Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Treat Chest Pain That is Not a Heart Attack

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Bob and Brad,

the two most famous

physical therapists on the Internet.


- Hi folks, I'm Bob Schrupp, physical therapist.

- Brad Heineck, physical therapist.

- Together we are the most famous physical therapists

on the Internet.

- In our opinion, of course, Bob.

- So we're going to show you today how to treat chest pain

that is not a heart attack.

- Right.

- And Brad has had this experience several times.

- Absolutely, I'm very familiar

with this chalk ball experience.

- All right.

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- Well, Bob, we have a podcast out there

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- Can you get rid of this?

- Absolutely!

- All right. When you have chest pain,

listen to me carefully.

When you have chest pain,

the first thing you do as you go to the doctor.

- Right.

- Immediately!

Do not, this is unequivocal.

- Which means you're probably going to have to

go to the ER, emergency room.

- Or ED or they call the emergency departments.

- Right, yeah.

I know, 'cause I had done this three times already.

- Right, Brad did it three times

and he's a therapist and he, you know,

even after you thought you knew what it was, right?

You went back?

- Well, they kind of made me and my wife did.

- Oh, she did, right.

- I didn't want to.

But, and then I also - That's good.

went to a cardiologist for a complete checkup after that.

So I knew it was.

- Right.

So now having said that, what they have found,

and this, we had Steve August on,

he's a physical therapist from New Zealand.

- Right.

- And you may want to watch the show,

and it's on our YouTube,

and it's also on podcasts.

- Right.

- He was the founder of this technique for treating it.

- Right.

- He found, that he's done a lot of research on this,

and he found out, in most cases,

the chest pain is not a heart attack.

In most cases it is costochondritis.

- Right.

And oftentimes like when I went, all three times,

they said your heart's, the third time,

they said your heart's more healthy

than all the workers in the ER.

- Sure!

- But they said, it's musculoskeletal problem.

I said, well, what, what do you mean?

It's like, I'm a therapist.

I should understand this.

And they just said, it's musculoskeletal.

They didn't know either.

They weren't familiar with costochondritis,

and they couldn't give that.

- Right.

- So all doctors may not be familiar with this.

- Oh, a lot of them may not be.

And if they do, are familiar with it,

they will honestly not know how to treat it.

- Right.

- And very few do.

- And actually Steve does do presentations to physicians

to explain how, - Yes.

how he treats it, 'cause he had it himself for seven years.

- Yes, he's a physical therapist,

had it himself for seven years.

So that when you have something, when you're a therapist,

you think about it, you mull it over.

You work on it.

And so let's first talk about some of the common causes of,

of, of costochondritis.

- Sure.

- And then we'll explain what it is.

Common causes, if you're in impact accident, like car crash.

- Hm-mm.

- If you actually just have poor posture.

- Sure.

- Which he calls the "I hunch".

Once the rib joints freeze up, yeah.

It's gonna, it can, you can't get them unloose

unless you do a certain thing.

- Right, and we're gonna show that on Sam the skeleton.

It'll make more sense.

- Not on loose, loose.

You can't get 'em loose.

All right, next one.

Heart surgery after you, after they take those big.

- They cut through the sternum.

They open up the chest.

They gotta access the heart.

- Yeah.

- And that's very understandable.

There's a lot of trauma going on with those poor ribs.

- Right, and the problem with that is,

and I've had some people have had that, Brad.

And you know, there's some anxiety along with that,

because they think, - Ah, yeah.

Oh, is my heart having a heart attack?

I was in surgery for that.

- Sure.

- The other thing where a lot of people have anxiety

is a lot of doctors will tell you,

this is going to resolve itself on its own.

- Yep.

- Very, you know, usually within a year, not true.

They found out the average length of time that this lasts

is two and a half years.

And they've had people go, it went on for 30 years.

- costochondritis. - costochondritis.

- So what happens, he says, and I agree with this 100%,

is people, they continue to have the chest pain.

And the doctor only said it was going to last, you know,

six months to a year.

Mine's still going on.

Maybe he's, he's wrong about that.

So maybe he's wrong about my heart.

- Right.

- So it causes all this anxiety.

- Yeah.

- So we're going to show you something.

You could try here, that if it is costochondritis,

it should 100% help.

- Right?

It's a, it's done wonders for me,

'cause I've had chest pain.

I've zeroed mine down.

Like you say, if you're a therapist, you look at it more.

And it's one of my lower ribs on the right hand side

is where I typically get my pain.

I think it was last summer.

