← Return to Phrenic Nerve damage and paralyzed diaphragm: Anyone else have this?

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@giller198

I was diagnosed with a paralyzed right diaphragm back in January. I also have shortness of breath especially when I swim. I had open heart surgery back in September of 2016 and my heart doctor has ruled out phrenic nerve damage because of the time between the heart surgery and when this started. The doctors think I injured the diaphragm somehow and if I did I never had any pain or any other symptom. Has anyone read or had a surgical procedure that can be done to pull the diaphragm away from the lung?

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Replies to "I was diagnosed with a paralyzed right diaphragm back in January. I also have shortness of..."

@giller198
Hello, I saw your question about mobilizing the diaphragm and my physical therapist has done this with me and I breathe better after treatment. You might just have a physical problem with breathing since they ruled out a nerve problem. A lot of doctors are not aware of how fascia works since it hasn't been in the news until recently. I also swim which helps my lung function.

I've had some breathing problems with not using the lower portion of my left lung and for me it seems to be due to thoracic outlet syndrome which causes tightness through one side of my neck and chest to my hip which interferes with expanding my rib cage properly on that side and I have asthma, and that can make me breathe using neck muscles and the upper parts of my lungs. Sometimes ribs twist a bit because of the tightness. This problem causes phlegm to be hard to expel and that leads to one sided chest infections on the left side. I have a great physical therapist who is also expert level in myofascial release work trained in the John Barnes methods. My PT has manually released the tightness in my diaphragm to get it moving properly again. It's basically stretching the fascia similar to the way a Yoga stretch works. Having surgery creates scar tissue in the fascia, which creates tightness and adhesions. The lung tissue itself is nearly all fascial tissue and blood supply. If you haven't tried this type of therapy, it may be beneficial.

I had spine surgery at Mayo around the same time as your surgery, and the scar tissue increased the issues with thoracic outlet syndrome compressing nerves to my arms, and because I was in a neck brace for 4 months, I had to stop my physical therapy for awhile, but I have made progress again. TOS creates nerves trapped by the pressure of going through small spaces in-between the rib cage and collar bone and is made worse by poor posture like slouching with a forward head position. Forward posture also compresses the chest a bit. TOS causes tight muscles in the side of the neck, and because my spine surgery incision is very close to that area, it increased tightness which pulls everywhere.

I've worked with the MFR therapy for 4 years for TOS (which was interrupted by spine surgery) and it takes time to work through the layers of tight tissue. There are a lot of ways to self treat and I can feel the fascia pull from my neck down through my hips to my feet. It really is a network of webbing that interconnects everything in your body, and researchers now are starting to recognize it as another organ that they are calling the interstitium. The living fascia changes from a semi solid to a liquid state as it stretches and reforms itself. When you see the cob-web stuff when skinning a raw chicken, you're looking at fascia. The muscles are bound by the fascia that weaves through them which interconnects about everything in the body and tight fascia stops things from moving correctly and changes body alignment. I have not seen a physical therapist specializing in lung function. On days when my neck is tight and feel the pull of my surgery scar, I just stretch it out.

You can find information on MFR at https://myofascialrelease.com/. The website has a list of therapists, but you can also call Therapy on the Rocks (John Barnes practice) in Sedona, AZ and ask for names because not everyone pays to be listed on the website.

Here is some research about fascia https://myofascialrelease.com/downloads/articles/Structure_and_Distribution_interstitium_human_tissues.pdf

Look up Dr. Kaufman, he is a god sent on fixing the Phoenix nerve. He fixed my Brother in laws, he finds the bad section of the nerve and he takes a nerve from your ankle and places it in place of the damaged nerve in the neck. My brother in law is breathing with both lungs