right lower chest wall pain

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my late 20s, and am now in my late 50s. I have recovered (in the last 18 months or so) from a right frozen shoulder and am currently in the unfreezing stage of a frozen left shoulder. I also experienced transient symptoms (about 6 months) of a 'frozen right hip' (unable to fully abduct and pain) which recovered naturally.

About 6-8 months ago I began experiencing pain in my right lower chest wall - the pain is difficult to localise but appears to be more posterior, is constant and not associated with respiration or coughing etc. Sometimes it also feels like s stitch in my upper abdomen, up under my ribs. It manifests predominantly at night when I lie on that side, (never a night when it doesn't occur) takes some hours to dissipate after rising and is generally absent during the day but can reoccur, for eg after a big meal. I have had a chest xray, thoracic spine and right rib xrays and abdominal ultrasound - all are normal.

My initial thoughts on reading your history was that this could be a gall bladder or liver condition, but the ultrasound would probably have picked it up. When your doctor presses up under the ribs in the right upper quadrant, is it tender?

Do you have any mid back pain? A fixated rib would radiate to that area, and sometimes on to the sternum. It doesn't sound like fibromyalgia.

Frankly I'm unsure. I presume your medical doctors are scratching their heads. Perhaps it's time for a chiropractic examination of the thoracic spine, and the costo-transverse joint.

A gastroscopy?

Dr B

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Apr 17, 2014
by: Anonymous

cholecystecomy more than 5 years ago, liver function tests normal, yes everyone scratching their heads.

Hello again, Kate.
It never does any harm to ask for a consultation and examination only. Then, after the report of findings, you can go home and weigh if you want to go forwards with chiropractic treatment, assuming the chiropractor finds a probable cause of your pain.

If you haven't seen a chiropractor yet, I assume there's some anxiety about it.

Ask friends and even your doctor for the name of a good, thorough chiropractor. What you need first and foremost is a good examination, not someone who wants to rush in and click your back. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Meantime work on the basics of better health. Gentle exercise like swimming and walking, and a good diet including plenty of fruit and salads for their anti inflammatory properties.

For example did you know that the chili family, and fatty fish are loaded with anti inflammatory properties. Just type anti inflammatory into the search function at Chiropractic Help.

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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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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