The last time I had it, I was mowing the lawn

and I wasn't doing my treatment consistently,

pain here, and it kind of radiated across.

Sometimes I get it in the back on the right hand side,

and it's not comfortable.

It doesn't tear you apart.

It doesn't tear me apart, but it's like,

I'm still thinking maybe I should go in again.

- Right.

- Maybe it's not costo this time.

I relaxed and actually did the treatment and it helped.

It didn't get rid of it, but it was like, I felt better.

- So you need to do it preventatively.

- Yes, oh yeah.

- You have to do it.

I had, you know, sometimes as he describes it,

it can be a sharp pain.

Very scary, sometimes. - I believe it.

And you can also hear clicking, popping and cracking.

- Yup.

I've never had that.

- I don't know if you had that.

- Just the pain and it's not sharp.

I mean, I had sharp, but it wasn't like a knife digging it.

- Well, let's show real quickly what the causes,

and then we'll show how to get 'em treated.

So what happens is the pain is in the front

right here where like Brad said,

he had it on the right side.

A lot of 'em have it on the left side.

- And mine was actually - Down lower?

down here, but it can vary.

- Yep.

- And mine also was in the back.

And I think he mentioned that that can happen too.

- Sure.

- But mostly in the front.

- Yeah, usually right where the rib meets the cartilage.

- Mm-hmm.

- And, and that's why it's costochondritis.

But there's really not inflammation of this,

inflammation is secondary.

- Yeah.

- So there's not a infection

or something like that going on.

- Right.

- So what happens is after the impact, or with poor posture,

these joints back here actually freeze up,

and they're, they're like little hinges.

And when they freeze up, the spine,

the whole rib cage has to move like a bucket handle.

So it goes out, Brad, do you want to show that?

- Yeah, so if you look at this,

the rib as you breathe in and out, this rib has to,

- Expand. - I'm gonna exaggerate

- a little bit.

- Yeah.

But they're going like this all the time,

and they have to pivot here.

And if you can, are you zoomed in?

So if you see the movement here, Bob, can you move that rib?

- Sure.

- And I'm going to point this out.

So right here, right here's that joint

and if that freezes up or gets some scar tissue,

- Scar tissue, yeah.

- Gets tightened and he's down.

Then what happens is the joint in the front,

- The movement has to come from somewhere.

- Right.

If it doesn't move back here,

this moves more - It's not moving back here,


- And this is not made to move more.

- Right.

- So it stresses the joint in the front,

causes pain and it just becomes worse.

So when you breathe, you know,

especially if you maybe do an exercise

that allows you to breathe more.

- Right 'cause I had a friend that got it with bicycling.

- Sure.

- And he was bent over.

- Yep.

- And he was breathing a lot.

- Right.

- He had really bad chest pain.

- Yep.

The first time I had it,

I was throwing a football really hard.

- Which makes sense, yep.

- Because these muscles up in here

were really stressed on this.

Plus the costo and the breathing

kind of multiplied everything.

- That makes sense.

Yep, makes total sense.

- So the whole goal, I guess we're getting to,

is we need to?

- We need to loosen up back here,

even though the pain's in front.

- Right.

- And this collagen, which is what is holding

this stuff together.

- Connective tissue.

- Is really strong.

They say stronger than steel wire, Brad.

- Sure.

- So, I mean, you're not going to,

you can manipulate this and it might feel better

for a while. - Yeah.

So a chiropractor could go in there and manipulate it.

- Yep.

- But it's going to come right back again.

- It needs to be done on a more consistent basis.

- Yeah, it needs to be done on a consistent basis

and needs to be stretched.

So what he does, he uses, he actually invented the Backpod.

- Right.

Yeah, so I, I believe Steve himself actually came up with,

how am I going to do this - Right.

for myself without - Exactly.

seeing another therapist or a chiropractor all the time

to maintain the mobility?

- Right.

So now I think I'll mention this, Brad,

you could try a tennis ball first,

especially with like a towel over the top.

- Yep.

- And what you're going to do

is you're just going to lay on this.

- Sure.

- You're gonna lie on it, right?

- You know, we had another English major, I think.

She really did a good job explaining.

She was a little upset with us,

'cause we still didn't get it right.

- Really?

- Yeah, we better quit babbling.

- We're gonna lie on it.

So Brad, if you want to come in here first, real quick,

I'm going to show where we're hitting.

- Yep.

- So you could try, again, towel underneath here,

might even have a pillow underneath the head when you

lie on it, but you can hit like six different spots here.

I'm on the side of the spine between the shoulder blades.

