Back and Neck Injury/Back Injury
QUESTION: I had a back injury that seems really wierd and really hard to believe to some of the doctors I have been to and this issue is really getting me frustruted and would like to see what you think.
Back in 2011 my back started getting really tight around the rhomboid muscle area and it felt like I had a really tight knot that just would not go away even with massages that I was getting 2-3 times a week. The pain got so intense that as the days went by even the touches from the massage therapist that I was getting was giving me so much pain that they had to stop.
Finally, while I was at work I was climbing a utility pole and as I was climbing up I heard and felt almost like a twig snap in the area where I had my knot. The pain was so severe that I had pain shooting through my right arm and lost all strenght in my arm. I was taken to urgent care where they took x-rays of my scapula and shoulder and everything came back negative. I was told that I had strained my back and a rib that popped out as well as on the diagnosis they labeled it as having multiple back injuries. I was placed on light duty at work for about 1 month and was sent back to work on full duty for a total of 2 months.
After being at work for 2 months I heard and felt the exact same twig snap in the same area and felt the exact same thing I felt the first time I got hurt. I was taken to urgent care again and was told that I strained my back and that a rib popped out once again.
After not being satisfied I went to my personal doctor and got an exam and x-rays taken. While I was getting examed I was showed by the treating physician a very large swollen back on the right side and was told that x-rays were needed asap. the same day I was called by the doctors office and was told that I had actually fractured a rib at my t6 level right by my shoulder blade.
I have since gotten an MRI and was told that everything on the MRI is normal and that I was just dealing with chronic low back pain now, however they do not know exactly where the pain is coming from and I still have an unusual bulge/lump that was described as being too broad and boney in the area where I have fractured my rib at the t6 level. It hurts when I walk long distances, sit down for long periods of time, and my back spasms really bad to the point where I have to stop what I am doing if I am doing anything physical.
I really need help here and I am very close to losing my job because of this injury. I have been denied LTD and because my LTD was denied the company that I am working for is not willing to help accomidate in placing me in an office job. I really need help!
ANSWER: Hello Mark,
Sorry to hear about your back injury. But the good news is that I think you may have reason to be cautiously optimistic, because I do think I can help you.
One of the key things you mentioned was "climbing a utility pole." If you do that on a regular basis I'm pretty sure there are muscle groups in your shoulder girdle that are very tight and could be causing your problem (teres major, teres minor, subscapularis and serratus anterior).
So what I'm about to explain to you is covered in great detail on my completely free website, Do-It-Yourself-Joint-Pain-Relief,
What's important for you to understand is that the muscles in your body are like the rigging (ropes) on a big old-fashioned sailboat. All the ropes (just like your muscles) have to have appropriate tension for things to work properly. Too much tension, especially in the bigger or more leveraged muscles and things get pulled out of position and then things don't work as well.
And since bones are basically chunks of calcium, they only go where muscles pull or hold them. So the key is to release the inappropriate tension in your shoulder girdle and back, so your body has the space and freedom it once had. When you do that then your situation should improve rapidly and dramatically.
What I'm going to recommend is very different from massage, even though I appreciate the efforts of whoever worked on you. It may look like massage, but it is very different.
I'm going to recommend you visit my Upper Back Pain Relief page,
and also, my Neck and Shoulder Pain page,
Do the follow along videos, and I'm hopeful you'll notice improvement.
And feel free to contact me through my website if you have any questions.
I do hope this helps.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I have been to the chiropractor, acupuncture, physical therapy about 30 times or more, and pain management. Nothing has worked! Is it possible for a fractured rib in my back area to grow extra bone and cause the rib to roll over the nerve that is attached to the rib? This is what I was told by an orthopedic. He said that their is nothing that can be done in my case and said I must be on muscle relaxers and anti inflammatory medication. Is this even possible?
Okay, so to answer your question, "is it possible?", I would say that while anything is possible, it seems extremely unlikely that this has occurred.
What is much more likely, is that when you injured your rib, the muscles and soft-tissue in the are tightened to protect the area from further injury. The problem is that often the tissue does not release on its own after you have healed. This can lead to situations like yours where you are being compromised by the tight soft-tissue.
Once you grasp the concept that bones are basically chunks of calcium that do not move on their own you are half way home. Second, you must understand that bones don't go anywhere that muscles don't pull or hold them. Then all you have to do is release the soft-tissue that is yanking your rib head out when you do certain things.
I'm going to further recommend you go to the upper or middle back pain relief page on my website (I'm not sure where exactly your injury is).
Upper Back Pain Relief
or the Middle Back Pain Relief
And you might also need a massage tool to get deep into some of your back muscles, but you'll know by how much progress you make on the main back pain pages, but just in case, her are the links to a "massage tool release page" for upper and middle back.
Massage Tool Release for Upper Back,
Massage Tool Release For Middle Back,
I hope this helps.
All the best,