PDA

View Full Version : The "Bear Claw"



backissues
12-31-2011, 10:02 AM
I have been doing fine. Then, last week on Wednesday, after not going to the pool to do my PT exercises for a couple of weeks, (I had PT from May to Sept and have a PT routine.) I did all the exercises, which includes a variety of walking in chest deep water and then cross-country skiing and bicycling in deep water. Then, I just hung in deep water with dumbbells under my armpits to hold me up. That was one of the exercises but was supposed to be with a collar around my neck and hang from that so my neck muscles get stretched. The last time I did that my neck hurt so I thought I would try just hanging.

The next day, I started having muscle aches in my lower back. This is what Ed calls the "bear claw." It is muscular. The ache doesn't stop me from doing anything but it is there. I am worried I did something that can't be undone. I have been taking Ibuprofen during the day and 4 mg of Valium at night. It is 3 days since I did the exercises.

I blame myself for this and wonder if it will resolve. Could I have stretched the distance between vertebra? Broken a rod? I've been doing so well and now...

Has anyone had this problem? Did it resolve? Is this part of the healing in the second year?

Irene

backissues
12-31-2011, 12:46 PM
I'm doing better today. I guess I'll never stop worrying that I've done something wrong to end this sabbatical from the pain that I am have had.

I am preparing a meal for company. What a treat to stand and chop and prepare without pain!

Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy New Year 2012!!

Irene

loves to skate
12-31-2011, 12:51 PM
Glad to hear it is resolving itself Irene. Happy New Year to you too.
Sally

golfnut
12-31-2011, 01:07 PM
Irene,
I'm glad you are doing better. I had a similar experience several months ago and didn't seem to improve for quite a while. I finally called Dr. Lenke's nurse and she thought I had inflamation of some muscles due to walking up and down some really steep hills and recommended Aleve and ice and it did the trick. I know what you mean about always worrying that you've done something to cause a problem. Happy New Year!

Karen
p.s. John and I are going to attempt dancing (carefully) tonight at a New Year's Eve party.

Susie*Bee
12-31-2011, 02:09 PM
The bear claw feeling I get is when I get too cold... and that's happened recently to me. Then it feels like everything in my back tightens up all up and down my spine, stretching out about 3-4" to each side, especially in my upper and middle back. We are up in Quebec with my daughter's family for the holidays... I brought a big full length down coat. My feet froze this morning, but my back stayed ok.

Glad to hear all is well, Irene. I was forever concerned that something had gone wrong when things would pop or grate or there would be a new feeling. My popping/grating was "just" arthritis in my neck. At least it wasn't a hardware problem... (smile) Best wishes for the new year and continued recovery.

debbei
01-01-2012, 06:51 AM
Oh yes I still get them from time to time. They are much less frequent but sometimes they just floor me. Motrin usually helps and when they get bad I take muscle relaxants (which I haven't had in months)

I'm glad you're feeling better. I can relate to them coming on after a break of physical activity. If I try an exercise that is new to my back, that is when I'm likely to get the spasms. I try to be very careful with myself that way.

titaniumed
01-01-2012, 08:47 AM
Hi Irene

Bear trap is the term I use because the gripping wont cease, just like a trap that wont let go. This usually happens in the thoracic, in a 3-4 inch wide spot centered on the spine. Itís a common with us and I still get them every once in a while and it seems like it happens when atmospheric pressure drops when a storm moves in. Being a hurricane hunter would not be a great profession due to this reason.

I usually donít take anything if it happens and just lay down if I can....Iím not too keen on taking substances if I can solve the problem without. Eating something, taking a hot shower, and laying down are usually the 1st things I do if something is wrong, give the body some time to heal itself on its own.

Ed

backissues
01-01-2012, 04:47 PM
Thanks for your encouragement and sharing your experiences. By today, I am much better. I walked 2.5 miles. I couldn't have done that a year ago.

It is great to know you are out there for help and encouragement.

Ed, I have that same 'bear claw" feeling but lower than the Thoracic, more towards the lumbar. Does it take days to go away?

Karen, We went on a cruise in December and I took a salsa dancing lesson. I didn't try to swing my hips around but just being able to stand and walk through the steps for 45 minutes for the class was great! I hope you enjoyed new years and dancing.

I need to be more careful when I go to the pool to exercise. I haven't been doing it regularly and it feels so good to be in the water that I get carried away.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy new year 2012!

Irene

titaniumed
01-01-2012, 08:17 PM
Irene

Traps, not claws. The claws are when I screw up on a date that results in marks on my backside as Iím running away! he he

There are all sorts of strange feelings during a recovery, and the best we can do is to adapt to them. If there is something thatís drastically wrong, you will know. With minor issues, the best thing you can do is wait, and just take it easy. I pulled something trying to clip my toenails at 23 months post and it felt like a soldering iron down low at my L3 area on the spine just off center about an inch. It was a specific 3/4 inch dia circle of pain that lasted exactly 14 days. When I went to see my surgeon, I was riding up the elevator and realized that the pain subsided. It was a soft tissue injury. The pain was either a 10 or a 0. On or off like a light switch.

