Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Cervical/Thoracic Back Pain

Posted In: Medical Stories 2 Replies
  • Posted By: thechronic
  • May 14, 2007
  • 02:26 PM

I am an otherwise healthy 30 year old female. I am approximately 5'6" and 115 lbs and until the past three years have been very active and athletic (with no history of injury). I initially began to have intermittent back pain at age 19, while participating in intercollegiate volleyball. Prior to college I played multiple sports and participated in gymnastics for 10-12 years. Initially, the pain seemed to be in my shoulder and would subside with rest. Over the next ten years it began to worsen, rather than being intermittent it became constant, but tolerable. In 2002 I saw an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI of my neck and shoulder. He then referred me to physical therapy which did not help. Honestly, I think he thought I was one of those young, suburban pill heads looking for Valium and pain meds....to the contrary. Over the next two to three years I remained fairly active although I quit playing volleyball all together. Approximately three years ago the pain began to gradually get much worse, but was tolerable with NSAIDs and rest. Now looking back, my exercise regimen has basically stopped. I saw another physician two years ago who recommended cerival traction and a tempurpedic pillow which did help....making the pain managable. During the previous few months of 2007 the pain has become constant, burning and nearly unbearable. It begins at the lower cerival spine, goes down to about the level of the inferior scapula and curves out towards the triceps in the arm. The more activity I do during the day, the worse it gets...traveling into the arm. I, also, sometimes feel as if I get a "stinging sensation on the righ side of my rib cage if I take a deep breath. If I do an extraordinary amount of activity, I perceive weakness in the upper extremity. I had an MRI done in April 2007 of the cervical spine showing two laterally herniated discs. The MRI was looked at by a neurosurgeon who said I am too young to have surgery and prescribed Voltaren and Flexaril. At this point, I go to work, come home and go to bed. I feel like I have the flu all the time. I can't work out, I can't carry anything over five pounds, I can't fold laundry, I can't clean my house. I literally come home and go to bed. I am newly married and would like to start a family but feel like I am unable to accomplish the daily tasks of managing a household and a child. I won't even go into how this effects my relationship with my husband. I am even finding myself slacking off at work. I just don't know what to do next....I have tried the following: NSAIDS, muscle relaxants including valium and flexaril, stretching, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, trigger point injections into the muscle, rest, heat, lidoderm patches, vicodin, chiropractics, cervical traction, tempurpedic pillow, prednisone, etc. Am I supposed to lay around until I am 50...suddenly "old" enought to have surgery? I can't even live a normal life at age 30! I have hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loans to pay back and can barely work! I can't exercise and feel terrible. I am wondering if I should try to get a thoracic spine MRI as well....I would greatly appreciate any suggestions concerning diagnosis or treatment as this situation is becoming increasingly depressing by the day.

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  • Here is what I think. There is definitely help out there for you in this universe. C.H.E.K practitioners see this on almost daily basis. To explain you what exactly is your problem, one need's to do a proper assessment, but for right now I'll give you an educated guess. Cervical and Upper thoracic pain generally related to:1. Atlas sublixation2.Forward head posture3.Rounded Shoulders4. Muscle imbalances in the neck are5. Muscle weakness in neck area, specifically(deep cervical flexors and Upper and middle traps)6. Dysfunctional abdominal wall7. Problem with any of the following organs: Liver, Stomach, Pancreas, Thymus, Heart, Lungs, Diaphragm, Thyroid and Parathyroid.All these organs reflex to the neck and interscapular region, therefore influencing cervical stability secondarilyCourse of action:1. Find C.H.E.K Practitioner in your area (I would recommend Level 3 or 4). They will be able to make a proper assessment of the upper quarter and design individualized corrective exercises program along with sound nutrition and lifestyle coaching suggestions.http://www.chekinstitute.com/prac.cfm2. If there is no C.H.E.K practitioner in your are I would recommend you fly to see on.3. Upper cervical chiropractor might be helpful( NUCCA or Blair Method) as well as CranioSacral therapist.Let me know if you have any questions regarding this postGood luck:)
    Aram Ovsepian 18 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am 28 years old and a mother of two young boys. I was diagnosed in 1999 with degenerative disc disease and possible ms. I have been seeing a ms specialist since then. I recently was hopsitalized for a tear in my L-5 through my S-1. I also have bulging in my cervical and thoracic along with a herniation in my T-9. I suffer with pain from my shoulder all the way down to my ankle on my right side, tingling, burning, stabbing, and numbing pains. You name it I feel it. I have tried all kinds of medications, PT, Craniosacrial Therapy, Epidural Injections. They are doing a repeat MRI of my Brain, Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar. I just had an EMG which presented itself as normal. THrough all of this the only thing that has helped a bit is Neurotin, and Craniosacrial THerapy. I wish you luck. And I feel for the pain you go through. All I want is to be able to say to my children, sure I will play baseball with you, but I can't, not yet.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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