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Thoracic muscle spams

Hi, I'm only 24 and I have been having muscle tightness and spasms in the left paraspinal muscle group for 1 year now. It started as very low back pain to the point that walking was somewhat painful. I thought it was muscle cramps from my menstrual cycle but then it became more frequent. It progressed as tightness and a pressure like feeling mostly on the left side of my upper back that especially got worse after I started a new job where I sit on a stool and type for most of the day. I started getting muscle spasms around October of last year.  I spoke with my PCP and she put me on muscle relaxants and sent me to PT. I think she underestimates how problematic this is for me. I can't even sit in chairs for more than a few seconds now without tightness. Tightness to the point that Ill have to get up or I'll have a spasm. I have to sleep on my back with 3 extra fluffed pillows. I can't do any strenuous physical activity because over exertion produces tightness which leads to spasms. I've been on muscle relaxants and ibuprofen and icy hot patches for 6 months. We thought it was a posture issue. I've been at PT for 6 weeks now to work it out. Some very minor improvements but I'm definitely not back to 100%. I'm wondering what other options to try? I've had x-rays that we're all normal. I'm thinking trigger point injections because I have a huge rock hard knot sitting under my shoulder blade that will ache and it seems to be the source of my muscle spasms. Or maybe chiropractic, but I'm afraid with my muscles so tight it would hurt more than It would help. Suggestions? I'm young so I feel like this shouldn't be such a huge issue. Ive also tried massage therapy, I sit in a massage chair at home every chance I get. It relieves the tightness temporary but it's very short lived. I should also mention the pops and snaps I get in my cervical and lumbar region with basically every breath I take. I don't remember life without hearing my back and neck pop every 5 seconds. The popping is not painful but it's not normal. It's also not intentional, it will happen on its own. Please, any help at all? 


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,699
    hello special-flakes 
    please click on the link for useful information


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 699
    Look at my profile pic. Does it look abnormal? I ask because before I knew any better I'd say it was pretty normal. Have you tried alternating sitting in stool with standing while at work? It's probably a good idea to refrain from strenuous exercise until you figure out what's going on. I think you're on the right track with thinking about your posture. Don't discount a good posture!
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  • Hi @MarWin,

    I saw your profile and I'll be honest I didn't know what to look for? Also, I have been working on my posture. I went throught several weeks of Physical Therapy and I now get regular massages.... all of which has helped me minially. The problem still remains. Some days are better than others, but I am just at a lost at what to do next. My last resort right now is to get a trigger point injection, but im having to fight with my insurance to get the MRI approved. I'd like to know what happened in your x-ray.
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 699
    @specialk_flakes most likely when I posted that comment I only had a single xray image for my profile but since then I have changed it to a "before and after". The one to the left was taken late Dec 2014. You can see my spine curves to the left. What you can't see is I had one hip higher, rotated and tilted pelvis, and low shoulder. In the xray on the right, taken in June 2016 (18 months later) due to a visit to the ER for kidney stones. You can see pretty much no more curve to the spine.   

    I had low back pain for almost 30 years, and sciatica for over 2 years. I never had much thoracic pain, but did chose to do exercises for scoliosis. I am very sorry you're dealing with this for so long and haven't had any answers thus far. 

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