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Please Help! Back injury still bad after 10+ months - short of breath!

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Old 11-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: bc canada
Posts: 2
steftravels HB User
Please Help! Back injury still bad after 10+ months - short of breath!

Hi I'm here hoping to get some insight on what has happened to my back.
Jan 2010 I had done a session of yoga in the AM afterwards I got up and
decided to lift a box that was in my living room and wanted to take it to storage.Long story short I lifted a box that was too heavy for me it was over 40lbs (I'm 5'2 with a small frame) I carried the box infront of me for about 25 feet, then lifted the entire box over my head, and over top of boxes that were taller than me. Finally I placed the box on the ground, stretched out to the far right. Afterwards I felt a tightness in my back, like my muscles were very stiff in the middle giving me too good of posture, I also felt a throbbing spot about halfway down my back on the right hand side. After this I also found it hard to take a deep breath.

Initally I went to see a doctor at a drop in clinic (I don't have a family doctor) he said that maybe some of the stuff in between my spinal column had slipped out and ran xrays (came back normal) as well as gave me muscle relaxants and pain meds which didn't offer any relief. I came back a week later and saw a different DR who told me nothing was wrong and to go home and do stretches.

Secondly I went to a physiotherapist in town. They didn't seem too concerned, even though I still had swelling in my back and had a hard time taking a deep breath. They put me on a Tens machine and also had me do some stretches which made my back feel worse and I didn't get any relief from this.

Third I went to see a chiropractor thinking maybe there was a problem with my bones. He said that I had a rib out and he was going to do an adjustment for me. I had this adjustment about 5 times with no relief. He did press on trigger points afterwords that did provide a little relief.

Fourth I went back to the clinic to talk to another doctor. I asked if I could see a specialist. Instead he pressed on a bunch of points on my body (and left bruises) and told me I had myophysical pain and recommended a physiotherapist downtown (which cost $100 a session) I went to see her, she had me roll on a ball on the wall but that made my back so severe I could hardly take a breath at all and I was in a lot of pain. She was frusterated with me when I turned down her dry needling technique she wanted to try on me. I didn't want to do that without a diagnosis which she could not give me either. She told me my muscles were tight and that I had a spasm in my diaphram.

Fifth I went to a different doctor clinic in town hoping to get a new insight to the problem and asking to see a specialist. The doctor said maybe I had lost some of the liquid under my shoulderblade and gave me some anti inflammitory medicine that did not work. He was able to schedule an ultrasound for me which they did but could not see anything according to the clinic when I went back to get my results. I begged to that doctor to let me see a specialist but he told me I had to do many things before that, I asked to get a MRI and he said he would let me have a CAT scan but didn't see that it was really necessary. So I currently have this postponed until I can get some proof that this will be of some benefit.

Sixth I went to a massage therapist which is the only person who has actually found the spot on my back. It's right next to my spine on the right side between the T6 and T9. There is a sore lump of muscle, and when she presses on it I feel the pain up into my right shoulder and across my rib cage. She suggested that maybe I had a rib out again so I went to see the chiropractor again and he has done two adjustments but I don't feel any relief.

Over the past 10 months my condition has improved a bit, My back doesn't really swell up anymore but I still get pain in spots and I still have trouble catching my breath. It's usually better the first few hours in the morning. The only thing that gives some relief is Ativan which somehow relaxes my muscles or me enough that I don't notice the problem as much. I can usually catch my breath better if I bend over or lean on a hard surface. Ice and heat can sometimes also make the spot in my back feel better so I can breathe a bit better again.

Does anyone have any insight on what might be wrong and what might be the right idea to fix this. I'm desperate, I can't work as moving my right arm too much aggrivates the problem and starts to make me out of breath again, and I can't exercise without that aggrivating my problem again also. I would really like to get off the pain meds and ativan, I just want to feel normal again.

Thanks so much.

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Old 11-22-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 4
gummcgay HB User
Re: Please Help! Back injury still bad after 10+ months - short of breath!

Steftravels, I had pain similar to yours but happened to my left side. 2 years ago, I had a tearing pain inside my chest which gave me a sensation of electric shock over my entire back. Since then, I started to have some numbness at my T5. It is very sensitive to the rubbing of fabric. Lately I actually found that my left back muscle is very stiff, and from T5 to the second last rib in my left rib case actually has a piece of muscle that seemed puffy. When pressing on it, I actually felt some ropey muscles inside. Over 2 years, I went to see numerous GPs, and got all sorts of diagnoses like chest x-ray, chest ct scan and mri on spine. All came back negative. I also got barium swallow x-ray which showed that I had hiatal hernia. However, endoscopy showed that I had no GERD or even hiatal hernia. This further confused me. I did not have heartburn or burning pain in my throat. At first, I was anxious and stressful. I also did a ton of research on my issue, but I found that the more I read, the more I felt the stress. At the end, all was left are just frustration. Many GPs or ER doctors think that I must be worrying and anxious. I told them I had been there before but now all are left are just frustration. Anyways, I digressed. I did also see a chiropractor who fixed up my spine, an acupuncturist and a physiotherapist. Nothing helped. At the end, a back pain specialist from Hong Kong actually told me that the source of my back pain is actually in my diaphragm. (I mentioned I had a tearing pain inside my chest above) so it seemed to be really related. 4 weeks ago, I started to develop dry cough, breathlessness, sometimes heart palpitation, and pain continued to spread over horizontally in my back. I had tried to ask those GPs if there is any ways to check for any diaphragmatic injuries, but all said that no technologies can show it. One GP said that the only way is exploratory laparotomy, but there might not be any findngs. Other GPs just ran out of ideas and told me I had to live with this for the rest of my life. I am quite disappointed. At the end, I started to look into other alternative such as deep muscle massage therapy and Chinese medicine. Deep muscle massage therapy seemed to help a little but I found that many of those tight muscles I had, I failed to find the trigger points. The worst thing I found is that diaphragm does not have any trigger points. Sigh. So I moved onto learn more about Chinese medicine. Last night, I came across a Chinese website which talked about injury treated by Chinese medicine. It appeared that when a person has a trauma on the rib cage, even though on the outside of the rib cage the injured area appeared to be recovered, there may still be some blood accumulated in the deeper layer of your muscle at the injured site in his rib cage. Over the time, his muscle will continue to stiffen up. Symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness may start to appear. That site did offer some idea how to treat this. It is basically a combination of acupressure, chinese medicine, acupunture, bloodletting and some physiotherapy. Since I have never tried these myself and I am in fact no experts in any of these areas, I do not really know if what the website said does really work.

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