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Shortness of breath caused by back problems???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Cronic pain from cervical, thoracic and lumbar pain. Bulging discs in all, degenerative disc disease, some stenosis in lumbar area, sciatia left side. Numbness and tingling in neck, shoulders and arms. Scoliosis/kyphosis. Have avoided surgeries thus far and take very little pain meds as they scare me too much. Needless to say that limits activities.
Have had numerous injections over years/ PT/ Chiro manipulation to no avail.
Now have serious shortness of breath - on any exertion -after visual disturbances and now daily headaches. Visits fo PCP resulted in referral to Neuro. Gave me magnesium and did MRI to rule out stroke. Now to cardio - cath scheduled as had aortic valve replaced 21 years ago and it is leaking but he does not believe breath problems are cardio related.
Can back problems cause the breathing problems? Lungs all clear and O2 levels good.


  • Hi there!

    As you know, a lot of things can cause shortness of breath including medication, cardiovascular problems, pain, emphysaema, asthma, infections et seq... but you say all of these are either inapplicable or have been ruled out?

    Back pain can certainly cause shortness of breath, so if you're in chronic pain it could be related, but then it's just begun, so it's a new symptom along with your visual problems and headaches. I wonder whether you've got a sub-clinical infection which has gone undetected.

    The redeeming factor is that you're getting yourself checked out thoroughly, so any underlying problem will be identified. I wouldn't worry too much because you're in good hands. The doctors will discover what's causing it and whether the headaches are related, but do mention it to them (along with the visual distubances).

    Bye, Val

    PS I also get shortness of breath after physical exertion, but in my case, it's more to do with being totally unfit!!
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