62 year old female who has breathing issues when doing overhead activities or bending forward alot.

by Deborah
(San Marcos, Ca.)

I do have poor posture. I am slim build, do not smoke. I have been to an allergist and tests are normal for lung function but do have allergies to trees, dust and pollen. I have been to a chiropractor who adjusted my spine and neck but it made me feel sore so I bought a spa instead and sit in front of the jets daily to help tight upper back muscles.

I have been having this issue for the past several years after I retired. I notice breathing issues when lifting my arms overhead to do my hair or sometimes when bending forward a lot doing housework. Also if I sit for long periods of time in front of TV or computer. When I sleep on my back at night I do not have breathing problems. I also have sore left chest muscle along outer left side of breast area and if I press on it, I feel my breathing is affected. My allergist does not know why I would have breathing issues intermittently so I was wondering if my posture or some thoracic problem could be contributing to the feeling like I forgot to breathe for a second.

Hello Deborah,
Let's try again. Obviously there are a lot of possibilities, but I would presume that the obvious medical conditions have been ruled out. I'm assuming there is no enlarged liver, for example, or a lung condition that's causing this.

That painful patch on the rib cage by your breast almost certainly is the underlying problem. First, have you had a chest Xray to rule out a lesion of the rib?

Not uncommonly a fixated costo-transverse rib fixation in the midback may irritate and refer pain along the rib towards the breastbone. Do you have any mid back pain? If your turn right and left, or tilt to the side does it hurt? If you press on the joints between your ribs and the sternum is there any tenderness?

It took me personally a long time to learn that a forceful, posterior to anterior, chiropractic adjustment in the midback would aggravate a condition like this. Were you given a heavy adjustment in the midback? What fixes this pain is what we call an anterior thoracic adjustment.

You have two options. Return to your original chiropractor, perhaps with a copy of this correspondence, and discuss it honestly before any other treatment. Doctors in general, and chiropractors are included, are often egoists who think we know it all, and don't or won't listen to our patients' legitimate concerns.

Or, consult someone else, discussing this in some detail before any treatment. A heavy PA adjustment will aggravate the problem.

Have a look at our Tietzes syndrome page. Use the site search function key in the navigation bar.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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