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Physios, osteopaths, orthopods - please help. I am very worried about DS

(9 Posts)
localmum Sat 03-Sep-11 19:02:19

I will try to describe his symptoms as clearly as I can.

He has been to GP - no joy.

Ds is in his early 20s and is average height and build.

Diet is healthy, he goes to the gym 3 x a week.

His work involves quite a lot of time on the computer.

He suffers from severe central pain concentrated right in the middle of his breast bone. The pain comes on gradually, and builds up with a sensation of pressure and tightness that makes him catch his breath.

The pain is not associated with exercise.

When the pain gets really bad, it is accompanied by a feeling of deep depression and forboding and extreme anxiety. His head feels heavy and he can't think straight.

The only way to relieve the pain is to arch his back and push his shoulder blades together. If successful, this manouevre results in a popping sound and sensation in the centre of the breast bone.

This immediately clears the pain and he feels instantly happier and clear headed.

If this doesn't work, and he has to try several times, each attempt increases the pain.

Last night he was in such pain he was in tears. I put my hand over the place where the pain was, on his chest, and as he arched his back I heard his spine click twice, then I felt and heard this strong "popping" sensation under my hand.

He immediately felt better.

This is happening nearly every day, sometimes he is in pain for hours.

He is getting so depressed about this.

What can it be? Can anybody help?

I have to go now but will check back later.


localmum Sat 03-Sep-11 19:47:16


beautifulgirls Sat 03-Sep-11 20:52:10

I am no expert but sounds like some kind of cramp maybe that is pulling the ribs out of place maybe? I wonder if his posture sitting down is bringing this on and perhaps to make a conscious effort to sit tall, shoulders back etc would minimise the frequency of these? How about seeing a chiropracter and getting a check out and manipulation and see if that helps. The fact it can improve quite quickly is probably a good sign. Other than that then push the GP for referral to a chest specialist perhaps and see what they can offer or at least rule out for a start?

nightcat Sat 03-Sep-11 21:44:26

if it's a cramp, then try magnesium supplement, as he could be deficient. My ds (late teens) used to get cramps in his legs, diaphragm and rib muscles and they have very significantly decreased since he started taking Mg tissue salts and vit Bs.

localmum Sat 03-Sep-11 22:39:06

Thank you. I will suggest that.

I definitely felt something move under my hand - like a very large elastic band snapping. It is so difficult to describe - I couldn't imagine what he was talking about until I actually felt it.

BurningBridges Sat 03-Sep-11 22:47:25

There's a nerve called the Vagus nerve which runs across the stomach and chest and that can cause the terrible feelings and "heavy head" that you describe - and the place you describe it all happening could mean a hiatus hernia. There is something called Precordial catch syndrome - google that see if it sounds familiar. And find another GP.

ZhenXiang Sat 03-Sep-11 22:54:30

It does sound like a spinal malposition of some sort from what you describe, likely relating to his posture while working at the computer.

Take him to a chiropractor, describe the symptoms and see what they say, they are specialists in spinal manipulation unlike a GP who is more of a jack-of-all trades and master of none. See here to locate a chiropractor local to you.

localmum Sat 03-Sep-11 23:11:20

Thank you. Can you explain to me the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?

I am going to bed now (have to be up VERY early tomorrow) but will check back again tomorrow evening.

I do appreciate all your thoughts. I know it is a tricky one, but at least I have some ideas now!

ZhenXiang Sat 03-Sep-11 23:32:15

This sums it up nicely.

I have been to osteopaths since I was young and found them very useful in correcting problems in my hips and spine, but chiropractors employ a range of diagnostic techniques such as x-rays and given what you describe about your sons symptoms that may be useful if further medical help is required.

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