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Chest Pains
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Chest Pains

Hi,

Im 26, male, my chest pains started last june (2003)in my left side (LS) around the ribs and I went to see the doctor, I had a chest xray (all clear), ultrasound, blood test etc all absolutely normal but the pains remained.

Recently ive started getting back pains, on the LS and very occasionally pains around my breast bone, ive also had for the last couple of weeks an annoying tickly cough in my throat that doesnt clear, but sometimes it isnt there at all. It doesnt seem to be affected by smoking. I dont really cough anything up except occasionally some brownish/green sticky phlegm. A few times this has contained a couple of small black bits.

Strangely if I hum I can feel my LS vibrate more than my right side.

I have been having pysio for my back pains and if anything they are getting worse and I am going to be referred to a specialist.

I have been smoking since I was 16, quite heavily (a pack a day) for most of it but recently (since june) I have cut down to less than 10 per day. Im really trying to give up and plan to give up soon but im really worried that its already too late. I can no longer sleep on my LS as it hurts but when I wake up the pain isnt always there and seems to go when I have a few beers.

I have been to see my doctor quite a few times regarding this and to be honest I think he has given up on me and I dont know what else to do.

Any help/advice would be great

Thanks

B
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251132_tn?1198082422
Since your chest x-ray is all clear, the information strongly suggests that the origin of your pain is musculoskeletal.  Assuming that in a 25-year-old, even one with a history of nine years of heavy smoking, this is not a heart or lung problem, the specialist most likely to be of help is a rheumatologist.

The cough is almost certainly smoking related.  The pain may or may not be related to smoking.  Congratulations on cutting down on the amount that you are smoking.  At this time the most important thing that you can do for yourself is to give up smoking!  Stick with your wise decision to give up smoking!  You may want to look at our Quit Smoking Topic Center at http://www.nationaljewish.org/topic/smoking_cessation.html for ways to help you to give up smoking.  Also check with your doctor for other quit smoking resources in your area.  It is absolutely, NOT too late.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been experiencing everything you described except for some other symptoms such as shortness of breath and a feeling of pressure in my chest. I am a 24 year old female.  I have had a chest x-ray and a cat scan, both came back clear.  My doctor just tells me that I am to young to have anything seriously wrong with me.  I have smoked about an average of one pack a day since I was 16.

The pain started in my chest on my right side and then after a couple of weeks my back started to hurt also on my right side, now it seems to spread down my ribs in my back.

I am beginning to wonder if all this could be stress related.  It is  very scary not to know.

Please let me know if you find anything out, Good Luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same symptoms basically..pain above my right breast that radiates under my armpit to behind my shoulder blade and sometimes down the right side of my ribs.  IS it worse now that it is all I think about...who knows..It feels like I cant breathe at times too...pain on breathing. but not everytime.
I have had these symptoms for 2 years.. seems to be worse this time..the pain never really goes away, it just isnt as bad at times...It doesnt help that I am a bit of a hyperchondriac..
Maybe we all just need to find some source of relaxation.
I hope.  All bad things go to my mind...lung cancer, breast cancer, ect:  Good luck..
I am 35 and dont smoke.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been going to a chiropractor for 2 weeks and the pain in my back has eased off, although the pain in my chest is still there. Like you said it is above my right breast and radiates through my armpit and around to my back.  Maybe it is stress, I am a self-employed single mother.  Maybe it could be allergies or mold (I here that can cause problems), who knows!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have thought it could be costocondritis..or it could be
fibrocystic breast or something. It is worrisom.. I think the more I think about it, the worse it is...Sometimes I dont know what is serious enough to go to the doctor with...I have an annual gyno appt in a week..maybe he will give me some insight.
I am trying not to sleep with my right arm up..which I always do. I will go back to a chiropractor, I have seem him for this problem in the past and it has helped a little..guess I need to go back. Like you said, it did help my back, but not the chest.
Why would it always be inflamed there?
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Avatar_n_tn
My God! i have the same problem & am posting to everyone who describes something similar today. It is nice to eventually find someone who experiences the same.

Let me tell you, stress does not help & can influence pain. However, the pain is real, it is very real & don't let anyone tell you it's in your head.  

