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Chronic Tightness in Sternum and Between Shoulder Blades
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Chronic Tightness in Sternum and Between Shoulder Blades

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
Hello, my pain is exactly the same as yours. I know what you mean about the chronic pain, there isn
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem for several years now, with it worsening each year.  After many tests and doctors I finally had a doctor who told me that I have arthritis in my chest from multiple injuries over time.  I also cracked my chest frequently when stretching and that was what clued my doctor in.  I take aleve twice daily and vicadin when the pain gets very bad.  I was told that as time goes on I will need stronger pain killers.  I am only 39.
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