Posted 4/8/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -6)
Being that I have Fibromyalgia and allot of back and chest problems, along with the usual depression, anxiety, IBS, something that feels like GERD or esophageal spasms, and blah, blah, blah I am going to offer a little exercise I do to help my breathing. Lots of people with Fibro have shortness of breath issues that aren't lung related. This will tell you how much of your breathing issues are in your lungs and how much is stress.
By the way. I do use albuterol and atrovent as needed, even though my PFT's come back normal and I can peg a high flow Spirometer every time, even when I feel short of breath. I am a smoker, can't seem to give it up and as such get tight lungs sometimes, but just as much, if not more of the breathing issue is Fibro and chronic stress related.
Try this exercise. Put a pole or rod over your shoulders and behind your neck with your arms draped over the pole and grabbing the ends with your hands. Have your feet spread two or three feet apart. Now side bend as far as you can to the left until your at the point your stretching the right side ribs and back muscles. Slowly lean into that stretch without hurting or pulling anything and do a normal count to thirty. Make sure you keep breathing normaly as you lean farther into the stretch. Now reverse the side stretch to the right and stretch out those left side rib muscles and back counting to 30. Don't let yourself lean forward or back while you do this. You are leaning side to side only. Keep everything else straight, including your head on your shoulders. After you have done both sides, as you come back up straight, see how easy it is to take a nice inhale. It should be easier then usual. Okay, repeat this stretch and this time count to 40. You should be able to stretch a little farther the second time. After you do both sides, take that nice deep breath. Repeat it one more time and count to 50. By now you may be able to stretch all the way to where your touching your leg. If you are that flexible, bring your feet closer together where your improving your stretch.
Lets just rule out the concept that anxiety is directly causing your issues, but rule in the possibility that allot of chronic stress over time maybe a factor and test it out. If this is the case, this exercise should help to free up your breathing for a hour or two the first time you do it, and how long that last will increase over time if you do it every day. You will slowly retrain the muscles in the chest cavity and ribs to not get so tight. I don't suggest you do it more then once a day to start. If it causes your sides to be sore latter on when you lay down, just give it a days break inbetween. Muscles have to be stretched and healed, stretched and healed until they finally get stronger and retrained to stay in the lengthened position better.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.
Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.