Severe spinal and/or ribcage pain and disability

by ANGIE
(KENNER LA 70065)

Back, sternal and rib pain.

Back, sternal and rib pain.

I have severe pain in back and chest area - severe straining pain like I am carrying something too heavy and when I stop I need to catch my breath and let the muscles cool down. I can't stand without leaning on something and I have to do a trapeze type of leaning forward to take a shower. If I try to stand up straight I feel the pain in my left and right side of the waist.

I have a kyphosis also and COPD or maybe it is just the perfect C spine leaning on my lungs - not sure! I can't walk but a few feet and sometimes the pain is so excruciating it effects the bladder and I urinate a little.

PLEASE HELP ME MY QUALITY OF LIFE IS GONE - I AM 60 AND FEEL LIKE A HUNDRED. Actually in my mid 30's I had a bone density test that said my bones were of a 70 yr old woman. I have been taking Viactiv for about 10 yrs now and my calcium is ok. THE ONLY THINGS THAT HELP ARE MEDROL PACK - TRIED STRAIGHT PREDNISONE AND THAT DIDN'T WORK AS WELL BECAUSE IT GAVE ME BAD SIDE EFFECTS - BUT MEDROL WORKS FABULOUSLY. LEANING FORWARD DOES ALSO - BUT CERTAIN DEGREES - I CAN'T GO TOO FAR OVER - MAYBE UP TO LIKE 45 DEGREE ANGLE.

Hello Angie,
You've carefully avoided answering the big question. Have you stopped smoking? Or am I being presumptuous? Without that, you are rapidly going to go downhill.

Obviously it's impossible for me tell whether this is lung, spinal or a rib condition; or all three. Protracted coughing of COPD certainly can and does subluxate the ribs, at both ends, and affect the intercostal muscles all of which is very painful.

It would be helpful to me, and to other readers of this blog, and be cathartic for yourself to tell us something of your life as a teenager and young woman. When did you start smoking, how much sport did you play and what was your diet like? Have you ever been a serious drinker? Do you suffer from asthma? When were you first given cortisone? Other environmental pollutants like diesel fumes and sawdust? Did you work in a fast food restaurant where you were constantly exposed to frying oils? All of these contribute to early osteoporosis and lung disease.

All of that is fixed in concrete, and endless remorse is senseless; focus on the future and what can be done; that obviously is why you have written.

Gentle chiropractic can be very helpful for rib and spinal conditions, and help with increasing your lung capacity; obviously heavy manipulation is contraindicated. Take your time finding someone to treat you; a person who is not in a hurry, will take time, be gentle, do lots of massage and give you exercises. Don't expect miracles but you probably expect at least a 50% improvement depending on the diagnosis; ongoing treatment will be necessary.

It's good that you are off the prednisone; whilst it may help with lung function, it'll definitely worsen the osteoporosis.

So, do you have the courage to tell us your story? It would be very helpful to others.

Thank you for writing, Angie.

Dr B



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