Avatar universal

what is the treatment?

Hi, I have had bad thaoracic back pain over the past 4 year which has progressively got worse. I have more pain at night so unable to sleep. I have tried everything to relieve pain physio, chiro, massage, exercise,no exercise, rest, anti inflammatory meds, heat packs the list goes on. I have had x rays,scans and a MRI. The doctors have had no answers for me. Yesterday I was having a massage and the therapist noticed a cyst or small fatty tissue on the T3,T4 area which is the center of the pain for me. When I got home last night I read my MRI report and it states a incidental hemangioma at T4. So I then got on the net and found this site and it seams there's heaps of us with the same story. My questions now are what is the best treatment? has anyone got any advise or has had treatment? And also why would the report say its "incidental" if I have pain. Cheers   (from Perth, Aus)
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Avatar universal
I had thoracic disc surgery and yes through the chest.  I have chronic pain since the operation.  I have also tried every form of theraphy.  The accident was in 1995 and since this time pain has been my companion.  I still go wo work and squirm in the chair and sometimes cry.  I stopped going out with friends so I lost friends.  I walk and lay flat to get the pain under control but the pain has controlled my life.  I sense the doctor is not interested and said that I was healthy except for muscular skeletol problems.  I think when it comes to pain the medical community assumes that you should live with it.  So I have given up and have come to the conclusion that a day with level 5 is a good day and when it is a level 10 pain or greater I just have to do all the tricks I can to get it down.  Good luck to us all.  If anyone knows of a doctor that will be able to review my spine and help let me know.  I am in the Boston area.
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Avatar universal
I might add that the doc who looked at your MRI this time, he must have ignored what the radiologist report said, about an incidental hemangioma at T4, so if they told you this time it wasn't anywhere near the spine, well, they aren't taking into consideration what the radiologist said.  ALSO, your massage therapist noticed a cyst at T3-4, so WHAT ABOUT THAT?  I actually think you should call that neuro, insist you speak to him on the phone, might have to wait for him to call back, but you make sure that the office people understand you MUST talk to him today, there's an emergency, and then I think you should bring up to him those two points I just made.  Then you can ask him for medicine, and even ask him who does HE suggest you get a second opinion from....could be he'll come around and pay better attention to you then, I don't know.
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Avatar universal
Dear Marns,
Oh, them scans aren't always exactly right.  Also, no telling about spinal pain...I have an old thoracic spine injury, and as my spine settled over the years, it referred down into my lower back.  You would think there's no connection, but there is.  I imagine the growth is affecting the nerve root, which is just outside where the spinal cord is.  Also, could be the growth is pushing other parts of your body around, and THAT's what is making the back hurt.

Be that as it may, since you just got back from the docs and they aren't thinking it's the hemangioma, well, they MUST give you some good medicines for it.  I guess you've done left outta there, but you can call back and ask for some medicines over the phone, insist you speak to your doc, tell him that you were so upset with them that you forgot to ask for help on that front.  Or maybe your regular doc will take pity and you can ask for an emergency "squeeze-in" appointment, cry to him, and ask him to give you medicines.  My back needs an operation, but I'm afraid, so I take medicines, Lyrica works best for me.

Once you get good drugs on board, then you can seek a second opinion.  That's what I'd do.  You'll have to wait all over again, but try to go to an even better neuro if you can find one, usually university hospitals have the best, your family doc might can help you on that, and surely THEY will recognize what is going on with your back pain.  I've been thru exactly what you have, and it took a while to finally get the help I needed.  I'm sorry you've been put in this position.  I still remember an orthopedist saying I didn't have a problem, and so when I said to him, "Then what IS causing it to hurt there so much," he sort of woke up from his attitude and said it could be referred pain, which it turned out it was.

So, ask your family doc to help you on the medicine thing, if a phone call to the neuro doesn't work, and also be sure to get a second opinion.  I just hate it that you're going thru this.

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Avatar universal
I have just been to doctors and he looked at the MRI and said the hemangioma is not anywhere near the spinal cord or nerves so unlikely its causing pain? So all the scans show my back is Perfect so why do I have such intense pain all the time and for 4 years? I feel like I am going crazy. What do I do?
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Avatar universal
Well, you need to go to your doc and tell him how that "incidental" hemangioma has apparently gotten worser, because it's making your back hurt so bad that you cannot sleep.  They can get it out of there and you'll feel worlds better.  Usually those things are left alone unless they cause symptoms.  It's really sad that the docs who reviewed your MRI with you didn't respond to your complaints in the first place, becuz I know all about pain.  I think the docs dropped the ball on that one, altho in their defense, operations on the thoracic spine are not the easiest in the world because they usually have to come in from the front... maybe they've got a laser now that can reduce the hemangioma laproscopically, tho, I really don't know.  

By the way, I have a back injury in my thoracic spine, broke it in three places in a car wreck, and one thing that helps me is, I lay down on the floor with my legs up in a chair, takes all the weight off the back, and thus reduces the pain.  Might help you until you can get in to see a doc, altho could be no matter WHAT you do, that hemangiona is going to keep right on pushing on all those nerves in your spine, and until you see a doc about getting it removed, you will suffer needlessly.  

And for me, too, pain meds don't touch that thoracic spine pain, but the same meds will help other parts of my body, maybe it has something to do with it being where it is, I don't know.  I feel for you, so get thee back to a doc, bring the MRI report, and demand something be done, don't be shy!
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