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Upper back tightness on both sides of spine just under shoulder blades. Constant back cracking.

Hello everyone, my name is Ryan. I am 30 years old and about two years ago I began having back pain in my upper back along with muscle tightness/knots on both sides of my spine. My back constantly feels tight and cracking it relieves tightness for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute. I crack my back over 80 times per day. Over the last 6 months my arms have felt weaker than usual (although I am able to lift with them, they just feel weak). And more recently (3 months) I have been having difficulty breathing/wheezing/get winded very easily. I can no longer exercise because I can't catch my breath.

I have been to my Gp countless times and he doesn't know what to do. I have taken numerous naproxen type drugs (4 alleve per day) but they no longer work. The only thing that has been working is prednisone (a cortisol steroid) which helps a lot but is unsafe long term. The doctor told me my labored breathing sounded like a lot of chest and back inflammation. I have had x rays which look normal.

Are there any things I can do to relieve this tightness and pain in my back? Alternatively has anyone's back pain led to breathing problems? Would massage work? Would chiropractor?

I do not have health insurance and I am trying to avoid getting an MRI/see a specialist because it will get expensive. The breathing troubles have really been concerning me though (I have tried two inhalers and they don't work, only the steroid).

Thanks for any help or suggestions 


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello ryanmo !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    My primary doctor tried working with my pain two years before referring me to pain management/specialist.
    Best thing for me!

    He has been able to keep the edge off my pain and to keep me out of the ER.
    When I was only working with Primary doctor..her care was being supplemented by ER visits I needed for the out of my mind pain.
    That helped my primary realize she was at a loss of proper treatment for me.

    Have you been diagnosed with spinal issues?

    You sound more complicated with your additional breathing issues, that you really need to keep an eye on.
    There are symptoms that can be attributed to a host of issues.
    For ex...does your doctor think any of you back tightness...is related to your lung issues?

    No one on this discussion forum is a medical professional.
    Following your doctor's advice is best as he knows you medical issues in entirety.

    If your doctor doesn't know what to do are you able to get a second opinion?

    You mention you don't have insurance....so only you can prioritize your life.
    But you are very young and health is very important. Investing in your health may serve you well in the long run, also.

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • Did you figure out what's wrong with you? I have the same problem.

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I have to close it. If they return we can reopen the discussion.


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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