It healed itself. The body is amazing isnít it? Each person and situation is different.

My full recovery took 2 years.

Ed

Lorz
01-09-2012, 06:24 AM
I know many of you have talked about having the "bear traps" feelings that come and go, but has anyone experienced it constantly after their surgery? If so, how long did it take to resolve? I am 7 mos. post-op, and still have it constantly, along with the burning nerve pain. I am really becoming worried that it is permanent!

bluestone
01-09-2012, 08:49 AM
Im 14mths post op and to me it feels like I have someones foot in the centre of my back causing a 'pressure' feeling-im presuming this is similar to the bear trap?

Its driving me crazy and some days I want to cry because I wish it would go away-some days are worse than others and only lying don relieves it, as soon as I stand again its there.

My surgeon said if I still have this at 2 years post op he will consider taking all my metalwork out so im praying that this still has chance to go away.

annockams
01-09-2012, 09:14 AM
ÔĽŅ

It is easy for the rookies to see higher renovating squeeze pages produced by professionals rather than recognize all the things coach coupon (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) Having an optimistic view of your IM future ultimately makes your journey fruitfulThus, we are again with Coach Handbags Wheadgear you charge to do is to appointment our onband sjumping unmediatedly, and intend the assistantuniculuss theadgear you continued for backwards to your bag

There are various functionality, for instance adware and spyware security, that will usually just can be found in settled coach outlet online (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) software programs, that can on this system, though it may be freecoachoutletstoremallIts important to have a clean slate In the Internet marketing industry, its important to understand that to be successful; you have to stay ahead of the pack

r This is the web page that may provide you with essentially the most wanted result youre hunting out of your website visitors The time you put into taking consistent action can help you go really far Unless you have a very good as well as reliable understand on the interior natures involving landing pages and just how they operate, you will not ever obtain wherever

annockams
01-09-2012, 09:26 AM
That bored me, that it provide enough money to coach outlet (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) get a bag of famous brands I would love to hear from you againPutting on normal glasses is usually advantageous, nevertheless there may be far more benefits to wearing acquaintancesCoach Poppy Collection are in great demand from their major popularity, products of the highest quality in General

At the same time, the coach of high quality leather bags, used for more than a decadeI know coach coupon (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) that this Coach Poppy Collection is one of Coach Outlet Shop is located in the famous stores, construction, decoration design group full Coach Bittefeel free to all Iia and look, you choose your ideal coach factory outlet outlet

But if you go to Coach Outlet online shop, you will not worry about these things I've coach outlet online (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) been given that I have my own bag of different combinations On our Coach Shop online, you can shopping many beatiful Coach Outlet good All created and very durable

Coach Factory Store are attached to the original designs and simply show off a woman's fashion style You will have different coach outlet coupon (http://www.cheapcoachoutletcoupon.com/) method of considering points when you are working on your web page and you will be while using the common layout methods significantly in another way Even if economic recovery appears solid for us, however, economic recession and unemployment continues to shock wave is always high, so it may become more cautious consumersIf one of the bags, what are the trends of summer? There is a tendency to want to say Coach Outlet Online Store

Lorz
01-09-2012, 12:41 PM
Bluestone- What you describe is very similar to what I feel. Lying down is also the only thing that relieves it. Does your surgeon feel that removing the hardware would remedy the problem? It was my understanding that it is caused by the muscles/nerves stretching, so I wonder how removing the hardware would help? I understand how you feel, I feel like crying too. It is mentally exhausting, because it never goes away! P.S. Aren't these spam messages annoying?!

Marina63
01-09-2012, 12:50 PM
I know many of you have talked about having the "bear traps" feelings that come and go, but has anyone experienced it constantly after their surgery? If so, how long did it take to resolve? I am 7 mos. post-op, and still have it constantly, along with the burning nerve pain. I am really becoming worried that it is permanent!


Lori, I too have had it non stop since my surgery. The tingling and burning comes and goes but it is much less than it was. My surgeon told me it would eventually go away. I have to make a concerted effort to relax my shoulders. Going to PT really helped. My therapist gave me some exercises to help move the area and work the muscles. I've been back to weight lifting which does loosen things up a bit.

I'm also thinking it may never go away. I am 6 months post op.

backissues
01-09-2012, 01:32 PM
It is funny you should say something about your shoulders and its connection to the lower back muscle ache. I had a call in to the PT who worked with me in the pool. It took this long for her to return my call.

When I described what I had done by "hanging" with the dumbbells under my arms, she said that my shoulders probably tensed up and the reaction is the muscles all the way down tensed. I had hung for 5 minutes. Not only, did I hang but, by watching the clock, I had pinched my neck to look up.

I have been taking Ibuprofen and I am doing much better. I have not been back to the pool but have been doing my Svaroopa yoga poses to relax my back.

