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Need Advise PLEASE! Can Back Pain affect Heart & Breathing(Asthma like symptoms)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
Yesturday I woke up @3am with the worst back pain ever. I felt sharp zapping pain in my back,butt,thigh & pelvis. Once I got out of bed & walked around though excruciating it went away. After that all day I felt ok until Bed time, Once I lie down I felt like I couldn't breathe (asthma like symptoms)QUESTION.. Could Inflammation to your Back affect the opposite side & cause Chest Inflammation.
Update lately my back pain no affects my low & middle back, also my heart has been skipping beats. I kinda feel like my back & chest is being mildly squeezed. It's NOT a heart attack. It seems to me that it's all related to my back. (BUT I'm No EXPERT) The Dr. ran an EKG & it was normal Also a Holter 24hr Heart Test was done (still waiting for results). But just wanted to know has Anyone felt Chest?Heart Symptoms relating to Back Pain??? It's like my Back is now affecting my Chest...Please Any Advice Appreciated..


  • :H Please remember that this is just my opinion. PLEASE continue to try to rule out any heart problems as well. :T
    From my experience, a lot of time when I have my thoracic back pain it tends to radiate to my chest wall and abdominal muscles.

  • Yes,as I'm sure you know-but I feel better saying it-always seek medical care whenever you feel your heart is,or MAY be affected.

    My last visit though,I mentioned this to my Dr,as I have been getting pains in my chest too...I don't wish to put my entire story out there..but to set your mind at ease,my chest pains are related to muscle spasms in my back.They don't feel at all like my normal muscle spasms though,and I was VERY concerned.I have these pains all the time...I mean,every day!

    I do wish you the best,and I don't mean to be short at all..I'm just in a hurry and this post was important to answer-so I might seem clipped-but I don't mean to ;))
  • I too get the same symptoms as I have severe DDD and 6 of my thoracic discs are gone...I suffer from chronic chest infections and shallow breathing etc..


    If i can help in anyway plesae pm me...
  • To all you out there who feel like someone is sitting on your chest when you lie down, do you by chance take Mobic?

    I had similar symptoms... stopped the mobic, and symptoms went away. BUT, that was only after I had an EKG and an exercise stress test...

    Just wondering...
  • but never had this happen before. Yesturday & I got this feeling it's hard to breathe, sorda winded in my chest, I have felt chest pains for 2weeks now & an occasional flutter in my heart, it's skips beats 2-3xday. I always felt flutters maybe that in my life maybe 1 every 6months or 1xyr but now they're happening Daily maybe 3-4xs. The Dr. did an ekg it came back normal. I'm still waiting for Results on my 24hr EKG. Somehow I think it's all related to my back pain,, Inflammation can possibly affect heart & lungs,, but this usually happens with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ankylosing Spondylitis & when it's severe,, I've just had Chronic Back Pain now for 9months.
  • Hi,

    I am not in the medical field, but I do have a suggestion. You need to be very thorough and advocate for yourself as I am sure you already know. You need to make sure that it is not heart or lung related. I also suggest that you find out if it is anxiety muscle constriction. Often when people are in pain, the body sends out anxiety chemicals that contract the muscles, tense them. Medicines like klonipin are known to relax the muscles that are bothered by this kind of reaction. Many in here have gotten great pain relief from this medicine or others like it. They relax your mind and body.

    I hope this might help you. I also hope that you get some relief as I am sure this must be very scary. I wish you all the best!

  • I'd like to say first, I agree with the other wonderful posters that you should definitely look into heart, lung, and infection-related issues since they can be serious. Did they do any bloodwork for you? Your situation resonates with me because of how it started. A few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst back pain I've ever had in 7 years of my back problem. I spent 12 hours on my back in the fetal position which barely made the pain bearable and anytime I came out of that position, which was often since my bad knee can't stay bent for long, I'd vomit. After 12 hours of this nonsense, a friend convinced me to let him drive me to the hospital, which was the first time I went to the hospital for back pain in 7 years. I was scared out of my mind. When I wasn't in the fetal position on my back, I had trouble breathing but I know it was due to pain because I could take a full breath when I needed to, it just hurt like H-E-Double Hockey Sticks so I was breathing shallow to avoid extra pain. The hospital figured out that my disc had herniated a bit more as well as crushed my nerve more, so my back had spasmed. They couldn't control my pain with pure morphine, but I did find that the Valium they injected into my IV helped the spasms enough for me to sleep for 15 minutes. I ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days, but it took me another week before I could get out of bed longer than a bathroom trip, and a full month before I felt semi-back to my normal bad pain. I have muscle spasms everyday, but thankfully, have only experienced this once. I hope you are able to find out soon what is causing your symptoms and that there is an easy solution!

