Discussions By Condition: Repiratory conditions

Breathing Problems After Chiropractor Visit

Posted In: Repiratory conditions 9 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 7, 2006
  • 09:03 PM

About 5 months ago, I went to see my chiropractor. At the time, I had a newborn, 1 month old baby. I had been feeding her a bottle and my neck had become extremely sore. The pain was truly excruciating. When I went to my chiropractor, he did all of the usual things (i.e., twist your neck, crack your ribs, pull on me). During the treatment, I didn’t feel any injury or pain. However, the next day, I was having trouble breathing. I couldn’t get a deep breath and I couldn’t draw in a yawn. Also, after I ate, I felt incredibly stuffed, as if I had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner. I felt bloated, even though I didn’t eat much.
A few days later, I mentioned to my chiropractor that I was having trouble breathing. He said that sometimes you can experience breathing problems whenever the ribs get moved. He explained that the nerves from the mid-back, which go to the lungs and help the lungs function, sometimes get strained. He said that if they are agitated, then breathing becomes harder. He advised me to put a cold pack on my back and to come back for treatment.
That night, I put a cold pack on my back. However, this made my breathing noticeably more difficult. I stopped. Thereafter, I visited him a few more times, but he was unable to solve my problem.
I decided to see a pulmonologist. He did not perform tests, but did order an x-ray. He said that the x-ray was normal. I told him that, in addition to my breathing problems, I was having severe acid reflux about once a week (I had never previously had it). He prescribed Nexium. I took this for two weeks, but nothing happened.
I next went to see an Osteopathic Physician. I saw this Osteophathic Physician one on three occasions. Each time, she prodded, manipulated, and worked on me. None of these sessions alleviated my problem. I then saw another Osteopathic Physician in this same office. He attempted to release any potential spasms in my diaphragm and manipulated my ribs to make sure that were none out of place. I saw him on three separate occasions. Each time, he would manipulate me for 1 - 1 ½ hours. He also ordered another x-ray, but found there to be nothing on it. After three visits, he was unable to alleviate any of my breathing problems and had no answer to my problem.
Next, I went to my general practitioner. He did a pulmonary function test. My breathing capacity came back between 65-80%. He also did a blood test and stated that there may be an elevation of something in the kidneys. He then had an ultrasound of my abdomen done, to see if there was something wrong with my gall bladder. The ultra sound came back normal. He has been unable to solve the problem.
Thereafter, I had a high fever and had to go to the emergency room (the fever was a flu, unrelated to my problem). In the emergency room, they gave me Albuteral to help my breathing. Prior to this, my breathing was hoarse, like I was asthmatic. The medicine helped stop the crackled breathing. However, it did not help my breathing function. Prior to Albuteral, I had been prescribed two other asthma-type breathing medications, but neither worked.
Thereafter, I went to see one more Osteopathic Physician. He worked on me for 2 hours. He stated that my diaphragm likely wasn’t spasming. He also said that my ribs felt normal, that none felt out of place. He theorized that a muscle in my lower body might be preventing the diaphragm from working, in that it might be holding the diaphragm down when it tries to pull up. He had me do stretching exercise for a week on an exercise ball. It did not help at all.
To this day, my breathing function has not resolved. I have never had any pain anywhere. Simply put, I just cannot take deep breaths or exercise anymore. The problem seems to be confined to my ride side only.
The symptoms are as follows: When I carry something heavy (e.g. my 20 lb daughter), my breathing gets very strained. I can feel the strain in the middle of my spinal chord area. When I lift her, I have a harder time breathing.
When I try to pant like a dog, I cannot do it. It is physically impossible. I was trying to imitate a dog panting to my young daughter and found it to be impossible. I cannot get air in or out when doing it.
If I draw in air through my nose (like when you have the sniffles), I get absolutely no air from my diaphragm area. It’s almost like I am suffocating when I try this.
If I lay on my side, my breathing is more difficult.
When I take a deep breath, it’s like I cannot get air to the upper part of my lungs.
If I eat a meal, my breathing is tough. Also, after I eat, my right side feels very full (but not my left). My right side feels as if it is paralyzed.
If I run, I literally cannot draw any oxygen. It’s like running while holding your breath.
I cannot ever get a deep breath.
I have been in extremely good shape my entire life. I am 42 years old and in almost perfect shape. My blood pressure is very good. My heart rate is normal. I don’t have any signs of physical problems. Prior to this episode, I never had any problems breathing. I used to have very good stamina. Today, I literally have none. I am bewildered.

