Pressure in my chest

by Margie

I have been seeing a Chiropractor 3 days a week for over 3 months. He at first told me that I had lost the curve in my neck and that I had some arthritis in my neck. My neck was also to the right a bit from a car accident that happened over 4 years ago. He keeps telling me that my shoulder isn't where he wants it to be. He has never explained what he means by this. My right shoulder is a little forward and a little lower than my left but not noticibly lower.

I have an ache that is constant in my middle back on the right hand side-kind of right at my bra line. It seems to feel better when I get up in the morning however after being out of bed for a couple of hours, it gets worse and seems to travel around to the front of my chest and I either have pressure or it feels like a tight band squeezing me. The whole right side in the front above my breast feels like the muscles are being pulled. My shoulder aches and so does the right side of my neck. It feels like there is a muscle in my neck that just has to loosen up but won't. Hot showers seem to help and so does a heating pad.
I work on a computer during the day but even on my days off, I get the same pain/aches.

When I lay on the roller table at the Chiro's office, the roller really irritates the spot in my mid back.
This has taken over my life. I can deal with my neck aching however it's this pressure in my chest that hurts so bad. I've had every test imaginable from the medical doctors everything comes up clean.

Any advice or suggestions would surely be appreciated.
Thank you for your time.

Hello Margie,

The key features here seem to be pain in the midback radiating along the rib to the right breast area, and breastbone (sternum). Is that right?

Press on the ribs where they meet the breastbone between your breasts. Is there a naughty rib (or several) that are distinctly more tender than their cousins on the left?

It's difficult without examination to make a diagnosis, but ask your chiro if he has considered Tietze's syndrome.

Tietzes syndrome requires a very specific chiropractic treatment. It relates to the whole rib, from its origin in the midback, to the breastbone.

Tip: A heavy manipulation in the midback will often aggravate the condition, perhaps also that roller. But an "anterior thoracic" adjustment, and management of the rib and rib-sternal joint is the key.

You've had a lot of treatment, Margie. 36 in three months? Probably too much, and if you are not seeing light at the end of the tunnel, it's probably time to move on. Fresh eyes, a fresh look. Perhaps some X-rays seeing there has been little response.

Because Tietzes syndrome often affects either the first rib and/or the collarbone joints, it often causes pain in the neck and arm. Correction of the first rib and clavicular fixations, and the muscles attached to these bones (scalenes and SCM) is the key to progress.

Long shot: place a small table at your right elbow at your computer work station. Roughly level with the work-top. This could be a case of mouse-arm.

I hope this has contributed. Let me know how you get on in a few months.

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