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Experiencing back pain, swelling. Pain under rib cage. All tests normal. Possible reason?

For about two weeks, my mother has been experiencing back pain in her right middle back as well as pain in her side/front under her rib cage. She has been to the doctor a few times and all of the tests have come back clean. The pain was a little better for about a week, but tonight she started complaining about it again. The same symptoms, only this time I noticed that her right middle back was a little swollen. Any ideas on what s going on?
Asked On : Wed, 17 Oct 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  182
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Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist 's  Response
Thanks for posting your query with us.

I wish you had described the tests a bit more clearly. I'm guessing the doctor did an X ray plus some blood tests and all came clean.

The pain in the middle back - Is it right under the shoulder bone (wing like scapula bone) at the back?? If yes then the pain could be due to an alteration of the scapula bone. This happens because of weakness in the scapulo thoracic muscles. You can probably go to a physical therapist and get a few sessions of ultrasonic therapy and icing to take care of the swelling.

Also how old is she?? Does she have any chest infection as then she needs a physician right away.

You can help her strengthen the scapulothoracic muscles by finding the following exercises online.
1. Scapular Retraction
2. Shoulder Bracing
3. Shoulder push-ups standing (push on wall)
4. Shoulder External Rotation (actively)

As far as the rib cage is concerned if there is nothing wrong with the blood tests and x rays then make her do some breathing exercises and stretching for the pectoral (chest) muscles. Also make her inflate a balloon 5-10 times a day so as to strengthen her chest and breathing muscles.

Hope this helps her.

Give my best wishes!!!
Answered: Tue, 20 Nov 2012
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