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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Back tightness

 Xfactor52 - Sat May 05, 2007 10:28 am


I am a 21 year old male and lately I have been feeling alot of chest pressure and back tightness. I discovered that the chest pressure was a cause of acid reflux but I still have back tightness right in between my shoulder blades. Its not terrible or anything but it can be uncomfortable at times. I think sometimes it is related to stress but I don't know for sure. I seem to get it alot when I am at my job. When im off work I don't really get much at all. Which is why it led me to believe that its stress that is causing it. Ive asked a few doctors about it and the results have been mixed. But for the most part they tell me that I have alot of Anxiety and stress. I would like to get a better opinion. I would be greatful for any advice that anyone can give me. I have had no surgeries related to my back ever except for a hernia fixed but it was in another location. The only medicine I take is a multi vitamin and Zrytec D.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sat May 05, 2007 7:54 pm

User avatar Dear Xfactor52:

Anxiety is the most likely cause, since it seems to happen preferentially at work. There is a potentially serious condition, however, that should be ruled out.

Before we go into that, I would like to ask a couple of questions.

1. How tall are you?
2. Are your arms, legs, fingers, and toes disproportionately long for your height?
 Xfactor52 - Sun May 06, 2007 10:07 am

I am Five nine and my limbs are porportional for my height. I have a normal build and don't have abnormally long legs or arms or anything like that.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sun May 06, 2007 5:18 pm

User avatar Dear Xfactor52:

Thank you for answering my questions so promptly!

That you are not extraordinarily tall or have disproportionately long limbs is good. This means that anxiety is the most likely cause of your discomfort, but acid reflux is also a possibility. Since you have been diagnosed with acid reflux, try some omeprazole (marketed under the brand name "Prilosec OTC"). It is a bit expensive, but it provides a great relief to folks who suffer from acid reflux.

If the omeprazole helps, then I think you have to ask yourself what is causing the acid reflux. It could be anxiety or depression, or your diet. Anxiety needs to be treated, preferably with an antidepressant such as one of the SSRIs (paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram, escitalopram). All are roughly equivalent in their efficacy in the treatment of anxiety. All are also very effective for treating depression.

Good luck to you, and please keep us posted.

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