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T4 Syndrome?

JulieAJJulieA Posts: 1,420
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:02 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Today I was just now googling T4 again and came across a link for T4 Syndrome which discusses the arm pain I have to a tee. Of course the article was recommending adjustment like treatments which I will probably never have again due to all of my spinal issues and fear of further damage, I was both excited and scared to find there was something specific on my symptoms.


I am really hoping the SCS helps at some level this week. Later around noon I will be going in for it.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    Julie, I first was aware of the T4 Syndrome about 8 years ago. I was already having thoracic problems and one night, I had heavy chest pains, as if an elephant was sitting on my chest, my arms tingled, etc.
    My wife took me to the ER to check for a heart attack. They decided to admit me overnight and then do some stress testing the following day. All came out perfect.

    I talked this over with my physical therapist , so laughed , pressed her finger into the T4 area in front of my chest and said Did it feel like that?

    YES, exactly.

    However, talking this over with some of my doctors and a surgeon, they did not believe in any special T4 syndrome. But that was years ago and I really dont know where that has moved onto... But I do understand the feeling associated with it.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks Ron. I found several articles most were from pt or dc's so I think this is a group of symptoms that they found a name for that they can easily identify within their profession. The treatments would kill me so it is no use. My hope is this SCS will help I am hardly functioning at this point.

    Ron did you ever escape the associated pain? Did it eventually move away?

    I feel like I am being ravaged by a invisible beast. From the time I wake up until I go to bed. It is nerve pain so it doesn't respond well to pain medication, I wrap one of my arms in lidocane patches as much as I can and they help, attach ,my tens which helps some times sometimes it makes it worse now. I feel like a vise is squeezing my arms and torso so tight that I will pop. Add in the constant upper vertebra pain and numbness, leg pain, neck pain & shooting pain and I and not having a lot of fun lately.

    I don't know how you managed to keep going. I have the ice packs covering my body, then the heating pad moving around, then back to the ice... It is a vicious cycle all along I am still taking the same pain meds but they just don't seem effective. I feel like I have always been pretty tough and now I am a big baby.

    My hat is off to you.

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  • I came accros about this syndrom over google. No mather i have small herniated t6 t7 disc,i have pain directly around t3 t4 pain.
    This pain is so dull and deep,that makes me insane. It never goes away. I do also have costochondritis on the second rib. When i look at it,the pain in the sternum and back is on same level. I realy dont know wher to search anymore. I guess my next step is gastro doctor,since my pain area is clean at mri. God help us!!!
  • I heard that there really is no such thing as this T4 syndrome. My doctor denies it... I cannot be certain, but there is just so much medical literature out there. So who really knows.
  • I can only tell you that after having the SCS trial for only a couple days it has completely resolved my arm pain. I have never asked my NS about it, only my pm if he thought it was from my ACDF or my thoracic problems (T4-T11 all bulging/herniated/torn or smorls nodes). He thought I had trapped nerve from muscle spasms and I tend to agree since most of it came on when I changed my anti spasmatic. Only I went back on zanaflex for a month now and still I do not have the muscle spasms under control or the nerve is so turned on that no matter what I do it won't quit. Thank God I have this week with scs trial. I am dreading next week when it comes back :SS

    If I could stand being touched on my thoracic spine I would start getting massage again. Heck maybe I can find a good massuse who won't touch my spinous process. I used to have a good one, but the clinic closed. Time to start looking again. If I can get that nerve loose I'm sure I will be more comfortable until I can get the permanent SCS.

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  • My MRI showed my t6/7 worse and I am sure it was for awhile. T4/5 was a smaller bulge. I was certain that my pain was now worse at the nipple level since I get sharp pain into my breast area and under my arm pits. Unrelenting pain raidiating from my bra line in a circular pattern.

    My PM discovered the huge tear when he injected dye into it for a nerve block and it leaked out. I then had the floroscopic pictures to share with my NS.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    said there is no official condition called T4 Syndrome.
    But as my therapists and deep tissue guy says, Who cares about that, its real, it hurts and it needs to be addressed.

    Julie, I can not tell you how many days and nights of heat and ice, creams,s tens, etc to calm things down.

    What finally started to give me relief was using a full round foam roller, both vertically and horizontally to open up my chest. That along with some deep tissue work into my major rhomboid muscles finally put a stop to the day by day T4 pain.

    It can and does creep up time to tome, but at least for me, I know what has to happen to control it.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks Ron. I will look into the foam roller. Used to have one, so I know what your talking about. Scared to go back to deep tissue massage, but willing to look for the right MT who can help me.

  • For me foam roller also brings the relief i need. Just had chiro treatment,and my head and shoulders are rounded forward so much. Kyphosis,lordosis etc...never ending spine story...
  • I too have terrible upper back pain. I have a herniated disc T-4 that cannot be operated on. It bulges aganist my spine and the pain goes around my ribs and causes spasms that take my breath. I have been to pain specialists and gastro doctors for 4 yrs now. I keep getting a little worse but never better. If I pick up anything more than a gallon of milk it is excruciating. I can't stand in the kitchen to cook for any length of time now. I used to think I was having a heart attack but that was ruled out. Epidurals don't work. Muscle relaxers don't work and ensaids just upset my stomach. I get sharp pains in my chest and nipple area also. It helps just a little to talk to other people who at least understand what is going on and can relate to the same pain. Bless you and I hope you can find some kind of relief.
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