung remove rib use hardware type procedure by my NS). Either way it is not pleasant. Ultimately my NS did not think it would help my pain at this time and I agreed Since they were looking at t6/7 because it looks much worse. However I know know though t6 hurts t4 hurts much worse.

    The SCS they think can cover from my lower cervical and upper thoracic. Maybe it is something to think about. I have heard of them with mixed results. Have you been through any nerve blocks. Definitely want to ask about a nerve block before you go through the expense of a SCS trial.

    Feel better and good luck yourselves,
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  • Hi Kristy Dye I am so sorry you are going through it too. I have done all the above the blocks no longer work I did them for about two years. Along with PT and Chiropractic that left me much worse.I pray this all works for you my heart goes out to anyone in so much pain.


    I went to the new NS. Talk about a jerk! He really was he would throw pens around and I told him about my issues, and he just said, "Well I am not here for that I am here to look at your ears." I was like what! I have dizziness and blurred vision along with headaches, I figured that would be the first place her would want to look you know at my neck,and T spine. Noooo He just wanted to look at my ears and test me for the dizziness there. I was real upset when I left like what was the point. Then He wanted to start me on an anti depressant medication saying it would cause my ear drums to tone down. I tell you in this small city I live in has real crappy doc's. I am not a depressed person but man these doctors are driving me there.

    So I made an appointment with my doctor again asking for a NS referral in a bigger city near by. I cannot deal with the Tspine pain and neck pain. I am so over whelmed.

    Thanks for the support.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    ...that it is unbelievable that a doctor would behave that way, but I think we've all had a doc or two like that.

    I had an appointment with a doc for a consult and if he said it once he said it 15 times during our appointment, "You are too complicated. I don't have enough time. I can't figure this out."


    Fortunately that is not the majority, and I wish you the best of luck with your next referral.

    Hopefully, you will not have to wait too long for an appointment. Please keep us posted.
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi everyone,
    I currently have level 10 chest pain due to 3 herniated disks in the thoracic area.
    All the tests I had to see why I had chest pain that were negative, and I ended up running across something online that said it could be the thoracic disks. A few specialists and surgeons later, and sure enough, they confirmed it. The CT Mylogram was especially helpful.
    Finding out and then doing something about it are 2 different things though. I started with physical therapy which made it much worse. Then several epidurals which did not help at all. 5 in all in less than 1 year. My back surgeon really does not want to operate. 3 level fusion and decompression with instrumentation, and no guarantee it would stop the chest pain. A very difficult and risky operation.
    My pcp referred me to a pain specialist, and so far I've been able to put a handle on the pain a bit at least. Taking Exalgo twice daily and Norco for break through (which is constant). Exalgo really works for me. It's a narcotic, time released, but doesn't stone me out like others did. Bad constipation though...
    So I've been doing this for the past 3 months and don't know where to go next. I've had shallow breathing since this started a year ago and got pneumonia from that last week. Very depressing, lots of anxiety, and relying on all this serious medication is dis-heartening. It's got to end some way, I just don't know how yet. Hope everyone that has this can somehow live pain free again. Sure hope I can.
    Oh, and to Kristy: I was in the er a couple months ago because I thought it was a heart attack too! Scared the heck out of my family (and me)! Also, Exalgo finally got me back to some normal sleep.
  • Hi Wolf, I have never heard of Exalgo. I too experienced being Hospitalized in 2009 thinking I was having a heart attack and they told me it was herniated disc's that is how I found out. Man it is not easy dealing with this kind of pain as you read in my earlier posts no doc even wants to talk about it. They all avoid it and it bothers me.

    Well thanks for the insight..

  • I too went to the emergency room twice. They chalked everything up to anxiety! 3 weeks ago I was perfectly normal then on Tuesday June 6th I woke up with pins and needles in my left arm I had been getting them off and on for few weeks so I thought nothing of it and went about my day. That night after I put my 3 kids to bed I decided to go to the ER with what I presumed to be a pinched nerve they threw me right onto an EKG and then a ct of my head... That made me panic! After all was clear they sent me home clean and clear with anxiety... I woke up the next day with chest pains shoulder blade pain back pain and again constant pins and needles in my left arm... Again EKG neck ct chest X-ray and set home with anxiety and muscle spasm in the neck. I went to my dic who said slipped rib adjusted me and sent me home with anxiety! I know I wasn't anxious but all of this was making me anxious! So about 20 doc visits later I go in today for blood work to test for diabetes because I can't accept that anxiety would cause this! I had hubby massage my back last night and when he would hit certain spots on my spine it would make my stomach spsm. My spine feels bruised but there is no evidence and my feet have been tingling off and on for 2 weeks but today the inside of my left foot is going numb and the needles are traveling up my leg... He finally did an exam of my spine and noticed my stomach would spasm when he touched the sore spot on my spine, he ordered a spine ray which I will have tomorrow. Specifically the t7 t8 area, I am so scared, but happy to finally have an answer to what is hurting me so much! I can't do anything but I have to because I have a 4 month old and a 20 month old and a 7 year old. Now I am scared to pick them up!
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