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Suffering from upper back pain and difficulty in breathing. What are the complications?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 2555 Questions
Hi, I have been suffering from upper back pain, on my left side for a number of years. Recently it has become worse. I have had physio to help with the pain. The pain comes and goes, and is really painful (I've had two kids, and this comes close!) I've visited my GP, and they just brusg it off as 'one of those thing'. In the last couple of days, I've had a really bad pain in my right side, and difficulty breathing, think it might be a bruised rib, as I have had it before. I am a bit worried, as I cant explain it - and knowone seems to be taking me seriously. It makes doing anything really hard!
Posted Fri, 3 Aug 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Harish Naik 28 minutes later
Welcome to XXXXXXX
Upper and middle back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain, because the bones in this area of the back don't flex or move as much as the bones in your lower back or neck. Instead, they work with the ribs to keep the back stable and help protect vital organs.
It might be due to overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine. poor posture, pressure on the spinal nerves from certain problems, trauma, arthritis, myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles. However, upper back pain is most often due to muscle irritation or joint problems and is usually not a cause for concern.
Treatment includes -
1)Rest. If your back hurts a lot, take a break. But try not to let too much time pass before you get moving again. Instead, return to your activities slowly.
2)Use over-the-counter pain medicines. These can reduce pain and swelling.
3)Use a heating pad or ice pack. Heat can reduce pain and stiffness. Ice can help reduce pain and swelling.
4)Exercise. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, and stomach can help improve your posture, decrease your chance of injury, and reduce pain.
5)Practice good posture. Be sure to stand or sit tall. Don't slump or slouch.
6)Learn ways to reduce stress. You might try XXXXXXX breathing and relaxation exercises or meditation.
I know the answer is quite long but have given all the information that might help you.
As you have mentioned that you had it since years it should be evaluated and cause should be traced. For diagnosing an X-ray or an MRI can be used. I advice you to see orthopedician for thorough examination and to find the cause.
Hope I have provided the information you needed.
Wish you good health. Take care.
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