I've been told that it's all in my head now for four years.  Now it's with me stronger than ever.  2 weeks ago started mildly in my back. 2 days ago starting to feel chesty.

i knew of someone aged 20 who had pains too then woke up coughing one night - lung cancer.  She had been diagnosed with pneumonia a few months earlier & been told that it's just irriation.

The moral of the story is, don't let the doctors play the guessing games with your life.  Yes, go to a rheumatologist - but go to a respiratory specialist too.

i've been referred to rheumatologist now & she diagnosed fybromyalgia.  But although this puts my mind to a certain amount of rest, there is still that nagging worry.  So, refer yourself to a respiratory specialist & invetigate your lungs.  If they can't find or prove what it is, then try to prove what it's not! - capiche?

& remember, just because it's not something sinister now, doesn't mean that it's not going to be someday.  So join me in quitting smoking completely! - YOU CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE - JUST LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - don't let those giant corporate money making machines kill you for the sole purpose of fattening their pockets! - Don't be stupid like me, ignoring the signs for four years hoping it would just go away.  Well, it doesn't.  It just gets worse.  i'm only off the cigarrettes a month now.

Make the appointment & let me know how you get on?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have smoked since the age of 11 or 12 (I'm now 32) I quit on the 7th of May 2004, but have been having chest pains like everyone here describes for a few weeks now on my left side under my rib/left breast/armpit radiating sometimes as you mention to the shoulder. I didnt cough much when I smoked (I smoked light early on but grew to nearly 40 a day in the last few years) but I'm still not coughing now and I expected to be clearing my lungs out. I watched my mum die of Emphesema hence now finally giving up after having a baby of my own. I had a heart and lung test on 7th after a full blown panic attack led me to believe I was having a hear attack(my worst fear) - medic said heart beating away normally and lungs sounded clear...so if I had something wrong with my lungs would they have sounded clear or not do you think? I've been suffering panic attacks for the last 2 years so this realllllly isn't helping! Has anyone been diagnosed? Thanks if you can help, but thanks anyway if you can't! Vicky L (Uk)
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Avatar_n_tn
Have been suffering for over a year with pain in the left chest/breast area. Quiet a bit of tenderness in the breast.
Was concerned about Breast Cancer - took a while to convince the doctor it was real and went for an ultrasound - all clear.

Pain continued - started suffering from pain around into my shoulder blade and on accasion down my arm into my fingers with a numbing sensation - doctor again - hospital - chest Xray - ECG - blood tests all clear and was diagnosed with Costo.
Does anyone suffer the very same symptoms?

Have been prescribed an anti-inflamatory.
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Avatar_n_tn
My background:  I am a 21 year old male.  I started smoking when I was 14.  I recently quit in February after I started having chest pains and after my mother had a quadrupal bypass.  So the pains continued and I went to my doctor in early March.  He first diagnosed it as a muscle strain and put me on a muscle relaxer.  That did nothing for me and shortly after I went back to the clinic during emergency hours because my heart was racing and my blood pressure was up along with the chest pains.  The doctor on call diagnosed it as mild bronchitis this time and put me on an antibiotic, an inhaler, and Mucinex.  I saw my normal doctor shortly after again because I started to have stomach pains along with the chest pain, and the medicine load I had just received was doing nothing for me.  This time i was sent for a stress echo, EKG, and chest x-ray.  Everything came back clear and so my Doctor diagnosed GERD and started me on Protonix.  The Protonix vageuly helped my stomach and it seemed my chest pain was just getting worse.  Than, finally, somewhere around the fifth week of taking the Protonix, I got my answer as I had to be rushed off to the hospital because I was having a horrible anxiety attack.  After a load of tests was done at the hospital, and everything came back clear, my doctor and the Psychiatrist on call decided to start me on Zoloft and Xanax.  Although I have only been taking them for 3 days now, it seems that my chest pain has dramatically decreased and does only reappear when I am under stress.  So after 6 months of misdiagnosing me, a trip to the hospital may finally have gotten it right.  Right now the only thing I suffer from is an occassional relapse of the anxiety attack, very mild chest pain that comes and goes under stress, and the side effects of the medications (which are not too pleasent but are better than worrying myself to death).  So I write this to let you all know that perhaps we are all just worrying ourselves too much and each need to take a step back and calm down or even take the step to go see a psychiatrist if you are under a lot of stress with these chest pains.  You never know what might turn up.
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