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Old 02-04-2013, 11:27 AM
chantelle87 chantelle87 is offline
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Default breathing difficulties and scoliosis

Hi all, I'm just wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar and what they have done to manage/treat the issue....

Following a bad chest infection which I was continuously coughing and wheezing etc I've since cleared the infection with antibiotics etc but have been left with a difficulty to expand my lungs and find myself taking gasping shallow breaths periodically (about 2 - 3 mins apart).

I've had scoliosis pain and symptoms etc for about 10 years now and have been told nothing can be done blah blah by the gps. Noone has ever told me about this curve angle business, numerous x rays down the track and getting routinely stuck in bent forward positions with indescribable pain. Prescribed mobic and anti inflammatory meds but nothing else.

Prior to this difficulty breathing in, I had sharp pain on the left side of my pine when taking deep breaths. This has now become a dull pain coupled with shortness of breath on exertion, gasping and yawning periodically through the day, episodes of faintness and dizziness at rest, inability to walk up stairs without feeling breathless (prev. quite fit and active). I feel as though I cannot properly fill my lungs and have involuntary attempts at taking deep breaths that I cannot control, these happen at work all day. The difficulty breathing is worse when I lie on my back and after eating a big meal. I have had chest angios that have found no possible cause or obstruction to breathing and seen my gp who has referred me to a respiratory physician (appt not until june!), no mention of my scoliosis as a possible cause.

Can my scoliosis be affecting my lungs expanding and causing these symptoms? And more importantly, what do I do about it???? I don't want to feel this disabled forever!
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:38 PM
Trace Trace is offline
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Default Re: breathing difficulties and scoliosis

Hi Chantelle. My daughter recently had surgery for a 65 degree thoracic curve. The surgeon told us that breathing difficulties can occur if the curve worsens. Do you know if your main curve is in the thoracic region? Your GP should be able to refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon or scoliosis specialist. If they haven't suggested it - tell them that you would like a referral to one. Hopefully they can check your spine and let you know if that is the cause - or even a part of. If your current GP won't help - see another one. Good luck with it
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:56 PM
jane jane is offline
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Default Re: breathing difficulties and scoliosis

Hi Chantelle,
my daughter had surgery on a right thoracic curve too - just like Trace's daughter. Her curve caused her very little pain but before she was diagnosed she complained of rib spasms and as a swimmer she complained that she couldn't get a deep breath to do her tumble turns. We had her respiration tested and as a fit swimmer her respiration capacity was compromised. She had a 63 degree curve with significant rib rotation. With surgery in June last year her curve was reduced to 21 degrees and her rib hump angle from 18 down to about 10. Now she can swim 50 m butterfly breathing every 2 and swim 25 m underwater without breathing - something she could do before her spine started to curve but not before the surgery. Like Trace said, get a referral to a scoliosis specialist or a orthopaedic surgeon - they are the ones that have the expertise and understanding to help you. Hope all turns out ok.
Jane
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:40 PM
kca kca is offline
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Default Re: breathing difficulties and scoliosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by jane View Post
Hi Chantelle,
my daughter had surgery on a right thoracic curve too - just like Trace's daughter. Her curve caused her very little pain but before she was diagnosed she complained of rib spasms and as a swimmer she complained that she couldn't get a deep breath to do her tumble turns. We had her respiration tested and as a fit swimmer her respiration capacity was compromised. She had a 63 degree curve with significant rib rotation. With surgery in June last year her curve was reduced to 21 degrees and her rib hump angle from 18 down to about 10. Now she can swim 50 m butterfly breathing every 2 and swim 25 m underwater without breathing - something she could do before her spine started to curve but not before the surgery. Like Trace said, get a referral to a scoliosis specialist or a orthopaedic surgeon - they are the ones that have the expertise and understanding to help you. Hope all turns out ok.
Jane
Hi Chantelle - your breathing sounds as if it is worse than mine was, but as my scoliosis progressed (to thoracic curve 67) I was aware that my breathing was becoming shorter. I felt I had to almost gulp for breath sometimes, or as if my breaths couldn't quite satisfy me. I'm now 51 and I eventually decided to have surgery 2.5 years ago. The first thing I noticed when I awoke (apart from pain and drug-induced euphoria) was that suddenly I could breathe in great deep gulps of air that filled up the left side of my chest again. So, yes, I have no doubt scoliosis can affect breathing.
Don't know if you are even contemplating the surgical option, but could be worth considering. If not, I think something like Alexander technique might be helpful.

All best,

Kate
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