For those of you still having a problem, perhaps exercises relaxing the shoulders would help.

I hope you feel better.
Irene

Lorz
01-09-2012, 03:58 PM
Marina and Irene , thanks for your input. I find it really interesting that some people never have this issue. You would think we all had muscle shortening on the concave side of our curves. I do exercise regularly, go to a massage therapist weekly, and had 4 months of PT. I wonder if acupuncture would help? Anyone try it? I find it very hard to stretch the tight muscles with all the rods in the way!

walkingmom
01-09-2012, 04:47 PM
I have pm'd a couple of you about the constant feeling of tightness and burning that you all are describing. I am now 8 mos post op and still hampered by the bear trap. It sometimes feels that the hardware is "scratching" against the muscles. Does anyone else feel that sensation too? Besides lying down I have found hot showers to provide some relief especially as the tightness moves up to my shoulders and even moves to the front of my chest. Looking at pictures of muscle diagrams, it appears that the middle and lower traps muscle groups are my main constant problems.

Are there any folks out there who have overcome these "traps"? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Donna

Lorz
01-09-2012, 05:57 PM
Donna, Yes, I do have the feeling of the hardware scratching something internally. I sometimes feel like I'm walking around with ground glass in there.
As Donna said, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Also, any of you that have had this, and it went away, how long did it take?

Marina63
01-09-2012, 06:47 PM
I have pm'd a couple of you about the constant feeling of tightness and burning that you all are describing. I am now 8 mos post op and still hampered by the bear trap. It sometimes feels that the hardware is "scratching" against the muscles. Does anyone else feel that sensation too? Besides lying down I have found hot showers to provide some relief especially as the tightness moves up to my shoulders and even moves to the front of my chest. Looking at pictures of muscle diagrams, it appears that the middle and lower traps muscle groups are my main constant problems.

Are there any folks out there who have overcome these "traps"? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Donna

Yes, Donna!! Me too! It sometimes feels like the muscles scratching/rubbing against the rods. Hot showers help me too. I refuse to take any meds for it. Lying down helps, hot showers, heating pad . . .. I've gotten used to a lot of it and although I feel it, I am able to ignore it somewhat.

bluestone
01-11-2012, 01:53 PM
Bluestone- What you describe is very similar to what I feel. Lying down is also the only thing that relieves it. Does your surgeon feel that removing the hardware would remedy the problem? It was my understanding that it is caused by the muscles/nerves stretching, so I wonder how removing the hardware would help? I understand how you feel, I feel like crying too. It is mentally exhausting, because it never goes away! P.S. Aren't these spam messages annoying?!


Im so glad im not alone with this feeling because it takes away some of the worry about possibly needing my metalwork out.

I think my surgeon is unsure whats causing it because I also have 2 protruding screws which he mentioned taking out if the discomfort around there doesnt ease.It was when I quickly mentioned before leaving the room that I have a 'pressure' in my back that he suggested having the metalowork out if im still getting it at 2 years post op-I really dont want that to happen so pray everyday it will gradually ease.Its so frustrating because in other ways I feel like im improving.

My physio did mention trying some accupuncture because it could be muscle spasm but im not ready to have any needles put into my back yet!

bluestone
01-11-2012, 02:17 PM
Just wanted to add also that I think my surgeon may have suggested taking the metalwork out at 2yrs post op if this continues because he said I have absolutely no fat on my back so maybe he thinks this could be why the metalwork gets aggrevated easily?

I also wanted to ask-do any of you feel as if the pressure/tightness is in your chest too?
When I lie down its as if someone is sitting on my chest and it takes a few minutes to pass-I would give anything for this to go away!!

Lorz
01-11-2012, 03:01 PM
Yes, I do have tightness in my chest too. It feels like a tight band is wrapped around my ribcage, kind of like a really tight, annoying bra you can't wait to take off, but this one you can't! I get pain in my chest, on and off also.
I also do not have a fat layer on my back, padding the hardware, so maybe that is the issue. But, I am with you, I just want it to GO AWAY!!!
Bluestone, you will be 2 yrs post-op in March, are you considering hardware removal?

bluestone
01-11-2012, 03:33 PM
Yes, I do have tightness in my chest too. It feels like a tight band is wrapped around my ribcage, kind of like a really tight, annoying bra you can't wait to take off, but this one you can't! I get pain in my chest, on and off also.
I also do not have a fat layer on my back, padding the hardware, so maybe that is the issue. But, I am with you, I just want it to GO AWAY!!!
Bluestone, you will be 2 yrs post-op in March, are you considering hardware removal?


I wont be 2yrs post op until November 3rd so I have some hope yet that it will go away.
I think if I still feel as bad as this, then yes I would have it removed.