    Much love and understanding,
  • Okay im 13 years old...anyway i woke up this morning and my back hurts really bad and it feels like my heart skips a beat like 3 times an hour. and it hurt where ur heart is directly to my back ... and it feels like pulling... and if i lay down its hard to breath. I never got tested for Asthma? but could i have it?
  • Hi Joshua and welcome to SH :H I can't tell you if you have asthma, but you should talk to your parents about the symptoms you're having, and hopefully they'll take you to see a doctor soon. If they aren't home, call them right now. I'm no doctor but I think that you need to get checked out, and I hope you feel better soon.

    Hi Unknownissue, I have had a history of chest pains and shortness of breath and I did the EKG, stress tests, and Holter monitor thing long ago. My symptoms were attributed to a mitral valve prolapse and Prinzmetals angina loosely correlated to an autoimmune condition. I have experienced tachycardia, bradycardia, irregular beats, skipped beats, and extra beats before, but nowadays these episodes don't happen much.
  • After 4Days of taking Prozac I guess once it got in my system, I started having these fluttering, It was awful, It made me have more frequent Panick Attacks because I knew something was happening, I felt tightness in chest,skipped beats,fluttering,tightness in chest, and felt like I couldn't breathe. I had to go the emergency room and they told me I was having a Panick Attack, I advised them I have had them in the Past but this is Different, This is causing me to have a panick Attack, I mentioned to the E.D that I recently started taking Prozac again and I think this is causing this, The Dr. said "No" he didn;t think this would cause this. You know how we know our body, Prozac was causing this awful heart problem. So on my own I got off of Prozac and took several days almost a week for these heart flutterings to stop... The 24hour EKG holter monitor showed 40 PACs in 24hrs. Anyways I know it was a RARE reaction my body had to the Prozac. Many can take this without any side effects. Me It caused awful breathing problems with heart Pain and Fluttering. It was real SCARY! I'm glad it's over now,, Now I hafto beware of certain meds for reactions..

    Joshua 1996. Please see the Doctor, It dosn't sound like asthma to me but you never know it could be. It could also be something else more serious,, So whenever it comes to breathing or Pain in your chest Go get it checked out! I hope your feeling better. Please keep us posted.
  • When my ribcage gets tight, as if it's being pulled around from spasms in other areas of my back, my breathing gets very difficult. There are also a lot of pain meds (especially NSAIDS) that cause "ashtma-like" symptoms. Just my two bits' worth, but hope you get some answers. I know it's scary when it's happening.
  • I have a couple of the same symptoms the original poster described. The way he/she described it is exactly what I feel:

    "I kinda feel like my back & chest is being mildly squeezed."

    "...I got this feeling it's hard to breathe, sorda winded in my chest.."

    I've had three doctors tell me it's probably anxiety. (Do you know condescending that feels?) At least one of those doctors said that possibly inflammation of something near the nerve could chemically irritate the nerve. Neither doctor wanted to even consider the idea that I could have a damaged thoracic disc. Apparently that is a rare occurrence.

    Well, I am 99.9% certain it is NOT merely anxiety. I know what anxiety is. This is something REAL. Yesterday I was slicing some meat for my mother and we were talking about something when all of a sudden "out of the blue" it felt like there was something is in my trachea. Then, last night I'm in the shower and out of nowhere it happens again. It was so strong that time I had to cough. What I think is going on is that something is irritating a nerve in my upper back. That nerve is causing some "spasm" or something in my trachea which makes it feel like there is something in my trachea. My body automatically reacts to this feeling by trying expel whatever it thinks is in my trachea. So, I suddenly exhale or even cough. It only happens when the pain in my upper back starts up. Most of yesterday I didn't have this symptom, but then after driving the pain started up and so did the symptom.

    So far I've talked with my neurosurgeon, my pain management doctor, and an internal medicine doctor about this problem. I don't know where to turn next? Neurologist? Pulmonologist? Surely some doctor has seen this before.

