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theizzard
10-23-2009, 07:28 AM
Hi everyone,
Everything is good in the almost 9 months since surgery except for the bowling ball being inserted into my thoracic region pain. I can't think of another way to describe the pain. My lumbar spine feels fantastic and my walking is improving but it's this thoracic bowling ball feeling that I can't seem to get rid of. It gets much worse on days when I am at my practicum and sit for 8 hours and then drive down to school. Has anyone else experienced pain or discomfort in this area?
avis

JenniferG
10-23-2009, 05:14 PM
Yes, but not to the extent you have. In the first couple of months post surgery, I had a feeling of a boot in my back. It felt like someone was pulling back on my shoulders at the same time as putting pressure on my lower back. It wasn't painful, just a feeling of pressure. The surgery gave me my lordosis back, which to a degree, I'd lost in the last couple of years and I found that curve at the back was making my stomach protrude more. I've got used to that feeling, or it's gone away but my stomach does protrude more than it used to.

Does this sound similar to what you're experiencing?

DebbieM
10-23-2009, 06:57 PM
I never experienced that feeling. But the protruding stomach, yes. I am 2yrs. post op. I must say that i really feel great with no regrets of the surgery. Time, time, time is a big factor for recovery. It does get better.
I am pretty bummed though about my stomach. I feel and look like I have a bowling ball in there!

JoAnn5
10-24-2009, 11:13 AM
I have lots of pain in my ribs on the right side where the thorasic anterior surgery was done. It's been 4 yrs since my original surgery. Is this what you are talking about?

theizzard
10-24-2009, 01:41 PM
The feeling is in the center of the thoracic spine. Imagine the vertical rods going up and down and then imagine a bowling ball, any size will do. Take the bowling ball and try to force it between the two vertical rods. That's the best I can do for a description. As the ball is being forced, the muscles and everything else are being pushed and squished together so if you move your arms, everything else tries to move with it. How's that? It hurts and it's not pleasant. Dr. Rand had me tell the pt folks to try different exercises but I think that's what actually causing the problem. I have decided to take 2 weeks off from pt and see how my body feels. I am working on releasing and loosening my hamstrings at home. The way they have me doing it is not so good for me. I guess when you've had surgeries before you know what works and doesn't work. I still am happy about the surgery because even with a new bowling ball attachment, I can still walk further than before surgery and if I wasn't so damn lazy, I might be able to really walk about 4 or 5 miles.
thanks one and all
avis:):D

Doodles
10-24-2009, 02:23 PM
I describe mine this way although it's more super tightness than pain when I wake up in the morning or have not taken a pill yet. (Still slowly going down bit by bit.) It feels like someone has taken a handful of my skin in the middle of my back and is pulling really hard. That's my take! Janet

theizzard
10-24-2009, 07:34 PM
I am still taking pain meds also and every time i think I should stop, the bowling ball makes an even stronger appearance.
avis

debbei
10-25-2009, 02:42 PM
The feeling is in the center of the thoracic spine. Imagine the vertical rods going up and down and then imagine a bowling ball, any size will do. Take the bowling ball and try to force it between the two vertical rods. That's the best I can do for a description. As the ball is being forced, the muscles and everything else are being pushed and squished together so if you move your arms, everything else tries to move with it. How's that? It hurts and it's not pleasant. Dr. Rand had me tell the pt folks to try different exercises but I think that's what actually causing the problem. I have decided to take 2 weeks off from pt and see how my body feels. I am working on releasing and loosening my hamstrings at home. The way they have me doing it is not so good for me. I guess when you've had surgeries before you know what works and doesn't work. I still am happy about the surgery because even with a new bowling ball attachment, I can still walk further than before surgery and if I wasn't so damn lazy, I might be able to really walk about 4 or 5 miles.
thanks one and all
avis:):D