Marina63
01-11-2012, 04:31 PM
Bluestone and Lorz, I also have no fat on my back and do have the chest tightness but not all the time. My PT gave me some great exercises and stretches that has really helped. But I do sometimes get that feeling like there is a band around my chest. My surgeon said it was probably stiffness but I know it's muscle tightness. I've been lifting weights to help strengthen those muscles and hopefully ease the tightness. It varies in degrees of tightness and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why.

bluestone
01-12-2012, 09:00 AM
Bluestone and Lorz, I also have no fat on my back and do have the chest tightness but not all the time. My PT gave me some great exercises and stretches that has really helped. But I do sometimes get that feeling like there is a band around my chest. My surgeon said it was probably stiffness but I know it's muscle tightness. I've been lifting weights to help strengthen those muscles and hopefully ease the tightness. It varies in degrees of tightness and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why.


Im reluctant to do any exercise at the moment though because I find that the more activity I do the worse the pressure becomes so I try to not overdo things if I can, although at times I do feel that I could do with doing some form of exercise as walking doesnt feel enough.

Lorz
01-12-2012, 03:19 PM
Bluestone-
I am confused, your signature says your surgery was 3/11/10. Did you have another one in Nov.? I hear what you are saying about exercise. I tend to want to be sitting or lying down to relieve the pressure, but do find if I don't force myself to do some form of exercise daily, I tighten up even more. It is also definitly affected by storm systems moving in, some times for days in advance.

Marina63
01-12-2012, 04:36 PM
I have not been able to link my tightness to anything. Sometimes it comes minutes after getting out of bed. Some days are worse than others. Maybe there is a connection to something but I can't figure out what. Today I worked out at the gym with weights and cardio for an hour and a half, cleaned the entire house, ran errands (two hours driving) and my back is fine. Tomorrow at work, when I spend most of the day sitting, it could be super tight again. Or not, I never know.

Do either of you have issues with stinging and burning sensations on your back? That I can link to overdoing it. Or sitting in a bad chair (not a straight back). I have not been able to sit on our couch since before the surgery back in June. The only comfortable couch I've sat on is in the office of my school. One with a super straight and firm back. Anything cushy, forget it!

walkingmom
01-12-2012, 06:18 PM
Movement is a necessity for me. For the past month, I have followed this fairly constant daily exercise regimen:

Walk 45 minutes on the treadmill at 3.0-3.1 levels (2.3 miles at various inclines, but not about 5.0)

Then MWF, I add band resistance training for my arms such as triceps pushdowns, biceps curls, & arms lateral raises. I also use 2.5 lb hand weights and do 15 reps of front & side raises for my arms.

Throughout each day, I do these stretches:
shoulder shrugs/rolls
pulling arm across body
wall slides

Then walk 1 mile on the treadmill in the evening.

The tightening of my back muscles never really stops after I get out of bed in the morning, but I forge ahead with this exercise regimen. I am afraid that if I stop, I will only get worse and feel even tighter. I just keep hoping that down the road I can say, "Wow, my back is no longer tight like it used to be" :)

Hoping that we can all eventually say that too!
Donna

Donna

Lorz
01-12-2012, 08:19 PM
Marina,
Yes. I do have the stinging/burning you describe. It feels like a bad sunburn. I know that is nerve pain, and has actually gotten worse as time goes on, as the nerves regenerate. I take a low dose of Neurontin for it, and it does help some. I am sure it would be more effective if I could increase the dosage, but it makes me too "spacey". I know others have taken it at much higher doses and were able to tolerate it. Interesting, on the days that the nerve pain is bad, the tightness is much worse.
Donna,
That is great that you have the time and energy to exercise that much each day. I find that sitting is much worse for me, than being active at work. I too really hope that all of us can post one day and say how happy we are that all of this has resolved!

Marina63
01-13-2012, 07:51 AM
Lori and Donna,

The three of us are pretty close in surgery dates. For me being active helps a lot, too. I refuse to take anything for the nerve pain. It does seem to get better as time goes by but very gradually.

bluestone
01-13-2012, 08:57 AM
Bluestone-
I am confused, your signature says your surgery was 3/11/10. Did you have another one in Nov.? I hear what you are saying about exercise. I tend to want to be sitting or lying down to relieve the pressure, but do find if I don't force myself to do some form of exercise daily, I tighten up even more. It is also definitly affected by storm systems moving in, some times for days in advance.

Sorry, here in England thats how we write our date-we put the date, then the month, you do it the other way around?

Yes I also tighten up even more if I dont do some kind of activity during the day but whatever I do I always end up having to lie down.
I cleaned the house today and was in so much pain with the pressure when I lay down my chest was so tight I could hardly breathe, I was actually close to tears.Im wondering if its really bad muscle spasm?

Lorz
01-13-2012, 09:58 AM
Bluestone,
I am sorry to hear you are having such a bad day. I know how discouraging that is.
Yes, we put the month first, then the day. No wonder I was confused!
It sounds like it could be muscle spasms. Do you have any muscle relaxants? I never found they helped me, but some people get relief from them. The only thing that even helps a little is the gabapentin.
I just made an appointment to start aquatic therapy. Several people I have spoken to said that it helped them. Its worth a try!
Hope you feel better soon.

