Tight Band Around Ribs
I have a feeling of a tight band around my ribs which can come and go during the day. It's usually when I'm in a semi-lying position or sitting. There are times it comes also with standing.I also have acid reflux. I've had multiple tests done and all is normal except intermittent esophageal dysmotility with some intraesophageal reflux. I went to the GI dr and he thought I may have costochondritis. I also had the same symptoms this spring but it went away for a few months and now it's back. I don't understand why this cannot be figured out.
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@beebox55 You may want to consult a physical therapist who does myofascial release. The fascia can be tight restricting movement and compressing body parts. I have this situation because of thoracic outlet syndrome, and it does cause one side of my chest to be too tight which can restrict my breathing. We don't all have the same patterns of tissue tightness. Here is our discussion on myofascial release where there is a lot of information. I do MFR and it helps me a lot to regain normal movement and correct body alignment. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/ Not all doctors will know or acknowledge this treatment, so don't give up if your doctor doesn't recognize it. See what you think. Tight fascia causes my ribs to twist a bit and it hurts until she fixes them.
@jenniferhunter how many sessions would it usually take for you? I just had my first MFR session today for twisting sharp pin in my ribs that has been present off and on for years and constant for months.
@tlk I'm still working on it. You may have a rib that is twisting from tight chest wall muscles. That happens to me. How well MFR works for a person is dependent on a lot of things, first, how long and involved is the problem? Is it a problem caused by stress and the body's reaction to it, and does that source still exist in your life? Is is a posture related problem that has been caused by bad habits, and do you still have the habits? Was it caused by a physical trauma or injury? and then there is emotional trauma from things we all carry around inside us, and are we reacting subconsciously to those things or have we worked through our issues and fears? All of that causes reactions in the body. Are you self treating at home to help the therapist's progress? It's great that you are trying this therapy, and it really works, and works even better when you become an active tuned in participant.
I still am a work in progress myself. I did MFR for 3 years for my thoracic outlet syndrome and made good progress, but in the middle of all of that, in spite of treatment, I stopped progressing as my spine problem became evident, and I had to stop for spine surgery. MFR helped make that surgery easier on me because the muscles in my neck were looser and easier to retract. I've been back at MFR for a couple of years since my surgery. My therapist describes it as peeling back the layers of an onion. You don't know how many layers are there when you start. The important thing is progress, and learning good ways to improve, and doing your home exercises and stretching as your self care, and committing yourself to progress. There might be setbacks when stressful events happen in your life, but you will figure out ways to self treat when you have learned enough about it. I hope you'll share your progress as time goes on.
I was going to write and suggest seeing a physical therapist! and saw that @jenniferhunter did also! (I am a PT, however , not pushing it b/c of that :), but suggesting from personal and professional experience 🙂 . Being a PT, I never even thought about it for myself, however I eventually went to a PT and it was one of the most helpful things I've done! (didn't help my GI problem of course, but might help with something like symptoms you are describing! When we are in pain, without even realizing it, we tend to hold that area of our body 'tightly" or still, almost as if to protect it. When you have chronic pain, over years, you can develop tightness in muscles and tissues in the area from doing this, and you aren't even aware of it. Sometimes then, those constantly tight, tense muscles and tissues can become a secondary source of pain/discomfort. I think this is often overlooked in the GI world.
Myofascial release is just one treatment modality, it doesn't have to be all (and I wouldn't suggest it be all). Ideally you want to incorporate some active exercises/stretching to maintain the results. I had no idea how tight I was throughout my torso, it was even hard for me to take a deep breath. I had no idea how I was holding my body so tensely all the time! And I am a PT!!! It usually takes someone putting their hands on you so your body can "learn" how to relax again. It's not something you can just 'tell it" to do. You re likely holding yourself in ways that reinforce the tightness. You will be amazed at all the PT can do!
The thing is, it can't hurt, you'll probably learn some helpful things, and if it doesn't help your problem, you will have ruled out a musculoskeletal cause. In the meantime.. I'd just work on some diaphragmatic/deep breathing on your own.. just a few minutes at a time throughout the day. I bet you will feel a 'stretching' in your ribcage just with this. One little exercise I use is to put your hands where you feel the tightness, i.e even cross your arms like you are giving yourself a little 'hug'. Breath in, and concentrate on directing the breath where your hands are. Don't force! Just gentle. You are using your breath to give yourself a little stretch in that area. If it is painful.. don't do it! Oh, and this is not medical advice, just a friendly suggestion from fellow patient 🙂
Good luck! I think you have a good chance of helping this!
I realize you asked someone else, but if you've had a problem for years, it's going to take "time", whatever that mean. I'm a PT, and just my opinion, but MFR is one technique, a very helpful one, but not always enough. It's not a miracle cure, and you aren't going to be fixed in one session. Ideally, your therapist will also include some 'homework' exercises and some other things, i.e stretching, exercises, postural instruction to help you maintain your results! It is something that you will need to work on every day, not just go to therapy. I don't know you, so I'm not going to even say anything about time. You should ask the therapist 🙂 .
That was an excellent, explanation Jennifer! I'm glad you included the part about being an 'active participant', as that is critical. Sounds like you have a good therapist.
@elle1233 Thank you. I do have a great PT. She has done a lot of stuff with me and a lot of MFR. There was strength training too, but it easy for me to get kicked up from that. At times we have done Dolphin Neurostim and cold lasers. It just all depends how I look when I come in for the appointment. I've been guarding my shoulder for years, and I'm trying to stop doing that. Thanks for your nice comments. Thanks for adding that to the discussion because I didn't remember, and I need to remember to stop. I also do some home stretching and sometimes figure out how to and MFR to a stretch I'm already doing.
I am wondering how you are now? I have finally found a dr who can help me and e has identified several vascular compressions that are affecting my gi organs, pelvic and heart. If anyone has questions about this and also has the tight band around their ribs especially if it gets worse after eating or excercise plese get checked by a COMPRESSION SPECIALIST not just a vascular surgeon.
Hi I have this tight band for 3 years now and am tired of it. I don’t know what to do it gets worse and drives me crazy. It came when I started having symptoms from a hiatal hernia the hernia was repaired but the tightness remained. No one here in San Antonio can help. I’ve been running to doctors they all look at me like I am crazy. You said a compression specialist could help. Where do I begin to find one. I looked it up but not sure! Thanks greekcanadian.
Hi can you tell me more about a compression specialist. I looked here in San Antonio and not sure is this a Chiropracture, PT, or Thorasic doctor. I’m going crazy with this tightness it comes and goes and eating agrivates it who did you see?? Is yours gone?