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Old 03-27-2004, 08:26 AM   #1
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fibrostinks HB User
Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

My main pain symptom has always been in my mid to upper back muscles. I have these spots that if you press on them, it is like a deep burning pain. I carry with me an overall achy muscle pain in my back, but I long for someone to push on those trigger points- even though its painful, its almost like the pain brings some temporary relief when being pressed.

Also, since this started (over 8 years ago), when it would be particularly bad, I experience breathing problems. Let me explain:

-Feel often that my muscles are so tight around my lungs that I cant get to the top of my breath. What I mean is, I want to take a deep breath and I cant get that refreshing gasp. Its like a comfort thing. I know I then start to overbreath, trying to get that deep breath.

-This becomes a cycle for me. Continually trying to make sure I can get that deep breath.

I get concerned that I have some sort of lung disease or something. My questions are:

a) Does anyone else have this problem?
b) Is it possible that the deep burning muscle pain in my back can be causing these breathing sensations or is it more likely that a lung problem is causing my muscle pain?

Thanks for any help I can get. I am at my wits end.

A

 
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Old 03-27-2004, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Hi, unfortunetly I don't have an answer to your questions but I saw the part where you stated that you long for someone to just press on those trigger points and I have a very helpful suggestion for you, it has helped me soooo very much.Tennis balls!!!After my last sugery, I had these really huge,godawful lumps in my upper shoulders that I swear to god were about the size of a baseball but didn't stick out quite as far.After my PT was ended after the ins co, in its infinate wisdom, decided for me that it just wasn't working(it was really working to alleviate the pain from the balled up muscle and tissue)I had no choice but to stop the one thing that had given me at least some relief.Well, when at home and going crazy one day as i was trying to massage the area between my shoulder blades with absolutely no luck, i happened to see my dogs tennis ball just lyin on the floor(a sign from above perhaps?)i thought that if I placed it behind my back while standing against the wall, i would at the very least,be able to apply some really good pressure on the trigger points and maybe even enough to actually release,so I tried it,and oh my god, after that first try,I now do it like at least once or twice a day.the best thing about this is that you can hoan in right over the trigger point and hold pressure there for quite along time.I also kind of move my body around so the ball can roll all over the worst spots.This has really been a godsend since my PT had to be stopped and you don't have to worry about tired hands on your back that start to tire out after a while.You can also push the ball into your back as hard or soft as you want.The biggest problem that I have now is trying to keep the damn ball away from the dog.try this, i swear it is the best thing when you can't get a pair of hands for a badly needed massage.In some ways, it actually works much better.good luck to you with the questions,sorry i couldn't help you with those.Try this it works! take care, marcia
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Old 03-27-2004, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Hi fibrostinks, Do you have pressure points or trigger points? I might be able to let you know about the lung/breathing problems if you can clarify which. Those people with fibromyalgia have pressure points only and NO TRIGGER POINTS. People with chronic myofascial pain (different cause + different treatment is needed) have trigger points and NO PRESSURE POINTS. Of course, if you have fibromyalgia AND chronic myofascial pain (no longer a syndrome therefore referred to as CMP) you will have both pressure points and trigger points. Let me know which you have, the disease (fibromyalgia) or the injury (CMP) KR

 
Old 03-27-2004, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Fibrostinks, the tennis ball or any ball about that size that was recommended is a great idea. I, also, use the ball daily. They're great for rolling under your feet too! Really great!

Also, I wouldn't worry about lung problems cause the back problems....almost a definite no! Whether you have fibro or CMP, the lung/breathing problem is caused by whichever one (or both) you are suffering with. The trigger points or pressure points-whichever you have- tighten the muscles around your back, spine, throat, possibly shoulders?, front, ribs, chest, neck -front and back....I'm sure you have the picture by now. Often I stop breathing altogether, then gasp to get breath. It's not particularly scarey now as I'm used to it, but people look at me like I have three heads sometimes, possibly wondering why I'm 'sighing' so deeply, I'm sure. Keep the faith. Write back if you'd like. Yours, KR

 
Old 03-27-2004, 02:58 PM   #5
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fibrostinks HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Kathy,

I actually after suffering all these years dont know the difference between trigger points and pressure points?! Is that horrible? LOL. Can you explain the difference? Then maybe I can answer the question better. I would really like to hear your take on the breathing thing.

