Diagnosed with Tietzes Syndrome - not quite sure...

by Kier
(Millville, NJ)

I have been diagnosed with Tietzes Syndrome after much in the way of testing..I could have sworn that my gall bladder was to blame, in that I exhibited the classic upper right quandrant pain.

As I write this, the pain on my upper right side is excruciating, it hurts to even just touch it or press on the area. I am a little doubtful though, about my Doctor's diagnosis. First, the pain is not quite on the rib where it meets the sternum, but just slightly off in the "field" or area near the rib.

Second, it feels numb to the touch, which sounds like a paradox in that there is so much pain, but it does have a deadness to it like when your leg falls asleep, just without the tingling. It also feels like there is heat being generated as well, but I've had my wife touch the area and she feels no difference in the surface temperature of my skin.

I just took an 800 mg Ibuprofen and after 20 minutes or so, the pain level of 10 drops to a more manageable 6 or so..I have had this condition before, about 4-5 years ago, then it went away. Presently, I have been dealing with this for about the last 6 months or so..I have had every gall bladder test to rule that out, as well as CT scans of the abdomen and thorax, with and without contrast and all have been negative, or basically revealed nothing..

I sure wish something would have been conclusive, this condition really is a bummer..I hope that this has been somewhat comforting to someone who is going thru this, I would have felt better if I found another person with the same symptoms who wrote them down..

Hallo Kier,
Ben je Nederlands?

I'll assume several generations ago, but the name has continued in the family.

Well, it certainly would be useful if YOU would write down all your symptoms, your story, and with your permission I would put it on the site, without your name of course.

Much of the details are already here, but some more would be useful. I can't quite make it out where the pain is - in your side, or near the breastbone? And which rib(s). Do you have any pain in the midback.

Tietzes classically affects ribs 1-5, more on the left, but also right. From what you describe, it sounds to me like you have a lower rib problem, in which case not a classical Tietzes. The root of your problem is almost certainly in the low thoracic spine. Lie on your tum and ask "she who must be obeyed" to press in that area on the right. Is it sore?

Does it give you any indigestion? Heartburn? Often affects the diaphragm.

This is a very treatable syndrome, but I have to say that it's taken me thirty years to perfect it. I can't guarantee that every chiropractor can help you, but it's worth a try, because no one else probably can.

Be pleased the scans are negative. Gallbladder, liver and pancreas do refer to that area.

I hope this contributes. Separately I'll send you our latest newsletter than has some info on the subject.

Met vriendelijke groenten!

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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Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

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