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Back tightness and popping sound when inhaling.

I'm a healthy 25 year old male but I have this problem with a small area of my back that will pop when I inhale just a little bit more deeply than normal. You can hear it from the inside out, it is not pleasant. The area the popping or snapping is occurring is between my left shoulder blade and my spine. It has been going on for a few years now. It's not really painful. It is quite uncomfortable and happens mostly when I am lying in my bed or sitting in a chair. It doesn't usually happen when I'm standing. It happens every minute or so. It feels like something gets 'caught' during my normal breathing process and by inhaling enough it snaps and releases. What follows is a brief moment of relief and within another minute it 'resets' and feels like it gets 'caught' again. Then I need to pop it because it produces a very awkward pressure or sensation if I don't.  I have no idea what it is. My spine looks good according to many X-rays. I know this is something way beyond the solution of any medication as well, I've tried. It is a physical problem where something feels like it is malfunctioning with my ribs, or spine or some kind of tissue. Maybe my lungs?? It's done it probably 10 times just sitting here typing this. I have no clue what it is but it definitely is driving me insane. The popping sound seems like it never goes away, no matter what the circumstances. All I know is that this seems like a big mystery to most doctors and to anyone who has the problem. If there is anyone out there who might be able to help, I will be very grateful for your advice.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I have this same issue! Have you gotten any answers since you've written this? I would love any help I could get on the subject!
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Hi there

I have almost exactly the same symptoms as you. Only difference is the popping occurs between my right shoulder blade and mid spine. Had 2 xrays and bloodtest within the last 2 months but all came back normal. I'm  hoping it's only muscular or pleura related, and not lungs as the xray results suggested. I know it's been some years since your post , but could you please tell me what treatments you had to address the popping? Thank you
Have same problem. First Dr. Said it was a pinched nerve. I called her on it 6 months later. She looked at it again. Felt around and said she thought it was a rib out of place in the back. She recommended physical therapy. Been there done that. It suck but have gotten used to it now. You can look up neck and shoulder exercises. Worked pretty good for me till I got lazy lol. Hopefully that's all it is. Hope you get better and figure it out.
7721494 tn?1431627964
I hope so too. Did your doctor suggest an MRI or CT scan to rule out any lung disease?

If it is a soft tissue injury, a skilled physical therapist may help discover the source and offer treatment.

Hope you get some definitive word on this so you can get some help.
Avatar universal
Closest match based upon description is: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precordial_catch_syndrome
Avatar universal
Hi there!
The muscle you're referring to is the rhomboid (funny name and looks like a Christmas tree). I am a massage therapist and this could maybe be (don't hold me to it) muscle tension! Happens to me and many of my clients. Lots and lots of trigger points bundling up from stress and emotional tensions aka bottling things in. Not good for you and doesn't feel very good either. You need someone to dig into your rhomboid attachments and levator! It'll be painful but so worth it (: good luck!!
Avatar universal
I have a similar type of popping/ catching and believe it is muscle related. I have had this symptom for over a year now accompanied by anterior shoulder pain and tightness in neck area. I have just recently been diagnosed with Thoracic outlet syndrome and told that it certain muscles need to be released (they are too tight) and possibly some weak muscle need to be strengthened as well. Muscles in my upper back, neck and in my case chest as well have all attributed to this problem I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I’m an healthy 14 year old teen, with the same symptoms. It wasn’t always like this before. When I was 13 everything was fine. Didn’t have any popping sounds each time I took a deep breath. It doesn’t cause me any pain what so ever, just really annoying. I mostly feel the popping in my mid upper back whenever I’m laying down in bed or whenever I have my back against a wall. Can someone give me an idea what’s happening or any recommendations? Thank you.
Avatar universal
I have had this exact to the T issue! Like exactly! And as far as xrays on my end, they look normal. And ice tried explaining to my doctor just as you have here and she didnt have a clue. Said it was probably some kind of gas build up from popping my back. But how she worded it, it didnt sound like what was going on or how it was occurring if that makes sense. And now, well, a few days ago, I woke up and the area that usually does the popping (upper right side between spine and shoulder blade) was sore like I slept wrong or pulled the muscle there, but, the popping hasn't occurred and I've so desperately tried taking my deep breathes to get that few seconds of relief but it just hurts because of the strain I guess and it gets so close to popping it feels like but just cant. So it makes me wonder why it does what it does. And makes me wonder about my pulled muscle I've had four 3 days now and no popping and how they may be linked. Either way I am so glad I am not the only one that experiences this sensation! I really hope you or I find out what causes this! If you ever find out, please if you remember, keep me and others like us in mind and maybe post to let people like you and I finally understand this mystery!  Also sorry for such a long and messy response. Have a blessed day and good luck!
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