Thoracic spine degeneration questions

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2017 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, new to the forum. Hopefully someone knows about injuries
to this area. They gave me gralise , it is based off gabapentin.
I am going to go to physical rehabilitation.
The middle back muscles feel really weak, upper hamstrings are
getting tight. Sometimes my hands and feet feel affected.
The worst pain is on the left rib cage on the side.
I have tried some painkillers hydrocodone but they don't help much.
These were temporary until I saw pain doctor.
Just wondering if anyone has had this type of problem?
I was looking at these electric stimulation that hook up
To the earlobe and suppose to stimulate the spinal cord.
They had pictures of electric stimulation device they put in surgically.
Are upper back braces a good/bad idea?
Sitting up is pretty difficult.
I don't think they are using pain meds since all the stuff going on with those.
Hopefully rehabilitation will help, just not sure how it will improve pain.
Any info would be great they said surgery there isn't a good idea.
Thank you

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15534
   Posted 10/5/2017 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Steadman & welcome to the forum. Just from reading your post it sounds like you are just now beginning treatment for your thoracic problem. Have you had an MRI Scan done, if so what did it show besides degenerative changes? Degenerative changes is something we get as we age, some people start at an earlier age than others.

Conservative care is always recommended for this. Surgery of the thoracic spine is very risky option. This is why the drs have told you it is not a good idea. The risks associated with this surgery outweigh the benefit for most.

Going to physical rehab is an excellent way to go. Learning proper body mechanics & having good muscle strength will help. The rehab may try a TENS Unit on you, you can inquire about it. If a tens unit helps, ask about purchasing one. These can be purchased online & you can get a good one that is not pricey. I have not heard of a unit that is attached to the ear lobe. Personally, I would not waste my money on it. Tens units have been around a very long time. Be careful surfing the net on some of the self help items, as the only thing it may do is lighten your bank account.

The implanted SCS unit is controversial as far as it helping. We have had a few people post here that it helped them. We have lots of old threads of people that got no relief & were sorry they had agreed to having it implanted. But, nonetheless, you are a very long from being at that point. Anything implanted like these units come with their own potential complications.

Braces, now a days drs are shying away from people wearing them long term because they say the brace weakens the muscles too much. When people have spine surgeries some drs will put the person in a brace short term only. Get your drs opinion about a brace. You have several options available to hopefully get things calmed down.

You are correct about pain mediation being rx'd these days. The war on opioids is very much alive & thriving in the US & other countries. It is a nasty environment for people that suffer with chronic pain or even short term pain.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/5/2017 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi straydog, thanks for getting back with me. I had a couple mri's done and one surgery in lower back for
disc herniation neurosurgeon did it. The middle back shows some disk bulging and neck shows tissue damage, they say it is degenerative. This is happening I think because of a car accident I had when I was around 30, I am 44 now be 45 in November. Been asking doctors to look at the back since it happened, didn't have good insurance, I guess getting those mri's done are very expensive.
I am not sure if spinal injury can trigger some weird IBS symptoms, it just when the back problems are really kicking in, I get a lot of IBS type spasms, I started taking prevacid.
Hopefully I will start rehab real soon, the middle back area feels pretty weak. I have been trying yoga at home. Feels great to stretch that much.
Thanks for your input on the stimulation devices, they are pretty expensive. I was almost going to buy one, the sales guy was making it sound amazing lol.
anyone know of homeopathic pain remedy's? I will look further on the forum. I saw spicy peppers may help inflammation. and different things to heal the gut.
anyway, thanks for helping, take care

Post Edited (Steadman) : 10/5/2017 4:01:29 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 2086
   Posted 10/5/2017 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ,

I have a thorazic bone spur, that at times presses a nerve that can shoot pain out to the rib..

Stretching helps , exercises to strenghthen the core..

I use a microcurrent unit..that helps me.. for some reason tens was too strong for me..but the micro current unit, of course may have no issues with tens..

I also have chronic pain issues, so topicals help a fair amount..

Soothenol x2 is a strong topical pain helps me need less meds..

The therapy is a good way to go to start..a good therapist can greatly improve your pain levels.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/7/2017 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ljm2014, that bone spur doesn't sound nice just by the name of it.
I went ahead and ordered a bottle of the Soothenol X2, been using icy hot.
Can you let me know the name of your microcurrent device?
I have used Tens units in the past on different areas and at the time it did not help, might
be different for the middle or upper back.
The device I was looking at that hooked up to the ear lobe was very expensive, supposed to help
more conditions than pain but who knows, the sales guy was very good at convincing me, only thing
that stopped me was you needed a prescription from a doctor and luckily mine didn't write one yet.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 917
   Posted 10/7/2017 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   

I have cervical & thoracic scoliosis, so maybe what helps me might help you too.

Tens can get some good ones really cheap.
Google "Tens 7000" it is about $25.

I use the tens when I have major muscle tension. I crank it up and repeatedly increase and decrease the voltage causing my muscles to tense and release.

If you're looking for non-prescription options:
I'm using agmatine and tianeptine sulfate as supplements.
A few common supplements for pain are magnesium, boron, and lions mane.

Regarding that earlobe device... CES ultra or fisher-wallace... bought one on eBay years ago, but it didn't do anything for me.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/10/2017 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi cogito thanks for the heads up on the Fisher Wallace, the device was similar.
I was wondering your dosage on the supplements, I saw someone say
You need to build up to the right dose.
I have been trying Kratom, it works ok.
Do you have trouble sitting straight?
I have the worst when trying to sit.
Start physical therapy tomorrow.
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