British Heart Foundation
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Difficulty breathing around neck and middle back

Having just had my aortic valve replacement I'm noticing difficulty breathing when sitting against any chair when pressure applied to middle back.

Also tension around my neck at times causes difficulty too.

The same symptoms happened before I had the surgery so wasn't sure if it's the basics playing up but I'm not having any problems breathing as normal as I can walk now further than ever. Sleep allot better. Everything's slowly healing.

Maybe post op symptoms.

I have lost weight and noticed my shoulder blades wing outwards thinking I suffer from winged scapular condition which can cause breathing problems.

Any theories of suggestions for advise?

5 Replies

hello, not having had that particular surgery but I did have a by pass. The tension in the neck I also have, have seen a physio to get some relief but it gets more noticeable when I am tired. The pain you feel in your back when you put pressure on it may be where your rib cage was clamped open whilst you underwent the procedure, causes all sorts of after effects as generally the muscles and bones are not supposed to go that way. I would say talk to your GP about it they may have some more practical advice, but its good you are up and about and walking. Have you been to a cardio rehab class as of yet?


This was very much like the pain I have been having over the last week especially trying to lie on my back it was agony - rather frustrating as you can't lie on your front either.


Is there any reason for this? I was hoping one of the medical people could help?


Going to check with my GP. I noticed this happening just before surgery a few weeks and now it's become a little more noticeable. Rather aggravating as today wasn't a great day. I'm wondering whether it's been a while since I've trained and my middle back muscles are becoming weaker. Could be a skeletal problem, Posture? What's weird is the tightness in the neck. where is this coming from.. I don't know? Always feel the muscle getting stiff. I keep using deep heat patches to soothe the muscles.

Post op...mmmm but it was there just before so will get this investigated.

Oh, my cardiac Rehab is due end of next month so getting geared towards this. Positive thing is Im walking around longer without any difficulties and seem to be getting stronger. Guess I really need that body alignment recognition to understand how walking works again.


Recently saw gp and confirmed nothing to do with thyroid as blood tests clear. It's my weak muscles in neck and back causing strain and tension in these areas.

Need proper rehab and strength training to regain stronger muscle. Lump was more of a swollen ecm muscle so need allot of stretches and basic resistance exercises for these areas. Already seeing an improvement.

Rehab starts this Wednesday! 👍🏿🙌🏿💪🏿❤️

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