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Thread: Scheuermann's disease causing Angina symptoms??? Please help, doctors baffled.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    2

    Unhappy Scheuermann's disease causing Angina symptoms??? Please help, doctors baffled.

    I was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease when I was 15. My parents decided not to operate, and let me decide when I was older. And I have been living with this since. Lots of back pain and so on. But since 2007, I have been experiencing something very strange. Angina pain symptoms.

    Whats happening is either light activity after I eat, or heavy activity if I havent eaten. What im feeling is what starts in the middle of my curve, its a dull ache in one small spot right between the left side of my spine, and my left shoulder blade(from looking at my back behind me). And that pain will radiate down the inside of my arm in a sharp pulse until I either slow down or stop the activity. Walking/running is a huge trigger. And its like clockwork.

    Admittedly I am out of shape by alot. 6' 280lbs. I know I have alot of weight to loose, but its been impossible to exercise. 5 minutes into a brisk walk, and my back starts aching in that spot and it radiates down the inside of my arm. Frankly it scares the shit out of me.

    Now I know what everyone is going to say. SEE A DOCTOR. Well I have. Since I really first started feeling it in 2007-now, I have had cardiac workups from 3 different cardiologists. THey have done every single test with the exception of an angiogram(they refuse). I even had a cardiac CTA scan, thats one step below the gold standard test of angiogram.

    My general doctor has had me see stomach people and a chiro. And I have been going to the chiro for years too. Nobody seems to know what this pain is caused from, but I can tell you that I only feel it when my heart rate is 130+.

    My chrio thinks its me feeling congestive heart failure pain, but without actually having that problem because of the kyphosis is causing my chest cavity to have less room and its crowding the heart. That sounds like it could be an issue, but who knows. The cardiac guys all say Im perfectly healthy, but I obviously need to loose weight.

    My general doctor wants to do an MRI of the spine to see if its a nerve thing happening, but why would it only happen when my heart rate is up? None of this makes any sense. Can anyone help, or have any info to contribute?

    Im 34 years old with no risk factors(but being fat) and no family history of heart problems. Its totally a mistery, but its ruining my life.

    Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Scheuermann's disease causing Angina symptoms??? Please help, doctors baffled.

    Hi Brian and welcome!

    I'm so sorry you have been dealing with this long-term issue. I hear ya when you note that your heart rate goes up when it happens, it's easy to stress about issues with our body that we can't identify.

    I'm going to say exactly what you expect - see a doctor. BUT... not just any doctor. I think you need to see a spine deformity specialist. You've seen a heart doctor numerous times and a chiro so why not see if your pain issue is related to your Scheuermann's? A specialist may be able to give you the answer you need. Personally I would not recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon, I would go straight (pardon the pun) to someone who specializes in treating scoliosis and kyphosis patients. You may be able to find a doctor in your area by using the physician search feature on srs.org. Or if you want to post what region you're in, another user may be able to suggest someone in that area.

    I used to have strange twinges and catches with my spine (still do post-surgery though they're different now). My kyphosis also caused me throat pain (due to the sharp curve of my neck vertebrae) and worsened my GERD so you never know how it can impact you.

    I think you may be right about weight being a factor, I used to definitely see an increase in pain symptoms during the phases of my life where my weight went up. Since walking causes pain, what about trying something lower-impact like gentle pool exercises, pilates or yoga? Yoga totally saved me pre-surgery. Not only did it build muscle (to burn more calories) but it helped my flexibility which in turn decreased pain. It was low impact enough not to set off my asthma but hard enough that I got a good workout. It's always hard to find the time/space/energy to exercise but it's always worth it.

    Good luck to you in sorting out what is going on. I really hope a spine specialist can give you some answers. If you don't get many replies to your post, please don't be discouraged - most folks here have scoliosis and this part of the forum isn't viewed by nearly as many folks as the main page. You can always try re-posting your question there - scoliosis has it's differences from kyphosis but you may find someone with similar issues to what you're experiencing since we're all dealing with non-normal curvatures.
    - Kay

    I was diagnosed with Scheuermann's Kyphosis at age 16. I had an 80-degree thoracolumbar kyphosis and mild scoliosis. 30 years later, I had posterior fusion surgery, expertly handled by Dr. Sethi on Earth Day 2014. The surgery reduced my kyphosis to 50 degrees and my scoliosis to about zero.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Scheuermann's disease causing Angina symptoms??? Please help, doctors baffled.

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaxwell View Post
    Hi Brian and welcome!

    I'm so sorry you have been dealing with this long-term issue. I hear ya when you note that your heart rate goes up when it happens, it's easy to stress about issues with our body that we can't identify.

    I'm going to say exactly what you expect - see a doctor. BUT... not just any doctor. I think you need to see a spine deformity specialist. You've seen a heart doctor numerous times and a chiro so why not see if your pain issue is related to your Scheuermann's? A specialist may be able to give you the answer you need. Personally I would not recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon, I would go straight (pardon the pun) to someone who specializes in treating scoliosis and kyphosis patients. You may be able to find a doctor in your area by using the physician search feature on srs.org. Or if you want to post what region you're in, another user may be able to suggest someone in that area.

    I used to have strange twinges and catches with my spine (still do post-surgery though they're different now). My kyphosis also caused me throat pain (due to the sharp curve of my neck vertebrae) and worsened my GERD so you never know how it can impact you.

    I think you may be right about weight being a factor, I used to definitely see an increase in pain symptoms during the phases of my life where my weight went up. Since walking causes pain, what about trying something lower-impact like gentle pool exercises, pilates or yoga? Yoga totally saved me pre-surgery. Not only did it build muscle (to burn more calories) but it helped my flexibility which in turn decreased pain. It was low impact enough not to set off my asthma but hard enough that I got a good workout. It's always hard to find the time/space/energy to exercise but it's always worth it.

    Good luck to you in sorting out what is going on. I really hope a spine specialist can give you some answers. If you don't get many replies to your post, please don't be discouraged - most folks here have scoliosis and this part of the forum isn't viewed by nearly as many folks as the main page. You can always try re-posting your question there - scoliosis has it's differences from kyphosis but you may find someone with similar issues to what you're experiencing since we're all dealing with non-normal curvatures.
    Thanks for the reply. I was hoping someone else had went though this too, but yeah this is so rare as it is. I will see what else I can dig up, plus Im going to seek out a DR in that field that you said. Thank you.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
    Posts
    16,393

    Default Re: Scheuermann's disease causing Angina symptoms??? Please help, doctors baffled.

    I was going to give the same advice as Kay! Good luck, hope you can get some answers.
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

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