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I just joined because I am a little desperate. I am sure many of you have been in the same position as myself. A little over a year ago, out of the blue, I had intense upper back pain (mainly in my upper left shoulder blade area and spine in between my should blades and a little below) and my breathing was incredibly restricted, as though my lungs couldn't expand enough to completely fill up. I got very scared because I felt like I couldn't get enough air in. I'm a student, so I tend to sit hunched over quite a bit and this of course only made things worse. I have very mild asthma, so I assumed something must be going on with my lungs and went to my doctor. He said my breathing was great, did a breathing test and took a chest x-ray just to be safe. Everything came back clear. He seemed convinced it was stress, but I disagreed.
I hoped things would just clear up on its own, but it's been a year now and the pain is still just as bad. It comes in waves as well, sometimes it's bearable, but uncomfortable and days like today it is unbearable and every breath I take is a struggle. I am constantly flexing my shoulder blades to try and crack something to make it feel better, or having people walk on my back, or laying on a tennis ball etc. It does crack and pop but never feels better. Sometimes I have to crack something because it feels out of place and in order to feel relief it needs to pop out.
After seeing the regular doctor I went to two body workers, a massage therapist and have recently been seeing a chiropractor. Everyone told me how incredibly tight the muscles in my back are. They said this could be restricting my breathing. The chiropractor took x-rays and said that two of my upper discs were rotated and that I no longer have the natural curve in my neck anymore, it actually slightly curves the other way. He also did a test where I would push/pull against him testing the strength of my left vs right arm. My left arm/shoulder was incredibly weak. This is the side I am having the most trouble with. It was actually pretty incredible how weak that side was. This was all somewhat good news because it was the first person who could actually show me evidence of something going on and the symptoms that I was having seemed to be in line with my injury.
So my chiropractor explained to me that it isn't something that is a quick fix and I would need to start off seeing him 3 times a week and that over time my rotated discs would fall back into place. I'm only 25 so he said people my age recover better. He compared it to working out, you can't just be in shape over night and run a marathon. It takes time to get to that point. He also said the popping in my shoulder was because my back wasn't strong enough/where it should be, therefore other things aren't able to function correctly and are compensating. I trusted him and saw him for a couple months. I questioned the process though, when I would come in he would see me for at the most 5 minutes and just crack a few things and send me on my way. For the pain I am in, that just doesn't seem like enough. I thought I was getting better and for a couple weeks my pain was totally gone, for the first time in a year. Unfortunately, like I said before it comes in waves. It came back. I asked him about the process again and questioned it only to be informed and educated since I am not knowledgeable in this area. I have stopped seeing him and plan on getting a second opinion from another chiropractor.
I would really appreciate advice specifically about what my next step should be or if anyone has any idea of what is going on with me? If my chiropractor seemed to be on the right track or if I am correct in seeking a second opinion. I really appreciate thank you.