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9 Replies:

  • seek a naturopathic doctor, they can divulge info some md's can't, like food allergies and chemical sensitivities..some people are so allergic to asparatame,splenda etc..it gives them weird symptoms look closely at what your eating also......
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 26, 2006
    • 05:35 AM
    • 0
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  • i can relate to your problem. i have had that problem for ten years now. had every test you had and more. not one doctor could give me a diagnosis why i cant breath. it started in the middle of my back while i was running. by the way i was a ultra distant runner before this started. now i cant walk up the steps without gasping for air. had my heart and lungs checked and they are both normal.. i wish i could help you but i ran out of options. dont know were to go next. let me know if you find a cure. good luck, andy
    typappy 1 Replies
    • February 21, 2007
    • 10:52 AM
    • 0
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  • It sounds like gastroparesis, that's when your stomach has a motility problem. You should see a GI doctor an get a motility test done (very easy)Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 16, 2007
    • 05:59 AM
    • 0
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  • I have been a runner for most of my life as well. About ten years ago was the first time I started having this problem. I went to every kind of doctor with no results. I even saw a neurologist do to eventual memory loss. About a year ago I started to be able to breath better, ie. Full breaths and yawns. I decided that to competitively start running again. Consequently, my right rhomboid shoulder muscle began to spasm. I went to a chiropractor who pushed, cracked and moved ribs and spine back into place. The next day I had cramps in my neck but my shoulder felt better. When the neck cramps didn’t go away the DC cracked my neck back toward the right which depressively yet interestingly resulted in the INABILITY to breath again! Ugh. The nerves connected with disc C3 and C4 in the neck are directly related to breathing. I don’t know what can fix this but there has to be a good DC out there that knows how to fix this. If not, my next bet is to work with a Physical Therapist. Thanks for your post. Glad I’m not just loosing my mind! Good Luck! Let me know if you find resolve! I will keep you posted as well.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had the same problem which also lead to memory loss. it wasn't until I went to a DC for the first time and found arthritis between my C3 and C4. They set up an adjustment program which was expensive but worth every penny. Occasionally my C3 and C4 will slip and I get a pain in my right shoulder and trouble getting a full breath again. When I get my neck adjusted I usually feel better. Good luck! Not being able to catch your breath is awful and leads to so many other issues.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • February 9, 2014
    • 03:52 AM
    • 0
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  • Phrenic nerve injury after neck manipulation can cause diaphragm paraylysis (its the nerve that runs to the diaphragm and makes it contract, and the diaphragm is the main muscle when you breath in when you're not exercising). I'm not sure about the acid reflux but this would explain your breathing symptoms.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • September 19, 2016
    • 03:35 PM
    • 0
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  • Wow!! About a month ago I had severe pain in my right shoulder/back which made it impossible to get a deep breath without sharp pain. I've had this before and gone to the Chiro to fix it. This time I decided I would wait it out and use ibuprofen. It took about 2 weeks for out to go away, but I still had a lot of difficulty getting a deep breath. I have to intentionally gasp to get a deep breath and it's exhausting thinking about your breathing constantly. I went to an MD and she listened to me breathe and said it sounded "tight" and gave me a breathing treatment. It helped initially, but has gone right back to the way it was. I have to believe the back/shoulder pain that most of us have had is directly related to the breathing problem. I know this is an older post, but if anyone has an update I'd love to hear it. I also used to be a runner and had the shoulder/back problem from time to time then. It would resolve though after a visit or two to the Chiro.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I heart goes out to you. I never let anyone touch my neck but one day I did and I wish I said no tell I did many times. I had a neck adjustment in Aug 2008 I was 22 at the time and the next day I had a hard time breathing and I heard a pop in my right side of my neck/throat I have been everywhere to get it looked at but everyone says you are fine and I say no I am not I can't even walk in a store without have a hard time breathing and I get dizzy and my eye go bury and then I get panic attack which I never had before either. I hate it more then ever and I believe that chiropractor shouldn't be allowed to practice anymore I am so against chiropractors never again. Still struggling been 9 years now.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • sounds like possible t4 syndrome same happened to me but my visits are from broken back, the chiro without xraying me cracked my back that got some problems fixed but the 2nd time i could hear a pop and pain and he said there it goes and told me the ribs should move and my right side was stuck for 7 yrs within 2 hrs i could not use right side of body or breath and the pain my god was worse then braking my back. he rolled out some knotted muscles under the rombus area helped then 6th time pushed on back and i felt my lower right rib pop out and i told him and he said no its just moving like it should so burning spasims when i try to bend over had me in a s shape could not stand straight then right ribs are in so much pain when i touch them feels frac or broken, some pain is going away but still its 3 weeks now since last visit so in another month or 2 should be gone. but i was thinking he caused a pinched nerve or disc bulge thank god my lawyer had me get mri before and xrays, good luc
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • August 29, 2017
    • 05:33 AM
    • 0
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