Marina63
01-13-2012, 12:08 PM
Sorry, here in England thats how we write our date-we put the date, then the month, you do it the other way around?

Yes I also tighten up even more if I dont do some kind of activity during the day but whatever I do I always end up having to lie down.
I cleaned the house today and was in so much pain with the pressure when I lay down my chest was so tight I could hardly breathe, I was actually close to tears.Im wondering if its really bad muscle spasm?

Have you had any physical therapy? I found the exercises and stretches I learned there helped a lot as well.

bluestone
01-13-2012, 02:33 PM
I have had 5 sessions of hydrotherapy but due to some protruding screws becoming aggrevated with movement I felt like it made me have more pain so I left it for a while until things settled down.
I have been offered more hydro but this pressure feels so deep in my body that im reluctant to exercise apart from walking.

Im going to have a talk with my physio next week to see if its worth just pushing through this pain-its so hard to know what to do because sometimes I feel like something is wrong.

Marina63
01-13-2012, 04:07 PM
It sounds like you definitely have more going on than is normal. My tightness, although annoying, is not much more than simply annoying.
Please let me know what your physio says.

bluestone
01-14-2012, 11:19 AM
Bluestone,
I am sorry to hear you are having such a bad day. I know how discouraging that is.
Yes, we put the month first, then the day. No wonder I was confused!
It sounds like it could be muscle spasms. Do you have any muscle relaxants? I never found they helped me, but some people get relief from them. The only thing that even helps a little is the gabapentin.
I just made an appointment to start aquatic therapy. Several people I have spoken to said that it helped them. Its worth a try!
Hope you feel better soon.


Sorry I missed your question!

I was taking Diazepam in the early days after my surgery-I dont know whether they helped much or not.
Ive recently been given it again but apparantly need to take 2mg three times a day but im reluctant as you can get very dependent on them.Im also taking Pregabalin and Dhydrocodiene.

Lorz
03-10-2012, 09:20 AM
I just wanted to check in with everyone, and see how you are doing with the tightness issue. Mine continues to be there constantly, in varying degrees. I have had a month of aquatic therapy now, and although it feels good while doing it, it doesn't seem to have a lasting effect. My P.T. is also doing kineseo taping, which some times seems to help. Have any of you found relief, and if so, what do you feel helped? I really hope you are all feeling better!

Marina63
03-10-2012, 01:10 PM
Hi!
My tightness has improved tremendously over the past 4-6 weeks. I think it's a combination if things just settling down and the weight lifting that I am back to doing three times a week. I'm doing some exercises the PT gave me and doing the weights I used to do. My back gets tight while I am doing the exercises but after, things are nice and limber and I feel great.

walkingmom
03-10-2012, 03:48 PM
Hi!

I do feel that I am stronger than two months ago. I had to stop using the exercise bands because they just created too many spasms in the shoulder blade areas. Instead, I have been doing various arm raises/ movements with soup cans serving as my hand weights. I am also doing a lot of exercises like leg raises (one leg at a time while in bed) and half squats as I am trying to strengthen the lumbar area below the fused levels. I still rely on multiple hot showers, moist heating pad, and various topical creams.

I am trying to work more hours, but by midday and again at late afternoon, I have to resort to lying flat in bed to get relief from spasms and an aching, tired back. Lori, does the kinesio taping help your upper back? I saw a YouTube video about SpiderTech Upper Back/Postural Precut Tape made by Theratape. Do you know what technique is used?

I did get a glimpse of heaven one time this week when I had gotten up in the middle of the night and my back felt ďnormalĒ. So something is working!!! Plus, warmer weather is helpful. In the meantime, I just follow the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, ďPress OnĒ.

Great to keep track of each otherís progress!
Donna

rockycarm
03-10-2012, 05:25 PM
Bluestone,
I am sorry to hear you are having such a bad day. I know how discouraging that is.
Yes, we put the month first, then the day. No wonder I was confused!
It sounds like it could be muscle spasms. Do you have any muscle relaxants? I never found they helped me, but some people get relief from them. The only thing that even helps a little is the gabapentin.
I just made an appointment to start aquatic therapy. Several people I have spoken to said that it helped them. Its worth a try!
Hope you feel better soon.

Hi Lori, I am scheduled with Dr. Boachie in May. How are you doing today? glad you had the surgery? Are you painfree 8 months later?

Lorz
03-11-2012, 09:00 AM
Marina- That is terrific that you are feeling so much better! I am trying to do regular weight lifting too now, but my tolerance is pretty low. What size weights are you using?

Donna- I stopped using the resistance bands too, and switched to light free weights. The bands really caused the nerve pain to flare up. Yes, the kineseo tape does help the upper back. I know the technique is called fascia release, but there are all sorts of configurations they use. It is kind of trial and error. My therapist is actually certified in kineseo taping. Its hard to do yourself, but I did teach my daughter how to do it. If you could have a few sessions with a PT to learn how to do it, that would be good. It certainly isn't a miracle cure, but I will take any little bit of relief I can get!

