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Tightness between shoulder blades and tightness in sternum
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Tightness between shoulder blades and tightness in sternum

For about the past year I have had a tightness/knotty feeling that feels like it is in my spine between my shoulder blades and a few inches below my shoulder blades. The above tightness is accompanied simaultaneously by a tightness/knotty feeling in my sternum. This problem is there almost 100% of the time.  90%of the time the pain is about a 3 on a scale from 1 to 10.About 10% of the time this tightness in my spine and sternum increases to about a 5 or 6 on a pain scale of 1 to 10. As the pain increases it begins to radiate across my shoulders,in my neck and down into both arms. The only medication that has eased this pain has been predinsone. The pain returned right after i finished the prednisone. I have found that i can press on the tightness in my sternum and it will pop my sternum and pop my back giving me a little relief. I am constantly popping my sternum and thorasic spine all day long just to get relief. I have been cleared of all esopohageal and cardiac problems by my gi dr. and cardio. I did have an mri is the t spine that showed mild arthritic changes which my gp said was normal for a 35 y/o male. Due to the chronic nature of this pain I have been struggling to continue living my normal happy life.  My general practitier is at a loss of where to go next and has resorted to just treating my nerves/anxiety with zoloft.  He thinks that my anxiety might be causing this.  I do not believe this i lived 34 years before this without any anxiety problems and believe that this pain is what is bringing on my anxiety and not vice versa...  any insight is appreciated...
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gallbladder(stones) removed in Aug 05 (which was around the time this began although i am not sure if it was before or after the surgery due to the fact i was attributing all pains to the gallstones at the time.

I have had a mri of the thorasic spine that shows minimal arthritic changes.  

I have had stress test, thalium, multiple ekgs, echocardiogram and a heart cath that all came back normal.

I have had 2 esophageal endescopes and an abdominal ct scan that came back as normal.

I did have a nuclear test that show slow gastric emptying and am being treated with zelnorm for that but my back/sternum pain has not subsided.

I have been tested for autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rhumatiod arthritus and they came back normal.

My doctor says he does not know where to go next and is just treating my nerves.  I am not ready to give up cause i feel that something is physically wrong and if i could fix it my nerves would take care of themselves.  Any more insight is appreciated....  Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Often times this is seen even if you have a muscle imbalance. You could be feeling muscle related pains. Try stretching your pectoralis major and rhomboids and back muscles. I'm sure you can find pictures of these on the internet. Hope this helps
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Avatar_n_tn
Try Lyrica for the pain. It really helps.
tks. D
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Avatar_n_tn
if you find an answer please let me know - these are exactly the same symptoms i have been experiencing the past six months or so.  i read articles where gall bladder was suggested as a possible cause (but you had yours removed!).   i have had all of the same tests and then some - everything came back normal for me as well.  i had a problem with my shoulder and was given "Soma" - it seems to help somewhat.  i also take Ultram for the pain - it seems to help also and the pain stays way longer (it is a non-narcotic drug).  but that is not resolving the problem.  the only other suggestion from my doctor was "stress" ... stress can cause many other problems - emotional and physical.  
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Avatar_n_tn
also, i saw an orthopedic surgeon who suggested therapy, i.e. ultrasound which, after a few sessions, helps lessen the pain and tightness.  some days the paid between my shoulder blades is just unbearable but the ultram seems to help ...
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Avatar_f_tn
I have pain in my sternum and back, The pain in my sternum came over a year ago, I got EKG, X-ray and breathing test, to rule out other things. I have figured out that my sternum hurts most when I crack my back or move certain ways, the cartilage I think tears or is injured when this happens, like costocondritis, my doctor is sending me to a physio to strengthen my back muscles in my back, hopefully fix the cracking too,  once my back is fixed I'm hoping my chest can heal, but it will take a while.
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