Mid back knots causes chest discomfort

by Cynthia L
(Los Angeles CA)

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Mid back "knots in the muscles on the left side only - for years now - causes chest discomfort and fast heartbeat

For years I have had a bad back, mostly left side. I am a female, 60 years old and weigh 200 lbs (yes, I know, part of the problem.) I have a mild curvature which I think is getting worse as when I lie down, my ribs on the left side visibly stick out further than on my right side. You can also see this when I am standing up.

I have had MRIs of the cervical spine years ago (10 years or more) that showed bone spurs at three C levels (I think they were C3, C4 C6). I had the MRIs because I was getting various symptoms from my neck including pain, headaches, inability to turn my head to the left or right (at different times, different sides).

Now, at 60, I can no longer lift anything, even a 12-pack of soda. It doesn't hurt at the time, but that night I will pay the price with waking to numb hands. Or worse (only one time that really scared me) I couldn't lie down without immediately feeling the numbness in my hands (first three fingers only).

I also have a secondary problem in my upper mid back, left side. This is the reason I am writing to you today. For years now, if I lift something wrong, or sleep wrong, I will get a knot in the muscles on the upper left side of my back (trapezius area near the spine). If I don't do something about it, and it gets worse, it begins to affect something inside that makes me feel the muscles might be squeezing around an artery. I think this, because when the knot is at its worst and the knots have extended up and down the left upper mid back, I will feel a very uncomfortable tightness through the inside to my chest but deep inside. If I bend down, turn and reach for something, or other extension movement, I will feel dizzy, fast heartbeat, ill. It makes me stop dead in my tracks when it happens. Are the knotted muscles squeezing around an artery, or my heart, or aorta? Relief comes when my daughter will use her elbow to rub out the knots. She says she can feel them - numerous, sometimes large. Also, if I remember to do so, stretching my arms in front of me helps to pull out or stretch out the knotted muscles before they get to the point I described above (really reaching and stretching like I have my arms wrapped around a big tree trunk in front of me and I am trying to touch my fingers together on the other side of the trunk).

Also, to pinpoint further the pain and muscles involved, when I am feeling this, I can make the tight muscles ache by extending the left arm around in a big arch in front of me (like I described above about the tree trunk), and rotate my head as far right as possible. Or drop my chin to my chest while doing the same with my left arm.

Hello Cynthia,
What surprises me is that you make no mention of ever having consulted a chiropractor. But you live in the home of chiropractic, and LA in particular has one of the best chiropractic colleges in the world. These are the kind of symptoms that face chiropractors on a daily basis.

The midback is one of the most difficult areas as, it can be:

1. be referred from the neck. Deep upper back pain ...

2. be caused by a midback subluxation.
Thoracic spine pain ...

3. Or midback arthritis.

4. Or a subluxated rib. Rib pain treatment ...

5. Referred pain from an inner organ like the lungs, stomach, pancreas...

All of these need to be considered. The last (5) is unlikely since it's chronic. If you had pancreatic cancer, you would have died a long time ago!

The rib conditions certainly give one tightness of chest and sometimes referral to the breastbone area. A condition called Tietzes syndrome can occur too. Use the Search this site … for these terms.

Most likely you have carpal tunnel syndrome ... which affects the first three, and sometimes the ring finger too. It's virtually always connected to that lower cervical spine arthritis that you describe.

None of these are caused by your obesity, it's simply an aggravating factor. That pain you are getting when you lift a six pack of sodas is trying to tell you something! Don't lift them, especially in the supermarket. They come in two forms, one with sugar which makes you fat, the other chemicals that make you sick. Take your pick.

Address these issues, Cynthia, hard though it may be, or the rest of your life is going to be miserable. You haven't mentioned it but I'll lay my last dollar down there's foot pain, knee pain and others lurking there too.

The best way to lose weight, the only way as far as I'm concerned to do it healthily is to get back to fresh fruit, salads, vegetables and strongly limit the starches in your diet. Sodas, potatoes, white rice, bread, pasta... The diet your grandmother enjoyed.

Go from Mid back knots causes chest discomfort to Chiropractic Help home index page …

Find a good chiropractor may be your next step.

Dr Barrie Lewis

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Chiropractic help Questions (General).

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Then forward it to a friend. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.