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Thread: Tight Chest

  1. #1

    Tight Chest

    My husband has been having a problem lately with extreme tightness in his chest. It seems to be lower chest into the stomach area. He has been tested twice for a UTI, he had his kidneys scanned and had xrays of his kidneys & bladder. Everything was ok. He is now being told to see his family doctor for a possible viral infection. We have been asking to get an xray of his lungs to make sure that it is not with them, but they haven't ordered an xray yet. I'm not even sure that it is his lungs because it goes down into his stomach area. I say it could possibly be because he doesn't do any stretching of his trunk muscles. He has tried doing stretches by himself but they haven't worked. Maybe he needs real good stretching by someone else. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  2. #2



    I'm a C5/C6 quad. I always feel like I have a tight band around my stomach right under my breasts. Stretching doesn't help. I have been told it is muscles that are dormant under my rib cage which makes my ribs feel like they are sitting on my stomach. Just a thought. Good luck.


  3. #3

    tight chest

    Suggest ruling out all possible medical issues as SCI individuals can have pain and discomfort in a part of the body that is far removed from the real site of the problem. Keep asking for the chest Xray if you think it is necessary. If no medical problem, you might want to talk to a physiatrist. SAH

  4. #4
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Massachusetts, USA


    I have found that I get tightness in my abdominal area when; bladder needs to be emptied, 2. when my bowels are full, 3.when my stool is too hard or way too soft, 4.when I have gas, 5.when I haven't stretched out, exercised or moved around enough (pushing the chair and twisting my torso), 6.when it's time to take my baclofen and zanaflex, 7.when I haven't had enough fluids, 8.when I get an erection. Tightness in the chest area can be cardiac related, pulmonary/respiration problem, can be anxiety related or he could have pulled a muscle or tendon somewherin his torso. If there is no fever, headache and negative x-rays, it is my humble opinion that it is not a virus.

  5. #5
    Thank you all for your suggestions and ideas. My husband started having pain in his groin area and was concerned about a possible hernia. He did go to see his family doctor yesterday and to our surprise, he has an infection of the testicles. I have never heard of such a thing but they put him on Cipro twice a day for 3 weeks. He has never been on Cipro that long for a UTI. Has anyone ever heard of this kind of infection. He says the doctor told him it could be from urine. What does that mean. Could it be that when he had a UTI two weeks ago, the urine somehow infected his testicles?

  6. #6
    jjs, your husband may have epididymitis

    For general information, see:

    Detailed information in case the Cipro does not work or has side-effects, see:

    If it is epidydimitis, it seems that the generally recommended therapy is Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) which is a third generation cephalosporin which can be given in a single intramuscular injection.

  7. #7

    tight chest

    jjs - as has been noted by many on this topic, all systems need to be tested when there is an unexplained symptom. Other considerations include gall stones, which are not uncommon in SCI, and also GI distress such as ulcers, hiatal hernia. Does your husband's doctor have expertise in working with persons with SCI? Be persistent and help him understand how the presence of SCI warrants even greater and more thorough investigation.

    A good site that outlines the needs by system and medical specialty is at the University of Miami at Click on the 'professional handbook for SCI' and scroll through the information on the various systems. You may want to give your husband's doctor this as a reference or encourage him to consult with an SCI doctor. CRF

  8. #8
    Thanks Dr. Young. I never heard of that but I am going to discuss it with his doctor.

    SCI nurse,
    The doctor my husband is seeing now is our family doctor, who is not familiar with SCI. My husbands physiatrist checked for UTI's only and did not find anything, so he sent him to our family doctor. Should he be seen by his physiatrist again now that we know what the problem is?

  9. #9

    which doctor do we see

    jjs - Is your family doctor comfortable managing your husband's unique needs? Has he consulted with/been in comminication with the physiatrist? Is the physiatrist one with SCI expertise?

    It is recommended that a SCI person have a thorough assessment by someone with SCI expertise every 1 to 2 years, unless there is a particular need such as your husband encountered. Insurance and the proximity of your doctor may be a factor as well. When insurance dictates when and who a person may go to, it is recommended that the family doctor work in consultation with the SCI specialist who can provide guidance in appropriately managing SCI-related health care issues. This is discussed in an informative 'Health Resource' on the Craig Hospital site at Once on the site, click on 'SCI health and wellness' then click on 'Information to Maintain......' Then scroll through the list of topics to "Choosing or Changing Your Doctor". CRF

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