Tightness in chest and abdominal area accompanied by chest pains and palpitations...

by mark

For a couple of months now I have not been feeling well. I have been to the doctor and he said that I have Gerd. So he gave me PPI's which eliminated some of my symptoms (feeling of a lump in the throat). However what's bothering me now is this chest and abdominal tightness, which is accompanied, sometimes, by chest pains, palpitations and the feeling of not getting enough air. This is happening everyday and it is worst at night even when I'm not lying down. I went to the doctor and he requested bloodwork EKG and 2d echo. The EKG and bloodwork came out normal, while the 2d echo diagnosis said that I have a TVC(tricuspid valve prolapse) with mild tricuspid regurgitation. The doctor said not to worry because it was only causing the palpitations and not the other symptoms. In conclusion the doctors weren't of big help because they didn't know the cause of my chest pains.

Here are the list of all the symptoms I am feeling:

-Tightness in chest and abdominal area (relieved by burping and passing gas or bowel movement but only for a few minutes)
-Feeling air stuck in my chest area when I burp, which forces me to swallow air so that I can burp.
-feeling of not getting enough air which causes me to raise my shoulders to get more air.
-Plenty of air which causes sounds in my stomach.
-sharp stabbing Left sided chest pain (on top of the breastbone) which cause numbness in left arm
-tingling of pinky, ring and middle finger tips.
-unexpected tears falling from my left eye, which happens 2 to 3 times a day.
-weight loss
-waking up at night because I'm not breathing anymore.
-sometimes I have diarrhea and others times I have constipation.

All of these are scaring me everyday. I've been rushed to the ER for 5 times thinking that I was having a heart attack. I used to drink alcohol every night after work and I also used to be a smoker (up to 5 cigarettes a day). I quit drinking and I reduced smoking to 1 cigarette a day until I wasn't smoking anymore. Some times the discomfort goes away when I get sweaty while doing something. I work on the computer 8 hours a day, 7 days a week so I don't have much exercise. I honestly don't know what's wrong with me.

Hello Mark,
Firstly, it's not normal to work seven days a week at anything, and especially not at a computer. Your body is trying to tell you something. Call it a "wake-up call" if you like.

When did you last take a holiday?

Run your fingers down your breastbone, feeling the junction of the ribs and breastbone. Any swelling? Are any of them tender. Any pain in the midback?

I'm uncertain, but you may have a stubborn condition called Tietze's syndrome. If it affects the collarbone-breastbone joint, or the first rib there is often an associated arm pain due to an affect on the brachial plexus and subclavian artery.

Tietze's syndrome is often associated with GERD as the diaphragm is attached to the lower ribs.

Warning: heavy manipulation, posterior to anterior, in the midback may aggravate this condition.

Tietzes syndrome casefile …

Good luck,

Dr B

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Mar 04, 2013
Thank you!
by: Mark

Thank you so much for the information. I went to the Chiropractor earlier this day, and she checked me and she confirmed that I have a hiatal hernia. After she adjusted it I felt great, all the symptoms were gone and I don't have to exert swallow air just to burp, it just comes out naturally. Lastly I asked for an appointment once a week.

Great news, Mark.
One other little tip. Drink fluids BEFORE and not with or AFTER meals for an hour.

Dr B

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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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