Avis,

you know what PT exercise killed me every time? Using the therabands to pull both elbows at the same time backwards, so that the muscles around my upper spine & shoulder blades was exercised. I HATED that, and it gave me terrible, TERRIBLE muscle spasms every time. I do other exercises at my regular-people exercise class :) and none of that bothers me. My PT gave me a theraband to use at home and I DON'T use it. ICK. I wonder if that's the region that is bothering you. Does tylenol help?

theizzard
10-27-2009, 06:35 PM
Those are the exercises that I think have made the problem worse. They have me doing 4 or 5 exercises that squeeze my shoulder blades and I think it is the periscapular region. I do one in a corner where I place my arms on the sides of the wall, I place one foot ahead of the other and then push my chest out which pushes the shoulders back. That one hurts probably the most. I am taking this week off and next week and I will see how I feel. I have gotten much stronger since going there but my hamstrings are as tight as they were right after surgery. I really don't like the way they stretch my hamstrings and can do a better job at home. I have a fear of going back to my yoga or pilates classes because of how difficult it is for me to get up from the floor. Actually I think I am just so embarrassed because once I am down it is so difficult to get up and I usually need something to hold on to. I have bad knees and two new hips one is 10 years old and feels like it might need an adjustment soon. I am so glad Debbie that you knew what I was talking about with my bowling ball explanation.
avis

debbei
10-27-2009, 08:25 PM
Avis,

I guess the shoulder-blade thing bothers both of us. Mine is more on my left side than my right. When I get like that, it takes weeks, if not a month to recover.

How funny you said that about the floor. At my class, there are some floor exercises, which I can do some of, and I modify others to suit my new back. One day, I was squatting down to pick up my hand weights, and I kind of lost balance and TIPPED over like a bowling pin. OMG I was so embarassed. I'm not even sure anybody noticed or figured out why I did what I did--you know, falling sideways. Luckilly I didn't hurt myself.

BTW, my hamstrings and hip joints are SO SO much better than they were 6 months ago. During my class when I can't do some of what they are doing, I do hamstring stretches on my own. Early on, my hip joints felt out-of-whack, like the ball didn't fit properly in the socket any longer. They are almost back at 100% now.

I'd encourage you to go back to your class. If it's something you love, you will feel so much better, mentally and physically. One way I get up i roll over, get on all 4's and push myself up that way.

jrnyc
10-28-2009, 12:03 AM
Hi Avis
so sorry you are going through this awful pain!

sent you a private message...
hope you feel better soon..

jess

52skeedoo
10-29-2009, 01:34 PM
I think I know what you are talking about. I have noticed a heavyness and tightness. Early on, I was really bothered when I took a deep breath. As time has gone by, I developed a worsening pain on my right side under/beside my scapula. For what it's worth, this is what I experienced:

It was suggested that I use those resistance bands. That made the pain worse. I couldn't do it. Too painful.

My doc demonstrated how to do corner pushups. It's different than your normal wall pushups in that you stand in a corner at arms-length from the wall. You put your hands on either wall, about shoulder height and do a pushup ( so your face goes toward the corner). Because you hands are on two different walls, you have to push somewhat outward when you do the pushup. I found those did not hurt much, so I did them.

After a couple weeks of just doing those corner pushups, my shoulder was much better and I was able to add some resistance band work. I was also able to add another exercise that was recommended -- holding 5 lb weights in front of my chest and bringing my elbows backward as far as comfortable -- one of the squeezing your shoulderblade exercises that you mentioned. I can do that comfortably now. I couldn't do it before I worked for a while on the corner pushups.

I still have some pain and a lot of heaviness and tightness, but I'm seeing slow improvement.

Oh -- I had to laugh when you talked about having trouble getting off the floor. I also have bad knees so I am avoiding floor exercises for the time being.

Sheri

theizzard
10-30-2009, 09:32 AM
Well it has been a week since my last pt session and I must say that the region, which had been so sore is not as sore. Doing those exercises has never made sense to me at all but I am not a physical therapist. Intuitively, it just did not seem right. Perhaps when all the swelling is gone, it might be possible to do these exercises but not until then. So now I have to get myself on some type of exercise program.
avis