This is a problem that I've had for some time.... I've had some x-rays done in the past... however all the doctor said was "oh, you also have
some arthritis in your upper back". I was too trusting at the time and didn't realize that you agressively have to ask the right questions to
try to get an accurate diagnosis.
So, I want to try to get a good sequence of tests to figure out what the
problem is. Unfortunately, this is on a cash basis, so I just can't place
myself in the care of a practitioner who can't make the diagnosis but will
only refer me from speciailist to speciailist, until my money or patience
wears out... (anyone been there ??)
So here goes... hope someone can offer advice
Upper back pain and stiffness, inability to expand upper
chest to breathe normally. Thoracic region, between the shoulder
blades. I'm literally gasping to breath.
Pain and discomfort is constant.... becomes worse with exercise.
Symptoms are alleviated when I lay down and strech my back out using a pillow or a hard curved surface placed mid- shoulder blade across the back. Symptoms immediately return when standing upright.
Range of Motion in upper back is good and free arm movement, I can rotate backwards, forward, do thoracic twists and bends. Occasionally I can feel my thoracic spine creak when stretching.
No pain or problems with cervical spine or lumbar. No nerve impingement,
no tingling, no sensations....
Very active doing aerobics, stepping, walking, weight lifting.
Mitigating factors... I'm about 40 pounds overweight 195 pounds on a 5'8" frame.... most of the weight is around the waist. . I think the weight is definitely a mitigating factor and am working to reduce it.
However the symptoms are definitely in the thoracic region of the spine, might also be muscle related.
Inability to breath is definitely caused by the back problem... as lungs
are clear, and, when lying down, with back stretched out... everything
Would getting an exam from an orthropedic doctor be a first step ??
I have a place who does thoracic x-rays, but need a doctor's order to
get these done. Is it possible to obtain a doctor's order without being
under the direct care of a doctor ???
Should I be seeing a specialist to check for posture alignment or sclerosis.
What are these type of specialist called ??? Are they the same as orthropeadic doctors ????
I'm trying to determine if the problem would be corrected with more
exercise and stretching... as I sleep on my back...perhaps the problems
are caused by not moving enough ???
Would taking an OTC NSAID such as ibuprofen or naproxen be beneficial.
I understand there are recommendations AGAINST taking these medications for a long period of time.
Any advice would be helpful.... Any idea of what this could be ???
Your suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated....