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Massage for Thoracic Pain

MaggiePMMaggieP Posts: 337
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:21 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
How long does a massage help with thoracic pain? I had a deep tissue massage last week. The masseuse said my spine felt like I had a steel rod all the way from my neck to my lumbar area. She worked on my back for over 45 min, massaging both sides of my spine. The next day I had multiple VERY painful spots on my back. After a couple of hot-tub sessions, my back has been feeling a lot better. My only problem was I was visiting Wyoming at the time, and I live in Oregon. There are no massage therapists covered by my insurance where I live. I would like to know how long the benifits might last, and if it would be worth either paying out of pocket, or traveling 75 miles to a covered masseuse. Anybody have any ideas? It's been10 days now, and my neck and shoulders are getting back to the normal painful mess they always are, but my thoracic and lumbar still feel okay. How many treatments might it take for long-lasting relief? I realize it won't cure the bulging discs, stenosis, etc., but it is nice not to be hurting so much.

Thanks for any input. Maggie


  • Hey Maggie,
    I too had a back massage a few months ago before having lower back surgery. I have stenosis throughout my Thoracic spine and it's a bugger most days! I can relate to the need of relief from that - all too well! When I had my Message I had her work longer and harder on that area, telling her about it - she agreed it felt extremely stiff and didn't loosen up much either. Hummm. But, as I'm sure you noticed after a week or so it began to wear off, I found, not unlike you, that Hot Tubs and Showers help some. I also use a round Styrofoam log that I lay upon and roll over it to stretch out and extend my T-spine. That doesn't always feel so good and sometimes creates more pain - I only use it as a last resort. I've also used tennis balls but found them hard to control.
    Anyway, I would look into different insurance that covers holistic treatment. I, unfortunately, have Medicaid and they do not cover any of that. :/ I pay out of pocket for those pleasures and they really are a pleasure so I justify the payments! :)
    I wish you luck!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    This one area where I do feel I have become very informed, both from reading and actual experiences.
    For years, I was going to Physical Therapy and they could really never get to the root of the problem. I was lucky that I had one Physical Therapist that told me that they could do no more for me and that the standard physical therapy textbook procedures could note get dwon to the deep muscles.
    I've been going to the same Deep Tissue Massage person for over 18 months now. Not only has his Thai training and skills proved to be successful, his overall mindset and teaching me relaxation techniques have been very successful.
    Depending on the severity and deepnish (no such word) of your thoracic problems, the time it will take for this massage therapy to help varies
    I remember very vividly , that the first month of treatments for this master were so painful I wanted to stop it. I was beginning to think it was less painful to deal with my thoracic problems then to continue getting treatments from this person. After 3 months, I began to see some relief. He explained that many upper thoracic problems have roots in the rhomboid muscle. Once he was able to loosen up that muscle, things started to fall into place. I am still seeing this person, but instead of 1x week, I know go every other week and hopefully some day it will be once a month. It was not such a matter of how long the treatments lasted but to what it was doing to correct the problem. I have been and continue to pay $85 per session out of pocket. My insurance carrier does not recognize this treatments as being covered. Still, to me,
    that amount of money is nothing compared to the quality of life that this form of treatment has been able to give to me.
    I wish you the very best
    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
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  • Ron....Your words are about the same words as my PT used....she is very good and has explained to me everything about the thoracic area....the deep tissue massage she give me today was wonderful.....of course insurance is paying for this but where do you find someone when PT is over??? Also the tens unit that I have now seems to be helping.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348

    I am happy that you have found someone to explain everything to you and hopefully give you some relief.
    When my PT was about to run out, I asked my therapist for recommendations and also asked my doctor.. My pain mgt doctor was the one who put me in touch with the Thai Deep Tissue Person I see today.
    Most of the people in the medical field are happy to make recommendations (when its based on something they know about )
    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
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