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Author Topic: Causes and treatment of lower back pain, rib pain, abdominal tightness?  (Read 562 times)

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Offline jed

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My anxiety levels have bottomed out in the last couple weeks (THE DAY IS MINE!) but I have a few lingering symptoms that I would like to proactively address:

- Lower back pain
- Abdominal tightness, particularly towards the flank
- Lower rib pain, particularly across the bottom ribs towards the flank. Also the lower back rib cage (possibly, although it's hard to pinpoint if it is the ribs, muscle, or what.)

I have provided a very scientific diagram showing the location of rib pain for additional reference:


Additional medical history (all conveniently since anxiety started) : hypercalcemia (possible PHPT), chronic prostatitis, gastritis. I'm also told my spleen is larger than normal for no reason. I'm early twenties.

Questions for the group:

1. Are there any other underlying issues besides prolonged anxiety and muscle tension that would be causing this? (e.g. posture, or... I don't know, not eating enough carrots?) I've read some stuff on costochondritis, but most of what I read suggested it should hurt to the touch. This decidedly does not. It feels more like a "pulling apart" sensation

2. For anyone experiencing these same things, have any treatments been particularly helpful? For lower back, I've tried massage, stretches, sleeping with a pillow under my knees, NSAIDS, ...

PS yes, I know I should ask my doctor about this stuff, and I will if they persist -- she just tends to be a bit of an alarmist which ultimately has ramifications on my pocketbook (tests, specialists, blah.)

Thanks all. Hope everyone's having a good weekend.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: Causes and treatment of lower back pain, rib pain, abdominal tightness?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 03:36:19 PM »
Hi Jed, I have the exact same symptom, my lower rib cage area where it meets my upper abdomen has had a strange sensation on and off for a couple of years.  And the conclusion I have come to about it is, that it is caused by muscle tension from being anxious or stressed.  The reason I believe mine to be muscle tension is because it comes and goes.  So, I think the best way to treat it is to relax those muscles.  Exercise is a good way to burn off stress.  Massage.  Soaking in a warm bath.  And any healthy way of getting your mind off of it...I find that I don't notice it when I am distracted or too busy, but as soon as I focus on it, it comes back again.

Hope you find relief :)
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Online kconnors

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Re: Causes and treatment of lower back pain, rib pain, abdominal tightness?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 04:29:02 PM »
Just would add to the soaking in a hot tub . . . I use Epsom Salts . . . apparently, magnesium from the Epsom Salts is absorbed through the skin and helps to relax muscles . . . . it works even better if I follow up with a hot water bottle --- for some reason a heating pad and an electric blanket do not have the same effect as the hot water bottle . . . . this works really great for me . . . also, and again I don't think this is cause and effect, just a learned behaviour but if I do the soak in the tub and then the hot water bottle and I add a cup of hot chocolate, I feel a lot better :) Take care, kc
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