Feelbad- I am definitely going to try the tennis ball. Just reading about it sounded like some relief I could appreciate. Anything pressing firmly into those spots sounds like heaven to me!!!!!!!! It wish I could explain why bringing on more pain helps relieve pain! Its an odd phenomenon.

Thank you so much to everyone who is responding. I get so despondent that I am alone and sometimes I just feel like maybe I am dying and noone can figure out what is wrong with me.

Thank you again
A

 
Old 03-27-2004, 03:03 PM   #6
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fibrostinks HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

PS to Kathy-

I am crying reading your post. Not because of what you said, but just because you took the time to reassure me and make me feel so not alone. It realy makes me feel good. Isnt it funny how you typing a little response on a message board to a stranger totally affected someones life? Sounds corny, but its true.

I lead a normal active life, most of it is spent in pain and/or worrying that I have some terminal disease they cant find with all my tests or they missed something. I dont share my pain or feelings with anyone- noone even suspects it. I think I have built up such a pain tolerance, I can function with my pain. I tell things to my fiance sometimes about my fears with the breathing, and he just looks at me. He knows all my medical history and is great with me and my Fibro- but I just dont think he understands fully what I go through. I dont anyone CAN unless they live through it themselves.

Thanks again Kathy and also feelbad. Good karma is on the way.

XO
A

 
Old 03-27-2004, 05:18 PM   #7
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kathy rivers HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Fibrostinks, hi there! I did a bit of research to describe the differences between fibro and myofascial problems. Right now I have a bit more pain than I can handle to write it again but promise I will be on here tomorrow (Sunday) for you. I'll re-type it then. PS: I saw your grateful post....I feel the same about your response....more grateful than you'll know. Thanks...I could cry too. Yours, KR

Last edited by moderator2; 03-29-2004 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Healthboards.com Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

 
Old 03-27-2004, 06:15 PM   #8
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jill williams HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Fibro Stinks Is A True Statement. Yes I Get Breathing Problems As Well As My 2 Sisters Who Suffer With It. My Sister Gets So Bad With The Breathing That It Causes Her Rapid Heart Beat. It Has To Be From The Muscles Being So Tight. My Chest Is Always So Sore. I Find Moving Around And Deep Breaths Help Somewhat. This Is A Horrible Thing To Have. I Hope I Relieved You Somewhat. Take Care.

 
Old 03-28-2004, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Our oldest daughter has asthma. Her breathing difficulty episodes are hard to determine whether they are FMS or asthma. Our younger daughter is a different story. She has had episodes of breathing difficulties for at least 8 years. Currently, they average about once every two months. Doctors say it is not asthma. They have no idea why other than FMS. This usually comes when she has had a couple days of worsening FMS symptoms, but not always. Some times it can come out of the blue. Sometimes the breathing problem will come with the heart beat racing, but most of the time it doesn't. Most of the time the breathing problem occurs with her face being burnt (fevered cheeks to the point that small blister form), but not always. Thank goodness these episodes occur mostly in the evening. We have never as yet had to deal with them when she has been out of the house. (She doesn't leave the house very much.)

 
Old 03-28-2004, 06:47 PM   #10
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kathy rivers HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

la brat, hello there! Sorry I've taken awhile to get back to you; had to go to town today-it's 15 miles away.
Let's see:
Fibro - tender points (not pressure points, sorry) when pressed will give pain at that location.
Myofascial-trigger points when pressed may offer pain at the location pressed, in other areas instead (referred pain), or both.

Fibro-(FMS) characterized by pain amplification, musculoskeletal discomfort and systemic symptoms. It is a central nervous system sensitization. It may also be inherited, note the words, may be. It is NOT a musculoskeletal disorder, not progressive, not chronic myofascial pain, nor does mental illness have anything to do with it (although some professionals argue strongly that it does-they live in the fibro dark ages). Clinical evidence as old as 1995 shows that FMS represents a distinct rheumatic disorder and should not be regarded as a somatic illness secondary to psychiatric disorder. (Dunne, F. J. and C. A. Dunne, 1995)

Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP)-Likely the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain in medical practice. Fascia (with the first syllable pronounced like the 'a' in fashion) is the sticky white film you see when skinning chicken you purchase at the store to eat) It gives shape to and supports all your body's musculature and is three-dimensional, holding in place all your organs and skeleton, too. Your muscles are all permeated with their own fascial network too. Kinda complex to explain.