Rockycarm- The pain I had pre-op is completely gone. What I have now is a constant, intense tightness and pressure sensation, and some burning nerve pain. When I asked Dr. Boachie about the tightness, he said some people never get it, and some have it indefinitly. Good Luck with your surgery!

bluestone
03-11-2012, 11:34 AM
Marina- That is terrific that you are feeling so much better! I am trying to do regular weight lifting too now, but my tolerance is pretty low. What size weights are you using?

Donna- I stopped using the resistance bands too, and switched to light free weights. The bands really caused the nerve pain to flare up. Yes, the kineseo tape does help the upper back. I know the technique is called fascia release, but there are all sorts of configurations they use. It is kind of trial and error. My therapist is actually certified in kineseo taping. Its hard to do yourself, but I did teach my daughter how to do it. If you could have a few sessions with a PT to learn how to do it, that would be good. It certainly isn't a miracle cure, but I will take any little bit of relief I can get!

Rockycarm- The pain I had pre-op is completely gone. What I have now is a constant, intense tightness and pressure sensation, and some burning nerve pain. When I asked Dr. Boachie about the tightness, he said some people never get it, and some have it indefinitly. Good Luck with your surgery!


I also still have the constant pressure sensation-the tightness gets worse the longer im on my feet.
I still feel like the protruding screws I have are a real issue because they are in the middle of my back where all my discomfort is.I have an appt to see my surgeon about this at the end of the month.I think if he suggests removing the screws I will go with i because I cant stand the feeling in the middle of my back and its controlling what I do on a daily basis.

backissues
03-11-2012, 05:21 PM
I haven't been back to the pool in quite a while and haven't had the "bear claw." I will go back to the pool exercises but be very careful. At least, I know the aches resolve. All of these aches and pains are scary because I never know if it is something that will resolve or not. Luckily, all the aches and pains have resolved after a while. However, there is always another thing that comes up that needs resolution.

I guess the longer I am post-op (15 months now), the more confidence I am getting that the aches or pains are temporary. Hopefully, that will continue to be so.

Irene

Lorz
03-11-2012, 06:16 PM
Bluestone- I really can identify with what you said about the tightness controlling what you do on a daily basis. I feel the same way. Please let us know what your surgeon says.

Irene- I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I keep hoping that my issues are temporary also.

bluestone
04-16-2012, 08:28 AM
I didn't get to see my surgeon but the registrar I saw was great and he explained about how the muscles are peeled back during surgery and that some people feel this 'pressure' more than others. He's pretty sure that in time it will gradually fade away.

I'm taking an extra 100mg of Pregabalin so that's now 300mg a day. The feeling has eased so I don't know if it's the extra Pregabalin or maybe it's eased anyway, I guess when I try to cut down again I will find out.

Lorz
04-16-2012, 03:29 PM
Bluestone,
I am really happy to hear you are feeling some relief. I still have the constant tightness/pressure. I was taking 300mg of gabapentin for a while, and it seemed to help initially, then stopped. But, the fact that you are starting to feel better gives me hope. Thanks for sharing your great news!

Marina63
04-16-2012, 06:46 PM
I must say that my muscle tightness is getting less and less as time goes by. I have been doing a lot of weight training (back to what I did pre-surgery) and although right after, my muscles are super tight, after a while they really loosen up. I now believe that it will go away completely someday.

walkingmom
04-16-2012, 06:56 PM
Hi bluestone,

Thank you for posting your update. I am glad that you are getting some relief. Like Lori, the comment about eventually fading away is promising. I still have some ongoing tightness, but I am hoping that staying active through arm and shoulder movements will help to diminish it.
Donna

bluestone
06-21-2012, 09:23 AM
Well I feel like I'm back to square one, difference is instead of the 'bear claw' I've got what feels like a bear 'digging' I'm so sick of my back again and feel as if this pain will never end.

I'm trying to be active, I walk plenty but it doesn't improve.
I'm waiting to try some physio again and I'm arranging to see my surgeon.
The fear of my metalwork needing to be removed just doesn't go away-I'm now 19mths post op and feel as if time is running out to improve before the 2yr mark.

mabeckoff
06-21-2012, 09:29 AM
I am sorry to hear that you are not doing well. Hope things improve soon

Lorz
06-22-2012, 07:48 PM
I feel your frustration, I am right there with you. I had my 1 yr. post-op visit with Dr. Boachie on June 7th, and asked him about my continued tightness/pressure and nerve pain. He had no answers other than some people don't adjust to the hardware. I was told to wait until 2 yrs, then we could discuss possible hardware removal.But, he did say that did not guarantee that the symptoms would resolve. Did your surgeon say hardware removal would definitely fix the issue? I sure would hate to go through removal to find it didn't also remove the "Bear Claw". I will keep hoping, for both of us that it will eventually go away.