The Backpod, you can actually lay it right on it,

lie right on it.

- Right.

- You can actually.

- I, now the reason that we put a towel there,

because it's a little uncomfortable at first,

- Right.

- Until you get used to it.

But you wanna show?

- Yeah.

- When I started, I used a towel

to cushion, even, yeah. - On this?

For about a week or so.

- So, I still go on the sides with this one.

I don't go on the center.

I don't know about what you do, Brad.

- No, I go on the sides.

- You go on the sides, yeah.

- I actually go on eight spots instead of six, just I.

- Oh, you really hit it a lot, huh?

- Yeah, I just, and just,

and you know, people will figure that out on their own

once they use it.

- And it comes with a really good booklet.

- Yeah.

- He explains it, not only for posture,

it works well for that, but also for the costochondritis.

- Yeah, and is there even treatment for sacrum down lower.

- Yep, yep.

- So there's more than one thing you can use it for too.

- So I'm going to lie on it real quickly Brad.

- Right on the table here?

- Yeah, right on the table.

It's not advisable, you know, we wouldn't do it that way,

but I just wanna show it.

- You need to do it on a firm surface.

So a bed it's not going to work or like this.

But for, for show, it'll be easier.

- I do it every morning for my knots.

That it just works really well for that.

So I just lie, lay it in place, lay it in place.

And I usually do my stretching

while I'm doing this.

- Oh my goodness, hold on Bob, there.

Things are falling apart.

- So you can bring your elbows back like this,

and stretch like this.

You could stretch this way,

taking deep breaths while you're doing this.

And over time, this will stretch those rusty hinges out,

as he called them.

- You know, and Steve actually, I showed,

I demonstrated this a couple of years ago,

and he said I did not do the arm, shoulder.

- Right, overhead.

- Yeah and he, he sent an email to me.

He said, make sure you add that.

And I did, and it does help.

- It does help, right.

And he's got a couple of other suggestions in there.

He's got some strengthening exercises too.

But again, you may have to have a pillow

under your head to start,

and you might have to have a towel.

Because it might just be too much for you.

Your posture may be not able to tolerate it.

= Yeah, so you just fold up a towel

in and three or four layers.

- You wanna say what lawyer?

- Yeah, so, so the towel thing, you just,

it doesn't have to be a big towel,

might be too big or a smaller towel,

you know, get three or four layers of the towel

to put over that.

And it acts as a cushion if it's a little uncomfortable,

which exactly what I did.

- Now this is a bit pricey.

- Yeah.

- But I, you know,

especially if you try the tennis balls first,

and it works, I definitely, you know, invest in this.

- Before I did this, got this.

I tried a softball a little bigger diameter.

- Sure.

- And that was, it was, it was pretty hard.

I had to put a towel over it and it, it, it works okay.

And you can certainly try it.

And then I went to this and you know,

if the softball works or you get something you're def-,

it'll be worth it to get one of these,

'cause it's going to last forever,

and it's just more comfortable.

- Yeah, you couldn't break this if you tried.

And it's got a nice little soft, what do you call that?

- The cushion, yeah.

You know, you can take that off,

- Right.

and clean it up if you'd like.

This is the backbone of it, if you will.

- Yeah, I asked him how he ended up designing it.

And he had a designer friend.

- Yeah.

- And they, you know, I know,

it really seemed like the right amount.

- Yeah.

- You know?

I mean, it was the perfect amount.

And I've given these away to a lot of people I know, Brad.

A lot of people.

- Do they use them?

- Yes.

- I mean, I had a friend that he uses it because of golf.

- Ah, sure.

- He was helped increase his range of motion.

- Exactly.

And I don't know how they came up with the color though.

- Yeah, I don't know either.

- Maybe we should write a note to Steve.

- Yeah, get a different color.

Oh, one last thing I wanna mention, Brad.

There's also, called Tsetse Syndrome.

- Yep.

- And that's usually when, when you have the pain

just on the upper two ribs.

- Okay.

- But it's still, costochondritis.

- Just a more specific location.

- Yeah, it was, he did all the research on it.

It was, yeah.

It was a specific location

and usually a little more inflamed.

- So in that case, you're going to use whatever,

tennis ball or this, up higher.

- Yep.

- Closer to the neck to treat that area.

- Yep, very good, yep.

All right.

Check it out and again,

make sure you go to the doctor first.

- Oh yeah, you mean for the chest pain.

- For the chest pain.

- Absolutely.

Get that diag, heart problem completely out of the way.

- All right, take care.

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