Anyway,without getting too deep, if the fascia is restricted due to injury, repetitious movement, poor posture, inflammation either traumatically and quickly or over time, pain is created and weird side-effects and seemingly unrelated symptoms can occur.

The cause of restriction doesn't have to be big. The fascia reorganizes along the lines of tension imposed on the body and adds further misalignment and contracting. Flexibility is lost, the body is set up for more trauma, pain and limitation of movement.

Your fascia twists, turns, and tightens and long ropy-like structures develop. These restrict your movements even more. Since fascia is a primary communication vehicle for the body, damage to fascia causes mis-communication.

Muscles become contracted which is not the same as a tense muscle. If it is contracted, it will stay that way until it is treated. You cannot relax it like it's merely a tense muscle. It MAY loosen up when you stretch or massage it. Multiple contractions are too much for anyone to tend themselves unless they're trained for it.

A trigger point (TrP) is a hyper-irritable area of skeletal muscle which set up with the hypersensitive contraction nodules (the ropy things contract and don't relax). They feel like rock-hard lumps in your muscles whichever ones they may be. This has to do with ACTH (a neurotransmitter). CMP is not caused by central nervous system problems as FMS is.

There are mountains of good and bad advice and books on this stuff. Everyone without either disability seems to think they're 'in the know'. A good book (great book, come to think of it!) is written by Starlanyl and Copeland, both of whom have one or the other health problem. Starlanyl has both conditions. Their book is named: Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain - A Survival manual. It's $20. Some of the info I wrote you came from their book, some from what I know.

Keep in touch....by the way, I now use swimming, sauna, health club, and trigger point massage by an RN which keeps me moving. If you have alot of pain, write me and I'll listen when you need listening.
KR

Last edited by kathy rivers; 03-28-2004 at 06:48 PM. Reason: misspell

 
Old 03-28-2004, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Hi I too experience "identical" "ditto" to what you are explaining. As a matter of fact when I read it ...I thought...wow...someone is actually experiencing the same type of pain as myself and believe me, at times I have had the same concerns as you. I rarely run into people with the upper back (thorasic area) usually the lower. But I do have the lower at times as well, however the upper is the worse. The chest with breathing is something I have experienced on and off as well. Unfortunately pain medicine is the only thing that helps some. When it was really bad I started taking Celexa and that did help, of course you have the side effects to contend with as well. But that started to wear down and I came off of it. I will keep you posted if I find a better solutions to this problem we have. Take care

 
Old 04-04-2004, 05:07 PM   #12
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typingterror HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

I can so relate to your problem. Through massage therapy I learned what causes this. It is where your muscles all meet and then get all bunched up when they contract. The only way to eliminate this is to get muscles in this area to relax which is really not possible on your own as you usually throw something else out of whack trying. I have so much equipment that my apartment looks like a nursing home, however I swear by massage therapy for some relief and insurance company will reimburse if you have prescription by doctor.

 
Old 04-04-2004, 05:17 PM   #13
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Dimeit HB User
Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fibrostinks
My main pain symptom has always been in my mid to upper back muscles. I have these spots that if you press on them, it is like a deep burning pain. I carry with me an overall achy muscle pain in my back, but I long for someone to push on those trigger points- even though its painful, its almost like the pain brings some temporary relief when being pressed.

Also, since this started (over 8 years ago), when it would be particularly bad, I experience breathing problems. Let me explain:

-Feel often that my muscles are so tight around my lungs that I cant get to the top of my breath. What I mean is, I want to take a deep breath and I cant get that refreshing gasp. Its like a comfort thing. I know I then start to overbreath, trying to get that deep breath.

-This becomes a cycle for me. Continually trying to make sure I can get that deep breath.

