Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What could be a mid-back pain radiating to front, that takes breath away?"
I have mid back pain all across at about bra band level. Walking, lifting my arms, twisting, deep breaths all aggravate it. At its worst, the pain comes around to the front in my ribs area and I'll feel like I'm being squeezed hard and can't get a breath. The pain is extreme. (adult female)
This pain you are experiencing could be from any number of problems. Mid back pain around that level could be muscle spasm for example or it could be from a problem in your thoracic spine. A herniated disc of your thoracic spine could be responsible for these symptoms, but this is a fairly unusual problem to have. Problems inside the chest such as pleuritis are also possible. pleuritis is a condition of inflammation that affects the lining of the lung. Symptoms include chest or back pain that is particularly worse and when someone takes a deep breath. Pleuritis needs to be worked up first with a physical exam and potentially a CT scan of the chest with contrast to rule out a pulmonary embolism. I think that your first step should be to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will want to perform a detailed physical exam to determine the exact location of your pain and what maneuvers might bring on the pain. If the assessment is that you are having pleuritic pain, then you might benefit from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication treatment. If your doctor feels that you might have a problem with in your thoracic spine, then you might benefit from a referral to a physiatrist.
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