Marina63
06-22-2012, 08:27 PM
Hi Lori!
I have my one year post op appt next Wednesday and plan to ask my surgeon the exact same questions. I have the tightness (varying degrees occurring randomly), occasion stinging and burning primarily in the upper back. Other than that, I'm fine. I would like to know what is involved in hardware removal. It can't be as bad as when they put in the rods, could it??

Confusedmom
06-22-2012, 11:01 PM
Questions for all of you who are farther along. I also have this bear claw. Mine is relieved with Flexeril. Does this work for any of you, and if so, how long do you continue to use it? Sure wish I knew what causes it--too little exercise, too much? Not enough abdominal support? How would you all (those of you with the claw) describe the shape of your spine? I have a lot of lordosis built in. I don't think I have any significant kyphosis. I don't think I fit the description of "no fat" on my back, but I'm not overweight, either. Just trying to figure this out.
Thanks,
Evelyn

Marina63
06-23-2012, 05:58 AM
Hi Evelyn!

I exercise a lot. Weight lifting three days a week and an hour of cardio (walking/jogging, spinning, elliptical, step aerobics)six days a week. I do notice the tightness is significant after weight lifting but after a hot shower, it actually feels MUCH better. The tightness is constantly changing from barely noticeable to super tight. I don't take anything for it (prefer not to be on any meds). Heat does help. I think it's just tight muscles around the rods that are just taking a long time to adjust. It's quite annoying but I'm thankful I have no pain so I'm willing to put up with it. Truly am hoping it will someday go away. I believe exercise is the key to relieving it long term even though it initially makes it worse.

walkingmom
06-23-2012, 01:36 PM
Hi to the fellow "bear claw" sufferers,

I guess it is my turn to chime in.... Even though I am beyond one yr post-op, I still get those bouts of extreme tightness in the shoulder blade and thoracic areas. They seem to be most pronounced when I do things like standing to cook. Last week, I went blueberry picking for a couple of hours, but the most difficult thing was to wash and bag them later because the tightness came on as I was working by the kitchen sink.

The strange thing is that I can play tennis for a couple of hours and not be affected by the tightness. (i am not even sore the following day which was not the case prior to my surgery.) On a daily basis though, i may experience the burning sensation and extreme tightness most likely in the evening. Lying down briefly and using moist heat with a heating pad is helpful. I try to avoid the muscle relaxants since they knock me out. Like Marina, I find the tightness to be annoying, but not debilitating as it once was. I believe the daily exercising and weight lifting 3x/wk is helping me immensely. I still hope that the tightness will eventually disappear as the nerves continue to heal. Hope that it will disappear for all of you too.
Donna

golfnut
06-23-2012, 03:26 PM
Donna-So glad you are back on the courts. I knew you would get there. It's sure nice to be back doing the things we like to do. My first year anniversary was Jan. 5 and I still had a lot of tightness. It seems like just the past month (17th month post-op) that I've noticed it less and less, so I imagine you will continue to notice improvement. Do you feel like your tennis game is back to normal? I'm getting there with golf, but not quite as long as I used to be. I'm not complaining. It's better than I expected for my first season after surgery.

bluestone
06-23-2012, 05:55 PM
I feel your frustration, I am right there with you. I had my 1 yr. post-op visit with Dr. Boachie on June 7th, and asked him about my continued tightness/pressure and nerve pain. He had no answers other than some people don't adjust to the hardware. I was told to wait until 2 yrs, then we could discuss possible hardware removal.But, he did say that did not guarantee that the symptoms would resolve. Did your surgeon say hardware removal would definitely fix the issue? I sure would hate to go through removal to find it didn't also remove the "Bear Claw". I will keep hoping, for both of us that it will eventually go away.

Hi,
At my year check my surgeon did say that if the pain in my middle back continued he could remove the 3 protruding screws I have because I have a lot of pain around them, I'm hoping it's just the screws causing the problem. He also said that if the pressure continued he could remove the hardware. He said he wasn't surprised I was having problems because I have zero fat in the middle of my back but he stressed he would not touch it util I'm 2yrs post op which is November. This is because the protruding screws are right where the apex of my 72 degree curve was. He said he had to 'bunch' some screws here to get a good correction and believe me he did :)

I am seeing him on 2nd August because I as so worried about the digging pain which to me seems to be worsening. I would also like some idea of what he suggests can be done once I hit the 2yr mark.

walkingmom
06-23-2012, 06:48 PM
Karen,
Thank you for sharing your experience with the tightness in your back. There is still hope! My tennis game is not quite back to where I like it to be, but I am amazed how quickly I was able to resume playing matches! I actually didnt think that i could even play a match until later this fall. Now i am able to play without thinking much about my back. Plus I am learning to say "Good shot" instead of attempting to return every ball!