I get concerned that I have some sort of lung disease or something. My questions are:

a) Does anyone else have this problem?
b) Is it possible that the deep burning muscle pain in my back can be causing these breathing sensations or is it more likely that a lung problem is causing my muscle pain?

Thanks for any help I can get. I am at my wits end.

A
Bacteria from your teeth can infect your lungs.I do not know if this is causeing your problem.The only way to know is to find a dentist that knows what bacteria can do to your health (most dont) and get checked.You can have infected teeth and not know it because it causes very little or no pain.Doctors are not trained to take care of teeth so they are no help at all in finding the bacteria.............Terry

 
Old 04-07-2004, 03:57 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Ouch! I could have written the original message myself....but I will add in rib pain....always thought it was the actual rib bones that were hurting but my new massage therapist is convinced that what I'm actually feeling is referred pain from Chronic Myofascial Pain (trigger point) that's underneath my scapula. I do get these TP's knots across my back area usually between the shoulder blades, they are easier to 'work out' the one under the scapula is hard to reach and I'm sure it must have occured many times in the past as the pain is almost always the same.

I've been dealing with this off and on for appr 6 years....usually with a 'flare-up' every 3 -4 months. The last time was Oct 2003--6 months ago so a long break for me; but I ended up in the E.R. as I just could NOT take a breath, was taking teenie tiny little breaths thru my mouth (kinda reminded me of a little goldfish swimming in a bowl). They gave me a 'miracle shot' of some kind that stopped 90 percent of the pain in just a few minutes. Within a couple of days everything settled down to 'normal.'

In the early years my mind would convince me of all sorts of awful things; I didn't think a person could have such excruitiating pain and survive! After a couple years I figured if I had anything serious I would have been dead by now.

I have an appt with a Rheumy in a week or so; I had seen one rheumy in the early years, she said all my problems were because I have 'hypermobility'...which I believe is almost like being double-jointed. She said there was nothing that could be done about it!....So in my mind I've never really seen a rheumy and have not been evaluated for fibro or myofasical problems. Am hoping for some answers when I see this new doc.

I believe I also have Fibromyalgia (my mom has it) and at times have a totally different set of problems that are different from the TP's, such as spaceiness<sp>, pain in legs, feet, anywhere, everywhere it seems. I have a lot of sensitivity to weather changes, chemicals such as diesal, etc, a truck idling next to me at a stop sign can be pure torture....things like that.

My GP for the past 6 yrs had me diagnosed with Costochondritis, the doc at the ER says costo does not hurt in the back, ER doc said I had arthritis!....you know the drill, all have a different opinion and no real answers sometimes it seems.

I too have a whole collection of pillows, wedges, heating pads, Biofreeze, etc....after the last flare in Oct I joined the local Wellness Center, and go into the hot tub and the warm water (90 degrees) pool almost every day...I think that has helped the most and kept me without a flare for 6 months....I had almost reached the point after such a long time that I thought I was finally cured! But then the cycle started again....so depressing.

I do take Percocet in a low dosage, no anti-depressents, or muscle relaxant, etc.

Sorry for the long post....I really do feel your pain...wishing the best for you and others.

Last edited by kristinita9; 04-07-2004 at 04:11 AM.

 
Old 05-26-2004, 08:15 AM   #15
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Cool Re: Anyone with severe back pain & breathing problems?

Hi Fibrostinks Im sitting here with exactly the same symptoms.

Same difficulties breathing, same pain when ther spot is touched... same frustration!!! Its when your back is out and the muscles are so tight that lactic acid builds up and forms crystals. Good massage can get rid of the excess lactic acid although its damned painful because it has to be pushed through your muscles by a masseuer. OUCH. It takes about 6 massages which is slightly expensive but the day you wake up and can breathe again is amazing.

I also have a Remington back massager which does get the blood moving through my rocky muscles and I would advise anyone to get one to help things along.

Its not life threatening, you're not dying but you are over using your muscles without stretching afterwards. It can be something as simple as being on the computer too long that does it!! (At least thats what caused mine!)

So once you've read this - have a stretch and get those muscles hot and moving in the oposite direction again.

Good luck - don't worry a lot of athletes get this

Northerner female aged 33) xx

 
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