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Anxiety Linked to Back Pain ??

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i posted this in anxiety forum too because i didnt know which would be more approt. Ok i have a history of upper back pain, ive had it for like 3 years. it comes and goes. but twice now i have expiernced something out of the nor. back about 6 months ago it started off with a bit of back pain moved into my chest an di couldnt breath. i went to the hospital and they told me i had an anxiety/panic attack. i was confused because my back pain is a "normal" thing i have, but not being able to breath is somethign else. so i was confused too because i have never had an anxiety or panic attack before in my life. well yesterday i felt soreness in my back again. not too bad. well then i was helping my boyfriend paint, and he was showing me something, well he stood there and was watching so i got nervous and asked him to finish. he got a bit upset with me because i was giving up, well the back pain increased and then i couldnt breath. when i tried to sit it just made it worse. i was in so much pain, chest and back wise and freaked out that i couldnt breath that i just started to cry which of course made it worse. after about an hour i was ok, but still had back pain. after about 2 -3 hours i was perfectly normal just a bit of soreness..
As anyone else ever expernc. any of this with anxiety attacks???? is this anyway linked? besides having this occasionaly i do have back pain that pretty much is sorness and can be taken care of with heat/cold.
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First Helper aszalajka
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replied June 26th, 2007
Experienced User
asazala,
I myself have never heard of anxiety being related to back pain.
maybe you have two things going on at once?

did the ER perform an x-ray of your spine when you went to the hospital?

certain back problems like arthritis of the spine can degenerate and cause bone spurs to grow, which is the body's way of healing the damage and maybe it's pushing into your lungs?

did they do a lung xray too? that's the first thing they should have ordered.
when a person can't breathe, of course they're pulse rate will increase and will cause a person to feel like they're having a panic attack.

I would suggest you follow up with anotehr dr if this one is not going to help you find out the cause of your not being able to breathe right.

sometimes lymph nodes inside the body can swell and cause pressure too and make a person feel they can't breathe.

there's so many things that can cause it. only a doctor can determine what it could be.

I hope you find the answer to your problem so that you don't have to worry that this will continue happening to you. that's enough to make a person have an anxiety attack even if they don't get them.

were you ever to a doctor when you're back pain started 3 yrs ago?

mine started out subtle like yours and has only got worst over the years. my dr told me to have an xray and that's when they found out I have degenerative joint disease in the spine and I have bone spurs also, It's another name for osteoarthritis.
PLUS I had dexa scan or bone density scan to test for osteoarthritis and I have that too.
both of these things can cause back pain.

I hope you get a diagnosis to your problem.

I wish you the best outcome.

sincerely,
Linda
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replied June 26th, 2007
Experienced User
Linda!
Thank you for information. I have been to many drs for my back pain. Xrays where done, when i went to the hospital tests where done on my heart and chest to rule out heart attack. I have been to a chiro also, that has helped with the contu. of the back pain, but this is the second time i have had sevaer back pain with chest pain. i dont get if often the last time it happened was in January. i have to admit the chiro helped a lot with the back pain that i would have all the time, but just these episodes scare me, and it kinda made me mad because when i did go to the hospital, the dr was very passive and basically said in so many words "i dont know what is wrong with you, so it was a panic attack" just because at the time i had a high stressed job. I know back problems are one of the hardest things to give a digns.
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replied June 27th, 2007
Experienced User
Asza,
I feel so bad for you. It sounds to me you don't agree with this passive doctor that it's panic attacks.
I agree with you too. I've never heard of such a thing.

sometimes xrays don't show things that are growing inside the body.
I think you should have them perform an MRI.
mri's are so much better than common xrays. xrays are for detecting skeletal problems and MRI's are more invasive and are good for imaging the organs and if something is growing inside.

there were a few cases of people I heard on a lymphoma board that complained of chest pain and they had coughing problems and thought it was from a cold that just lingered and they were prescribed medication after medication to not have it work.
finally thru having an MRI they were able to detect they had lymphoma or some type of mass pressing on their lungs.

