I’m experiencing an intermittent dull pain in the center of my chest that feels like it’s coming from my breast bone as opposed to deeper within my chest. It worsens when I lie on either my left or right side. Pressing on my sternum and ribs worsens the pain only very mildly, nowhere near the extent that I’d expect from cartilage damage, bruised ribs, or pleurisy, the latter two of which I’m familiar with from having had in the past. I’ve experienced the pain in a mild version on and off for a few years, but recently it has become more frequent and more severe. This recent worsening of symptoms has occurred since my last doctor’s visit, so I have not had a chance to question him about it. If anyone has a clue as to what might be causing this, I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Background: I’m 56 years old and have experienced single “skipped-heartbeat” palpitations for many years, which my doctor has concluded are benign. Recent tests include treadmill and cardiolite stress tests, 24-hour holter monitor, EKG, echocardiogram, blood studies, chest x-rays and ultrasounds of my liver, pancreas and gall bladder. I’ve suffered from heartburn for years, so I know what that feels like, and my current pain is not similar (I take OTC Prilosec, which has almost totally relieved my heartburn). All normal. Thank you!
The pain you describe (press and some pain) would not pertain to a heart issue. More likely the condition may be costochondritis is the inflammation of the costal cartilage that connects the rib to the sternum (breastbone) cartilage. In costochondritis, the inflammation may also affect the movement at these joints.
Hope this helps. If there is a follow-up question, you are welcome to respond. Thanks for the question.
Thank you for your explanation about breast bone pain! I researched costochondritis (never heard of it previously) and indeed, this appears to be what I experienced. Hasn't given me any pain today, but if it returns, I won't be worried. :-)
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