Mayo Clinic Connect
Phrenic nerve on the right side was destroyed due to radiation for breast cancer. Diaphragm is now paralyzed & taking away lung capacity. Anyone else experience this?
Liked by Dee
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
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Jennifer, talked with a physical therapist friend of mine about this fascia procedure and she put in touch with another therapist here in Kingman. I have an appointment tomorrow to go over somethings. I'll keep in touch. Do you compete in any swim meets?
@giller198 That's great! It's nice to hear from you. Fascial work can really change your life. It may take a long time to open up the layers of restrictions, so be patient. Ask your therapist what you can do at home to help yourself. You can progress a lot faster if you do home stretches at the places that need intervention. Remember it's a gentle easy stretch that you might have to hold for 20 minutes before it starts to release, but you'll learn what that feels like and get a lot of body awareness from it. I just swim for exercise and don't compete. I used to be a lifeguard and did synchronized swimming when I was younger. I've had some asthma/allergy breathing issues that affected me and made me work harder at breathing. I even went back to Mayo and saw a pulmonologist. I do allergy shots, including for allergies to my cats, but that wasn't enough and I didn't know it was the cause of the problems and made the phlegm stickier, so I had trouble getting rid of it. I still have my kitties, but now I sleep with a surgical procedure mask that filters out 99% of particles down to .micron just like a HEPA filter in addition to the HEPA filter I have in the room. That is helping a lot. I start using my neck muscles when I can't breathe and it just compounds the chest tightness. Since I made these changes, I breathe easier and my therapist said I have a lot less of the neck spasms that pull my first rib upward where it doesn't belong. The masks are 3M # 1820 Procedure Masks with > 99% @ 0.1 Micron particles for bacterial filtration efficiency. I think I'll make better progress now that my lungs are working better.
Liked by Chris Trout
Well, Jennifer, the therapist I went to Friday is striking out on her own at the end of the year. She is going to get more info on fascial and after she gets settled will get in touch. Have you ever heard of a Fascial Blaster? Saw another therapist today who does the Bowen technique. She worked on me some and would like to see me again next week. She says she has had some good results with Bowen. Went for a swim this afternoon but didn't notice any change in my breathing. Might have to give it more time???
@giller198 Yes, fascial work takes time to work through the layers. I've done this for 3 years for thoracic outlet syndome and have made a lot of progress, but still have a long way to go. MY PT had an opinion about the fascia blaster and said it was too aggressive and had caused injuries and lawsuits. If you tear the fascia, you'll create scar tissue which just makes it worse and binds it together. That is why it must be gentle and sustained to release fascial layers without tearing them. I'm not familiar with the Bowen technique. Keep at it, and ask what you can do at home to help. FYI- it takes a hands on training to learn how to do this well. If you don't find that wit the PT you're seeing, you might want to look for an expert level trained person. I don't think someone can just read about it, and then understand how to do it as it constantly changes directions and what you do one day may be entirely different than the next.
Liked by Merry, Volunteer Mentor
Well, forget the fascial blaster. The therapist I saw last week worked some using the Bowen Technique. It kind of uses a gentle approach like fascial. The therapist is going this week for more training. I go for session two in the morning. Have a good one.
Liked by Jennifer Hunter
@giller198 I hope you feel better soon. Fascial work is amazing. Have them show you how you can do some of it at home so you can progress faster.
Had some more of the Bowen technique on Monday. Haven't noticed any improvement in the pool. It make take some time. Therapist friend of mine did some fascial work on me today. Kind of wore me out. Maybe she didn't do it correctly. We will keep plugging along.
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a good New Year, take care
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor, Merry, Volunteer Mentor
Hello- I'd like to introduce @tboyd03. She is having problems and hopefully some of you might be able to help direct her in the right direction and offer some help!
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, Teresa, Volunteer Mentor
May I ask what kind of problems? Has it been confirmed a phrenic nerve?
Welcome to Connect, @jgreg1954 I’m tagging @allisonsnow who also has experience with phrenic nerve issues, not from radiation but rather from a tumor.
JGreg, it must be scary to have your diaphragm paralyzed and decreasing lung capacity. Are there lung or breathing exercises that might help like those that people with lung conditions do?
There is nothing scarier than when you cannot take in a breath or breathe. All the treatments and exercises in the world do not help when you cannot breathe The more you try to breathe, the more paralyzed you become. It is beyond scary.
@usmccam– Welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm glad that you found us. I know that after both of my lobectomies it felt as if I'd never be able to breathe. It's scary as hell. I encourage you to read the posts on this site. Also, what does your doctor say about this?
I had open heart 21 years ago. A cough started after that. I spent 10 years with a pulmonologist who would not listen. I found another pulmonologist who informed me about phrenic nerve
The cough is invasive and intense. Many times a day. It hurts and causes concern in others. Have talked with bot Mayo and Cleveland Clinic. They want me to see a pulmonologist there. They can't help. Is there anyone who specializes in phrenic nerve?
Welcome to @mistekat. I'm not sure I understand. Both Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic recommended to see a pulmonologist at their respective clinics or suggested you see someone local to you? Can you explain further?
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