tietzes syndrome

by Casey Jensen
(middelfart denmark)

Tietzes syndrome

I am a 22 year old girl living in Denmark; I have had extreme pains in my chest on and off for 6 years. I noticed a massive bubble, swelling, under my left collarbone when I was 16 while stretching after a long run.

I was after many tests diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Unfortunately neither physio, medicine, rest or acupuncture helped.

After many more years trying to find a treatment that works I found out 6 months ago I have tietze's syndrome, probably sterno clavicular.

I have had to stop all forms of exercise as even getting my pulse up on a bike will trigger the swelling which leads to extreme pain in my arm and loss of feeling in my ring and small finger.

I would love to have some information as to how a chiropractor can help me as there is little to no knowledge of the disease here.

I feel disabled as a 22 year old and find tasks such as washing and putting my hair up an issue. My boyfriend has to wash my hair for me! I am normal in weight and live a very fit lifestyle, non smoker, non drinker, and eat a very balanced organic diet.

Hello Casey,
This is indeed likely Tietzes syndrome. Do you also suffer from indigestion? However, that can only be confirmed by a thorough and careful examination from a chiropractor familiar with Tieteze's syndrome. Can you send me a photograph when the lump is present?

When it affects the sterno clavicular joint it does become intimately tied up with thoracic outlet syndrome, which also seems likely as you have problems with arms raised. That closes down the inter scalene triangle through which the artery and brachial plexus to your arm must pass.

Frankly I struggled with patients with this condition for twenty five years before I worked out a solution, so I'm not suggesting that every chiropractor on the block can successfully treat Tietze's syndrome, or even has ever heard of it.

I would recommend you start looking for a chiropractor in your area who would be interested in tackling your case. If he or she is up to it, we could discuss how I manage Tietzes syndrome, either by email, or on skype. Take your time locating the right person. Talk to friends and family and your GP. Perhaps go for an examination without treatment to discuss your case.

What I can tell you is that a heavy posterior to anterior thoracic manipulation is likely to aggravate the condition.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr B

PS. Please your computer and not your not so smartphone. Correcting grammar is not my forte.

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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