The first time that I served was 3 wks ago and my response was "Oh my!". I definitely understood why the doctors said that it will be the toughest movement for me to do, but even that is getting easier now. I didn't realize just how much my lower back muscles had weakened and are really needed in a serve.

By walking as much I had during the entire year following my surgery, it has made the transition to the tennis courts so much easier. I no longer play singles because movement on a hard court is just too tough on the lower back. I have even limited my other walking regimen to the treadmill since the outdoor pavement causes lower back pain. Fortunately, for you, golf is played on grass so that shouldn't be an issue. I am curious though, is your back sore after playing a round of 18 holes? The lack of back soreness has been a pleasant surprise for me.

Anyway, great to hear how well you are doing. Still need to get my tennis video made and posted. Perhaps this week.... Take care.
Donna

Lorz
06-23-2012, 09:45 PM
Hi,
Dr. Boachie told me hardware removal would be an approx 3 hr. surgery, with a 2-3 day hospital stay. I have heard other people on the forum say the recovery was much easier.
Evelyn- Flexeril and other muscle relaxants never worked for me. Meds for nerve pain seem to help more. I would say I have a normal amount of lordosis, and no kyphosis, but I still have some residual rib hump on the rt. My correction was not as good as yours. I am normal weight, but have very little back fat.
I do agree that exercise seems to help. On the days that I am inactive, the tightness is much worse. It always gets worse as the day goes on too. I have asked several Dr's what they think causes this feeling, and why some people have it when others don't, and none have had definite answers. I sometimes think that is the most frustrating part of this.

golfnut
06-24-2012, 07:57 AM
Donna-I'm sending you a PM. I'm sure everyone would love to see a video of you playing tennis post-op.

Confusedmom
06-24-2012, 11:28 PM
Dear Bear Claw Friends,

I wonder if everyone (at least adults) gets this to some extent, but maybe people who were in a lot of pre-op pain don't notice it as much because it's not as bad by comparison? Or maybe some people's meds mask it long enough that it's never really an issue? Anyway, I'm glad to see this is a "normal" feeling, at least for some of us. And with any luck it will eventually go away for all of us!

Best,
Evelyn

bluestone
06-25-2012, 02:49 AM
Dear Bear Claw Friends,

I wonder if everyone (at least adults) gets this to some extent, but maybe people who were in a lot of pre-op pain don't notice it as much because it's not as bad by comparison? Or maybe some people's meds mask it long enough that it's never really an issue? Anyway, I'm glad to see this is a "normal" feeling, at least for some of us. And with any luck it will eventually go away for all of us!

Best,
Evelyn

I had dreadful pain post op especially around my 'hump' so I feel like I've replaced one pain with another.
I'm also on Dihydrocodiene and Pregabalin still for pain.
This pain is with me when I lie in bed, as soon as I get up and with my daily activities, I will be very surprised if its not either the screws or all of my metalwork which needs removing.

Doodles
06-25-2012, 06:46 PM
Bluestone--
I'm sorry you are still experiencing so much pain. I hope you can find some relief. Did the thorcoplasty (I forgot your word for it right now) reduce the size of your rib hump? But now you have a lot of pain at that point? Janet

bluestone
06-26-2012, 11:37 AM
Hi Janet,

During my costoplasty I had 8 ribs cut away and the result of that has been dramatic-my hump has gone and for that I am truly grateful :)

I do have pain in that area but the protruding screws are near there too so it's difficult to say exactly where the pain is. Today I've had lots of sharp pains around the screws so it's making me more convinced that they could be the cause of my problems.

Irina
06-26-2012, 12:04 PM
Hi Janet,

During my costoplasty I had 8 ribs cut away and the result of that has been dramatic-my hump has gone and for that I am truly grateful :)

I do have pain in that area but the protruding screws are near there too so it's difficult to say exactly where the pain is. Today I've had lots of sharp pains around the screws so it's making me more convinced that they could be the cause of my problems.

Hi bluestone,

I am so sorry about your pain and hope it will go away eventually. What did your doctor say about it?

bluestone
06-26-2012, 01:25 PM
Hi bluestone,

I am so sorry about your pain and hope it will go away eventually. What did your doctor say about it?

The last time I saw my consultant was when I was 1yr post op. he didn't seem surprised that the protruding screws were causing me discomfort and said if it is the same when I'm 2yrs post op he can remove them. He also said that if I'm still getting a pressure pain in the middle of my back he can remove all the metalwork. He said its unfortunate that I don't have any fat on my back
However he stressed that he will do neither until I am 2yrs pot op because the screws that are the problem are right where the apex of my curve was and he doesn't want me to loose correction.

I do wonder if he used bigger screws there-do they do that? Use different size screws?

Confusedmom
06-27-2012, 06:08 AM
Hi Bluestone,

I'm sorry you're still in so much pain!! I have heard recovery from costoplasties can take a long time. I hope that's what's happening, and that you will eventually feel relief!

Best,
Evelyn