    I've searched and searched and have found almost nothing about this symptom, so it seems to be very rare. Someday someone else is going to have these same symptoms and they are going to search online for information. I'm posting this so when that person searches they will know they are not alone and not crazy.
  • This thread is old but.....
    CM said:
    Well, I am 99.9% certain it is NOT merely anxiety. I know what anxiety is. This is something REAL. ..............my mother and we were talking about something when all of a sudden "out of the blue" it felt like there was ........Then, last night I'm in the shower and out of nowhere it happens again ........ Most of yesterday I didn't have this symptom, but then after driving the pain started up and so did the symptom.
    Anxiety is real too and can cause these symptoms. In your last sentence you mention that after driving and the pain starting up, so did this symptom. That can be common too with pain causing anxiety. Just a thought.

  • Robin, it's interesting you made the point that anxiety is real. After I completed my post early this morning, it occurred to me that what I wrote implied I thought anxiety is not "real", but I didn't mean it that way, and I didn't think anyone would take it that way. Of course, I know anxiety is real and significant. You were were right to correct me. I did not mean to minimize the significance of anxiety, and I apologize to anyone who took it that way. What I was trying to say is simply that I believe the cause of the feeling I am having in my trachea is in my spine, not in my brain. (Please let's not get into the biology of perception.)

    I hope you are right, though. I am having a lot of anxiety :S about what is happening, but it seems the anxiety is the result of my concern about what is wrong, rather than the cause of what is wrong. My surgery is in the morning. I guess if the symptoms stop when they give me the anesthesia, that will be proof the cause is anxiety, not physical. If I have unusual breathing after they give me the anesthesia, then we'll know the cause is physical. And if that happens, the anesthesiologist will surely cancel the surgery. I'll be glad when this is resolved. #:S
  • That makes me think that you also have some reflux or something going on, especially when you said you had to cough. Before I had a stomach protectant (Pariet), I would have that same symptom, and it really did feel like a "spasm". Are you on any type of anti-inflammatory, and if so, are you taking something to protect your stomach?? I know this probably looks like it's off-track, but I think sometimes we have more than one or two things going on, so the symptoms can kind of "intertwine".

  • You know your body best of course.. and I would not have said a word except that you put emphasis on the word REAL, and then I felt almost obligated. But no..I'm the one who is sorry, sorry if I offended you in any way at all.
    So many people suffer with anxiety, myself included, and sometimes my anxiety conflicts with other symptoms too, making it difficult at times to seperate my issues when I'm overly anxious.. can't even clarify this statement right now-lol.

    I hope that your surgery turned out ok and you are feeling better.


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    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc
  • Robin, TracyLynne,

    Thank you both for responding.

    Robin, no need to apologize. You did not offend me. You are right about anxiety. It does complicate things. Pain can cause anxiety that can cause more pain that can cause more anxiety, and on and on. It's a vicious circle, and it can be hard to break. I understand that.

    As for my surgery, it turned out okay. I had no breathing problems during surgery, as I was worried I might have. I talked with the anesthesiologist about my concerns before surgery. She told me something I didn't know: The anesthesia "paralyzes" your muscles, so you aren't breathing on your own during the surgery, at least that is how I understood what she told me. So, even if I did have some neurological problem that mildly affected my breathing, it didn't matter because I would be on a respirator anyway. The main thing is that I survived the surgery. I was so relieved when I woke up in recovery! Whew!

    The surgery seems to have resolved the symptoms (pain in my neck, muscle knots in my "traps", radiculopathy in my arms,hands and fingers) I was experiencing due to the nerve compression at C6/C7, but I am still in pain. The problem is that I'm not sure how much of the pain is normal post-surgery pain, and how much of it is attributable to an upper back stress/injury that occurred a mere 2 1/2 weeks before the surgery. The weird breathing/chest squeezing/winded sensation is one of the results of that new back injury, and the surgery did not change that symptom one whit. That weird symptom, the pain in my upper back, and the radiculopathy under my right armpit and in both triceps are all new. Those symptoms all started after the upper back incident, and the surgery does not seem to have had any effect on them.

    Thank you for your "out-of-the-box" thinking and suggestion, but, no, I am not taking any anti-inflammatory medications, and I've never had any problem with acid reflux. Also, I did start or stop any medications prior to the appearance of the breathing symptom. (By the way, I like the quote at the bottom of your post. :) It reminds me of another quote: "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." The quote has been attributed to several different people.)

    I wonder what "frankiemuniz01" posted?
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