I don't mean to scare you and I hope I didnt. that's why I thought you should request an MRI to rule out these other potential things.

it's just an idea. some cases are very difficult to diagnose in life and they get the bad rap in life unfortunetly. some people get diagnoses right away and they're the lucky ones. after all, doctors are just human and make errors or they just don't see things that others might.

you haven't had an MRI yet right?

Linda
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replied June 27th, 2007
Experienced User
THank you for that information. Im greatful!
No i havent had an MRI. Like i said ive seen 3 to 4 different doctors and none of them have ordered a MRI. they have given my PT or just medication. the medication would help but i dont wanna live on pain killers and muscle relaxers. I decided to go to the chiropraticor on my own just to see if that would work, and i went for a month, started me off a couple times a week to a few times to now i am at once a month. the chiro took xrays and did say there where a few spots out of line. by my neck and my lower back. i havent been to the chiro in a couple weeks. i am suppose to follow up within the next week, but $45 dollars a visit is getting a lil out of hand, so i was going to see maybe if i could last, and since sunday ive had a lil soreness but really no pain. like today i feel just fine. thats the werid thing that i dont understand, i was told my drs its a muscle strain but for 3 years??? i dont have a hard labor job, lifting things and that sort. so i dont know how i could always be pulling a muscle it doesnt make sense.
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replied June 28th, 2007
Experienced User
I just read here on one of the posts of back pain a chiropractor who said that if the pain continues that the person should be examined by a medical doctor and that tests like an MRI should be ordered.

this is after you've tried other things and it doesn't work.

I understand how it hurts us financially to have to pay a high copay for each visit. that adds up and is not included in our salary and budget. right?

do you think you can get one of your doctors to order an MRI?

I hope so for your sake. please keep me updated if possible.

good luck hon,

Linda
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replied September 27th, 2007
I know this is an old post but I would like to make a comment. I posted last week about my back pain possibly triggering anxiety/panic attacks. My doc thought that the back pain/discomfort was just my anxiety messing with me.

I am 24/m and I asked the doctor for an MRI and I just had it done 2 days ago. Turns out I have slight dextrascoliosis and possible shurmanns disease. Im waiting to find out what can possibly be done but I am trying to stay positive and hope for a good healty outcome.
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replied September 28th, 2007
Experienced User
hey joe,
sorry to hear about your possible diagnosis. aren't you glad it's not caused by stress?
they say that while growing, the hunch that forms is in the T6 and T7.

it causes an upper hunch and is very painful during growth, depending on the severity of the deformity.
I hope that there's somthing t hey can do for you like maybe physical therapy can slow down the rate of it ?

what will they do for your pain? I wish you the best outcome.

thanks for posting. I learned somthing new by your post today,because I've never heard of this possible dx you may have.

keep us updated if you remember.

sincerely,
linda
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replied September 29th, 2007
Well the doc says that it is "Slight" dextrascoliosis which to him means nothing to worry about. I asked if I could do physical therapy and go to the local message facility. He ok'd it so my insurance actually covers both! I am going to the chiropractor and he is making very promising improvements so far!

I have had alot of stress so dont get me wrong. But I went to therapy a couple years ago for the panic attacks and have been fine for 2 years. My back started acting up daily til the day it got real bad and then the panic attacks hit me again! Now that there working on the back relief the panic is gone and Im feeling so much better.

My therapist told me that some of the nerves along the spine actually wrap around to your chest where the nerve endings are which is probly what causes the chest pain I get once my back starts acting up. It always feels like something is just pinched on the side of the spine. Nothing horrible but discomforting.
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replied May 21st, 2013
I know this is a very old post but I thought I should say something. 8 months ago I started having my usual anxiety attacks EVERY DAY! I was also going thru more back pain than I have ever experienced. The only thing that helps my anxiety is pain meds, which is very unusual, unless my anxiety is directly caused from my back pain? I am now thinking there is a major relation with the 2!
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replied May 21st, 2013
Active User, very eHealthy
valerie0918, you are correct.
Your psoas muscle(hip flexors) is commonly linked to back pain. When you have anxiety, the psoas muscle contracts as a protective reflex. This muscle attaches to T12 and L1-L5. So when it tightens, it compresses your back = PAIN!!!
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