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It Hurts To Breathe Deep…Mid Back Pain

June 15, 2011

My wife received a call from a friend requesting that I help her with her back pain.  I agreed to see her.  I learned that she suffered from debilitating back pain in her mid back for the last eight months.   Bending to pick something up off of the floor, twisting, and deep breathing caused pain.  Secondary complaint was her neck pain. She could not rotate her head very far without pain.

She received long term treatment for her back pain to no avail.  Actually, her back pain worsened after treatment.

I palpated her mid back in the location that she indicated.  It was tender.  But, since she had been receiving treatment for so long in that immediate area, I decided to look for the culprit elsewhere.  I turned her over on her back and began looking for trigger points in her abdominal muscles and diaphragm.  It was almost immediate that we located 4 different trigger points that referred pain to the exact location in her back.  It was intense.

After relieving those trigger points I looked a little higher on her ribs for cardiac arrhythmia trigger points that usually mimic panic attacks.  Sure enough, they were there.  They cause a feeling of nervousness and trembling that is typical of such trigger points.

I worked on her for 20 minutes.  She stood up, tested it by bending over to pick up her shoe.  No pain.  She twisted above the waist.  No pain.  She took a deep breath.  No pain.

I questioned about repetitive activity that could put those abdominal muscles in such a shortened and twisted positioned that could be inhibiting her diaphragm from contracting enabling her to breathe properly.  When I put her in the specific shortened position as these muscles indicated she immediately knew that it was her hobby of quilting that was to blame.  Actually her posture while quilting was to blame.

Leaned forward, shoulders rounded and head forward all inhibited her breathing.  She was forced to breathe using her chest and neck muscles more than her diaphragm.  She had developed several trigger points in her abdominals and diaphragm that referred to her back. The problem was not in her back.

She is correcting her posture and breathing pattern with the homework that I gave her to do.  She may need a second appointment. But, then again, she may not.

Thank you SO much.  I feel so much better tonight, and I’m making a concerted effort to keep my posture correct – I have to ‘unlearn’ some bad posture habits.  You gave me a lot of good advice.
Blessings,
Michele
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