I do not have a good answer for you. The chronic nature of your symptoms and the fact they persist despite what sounds like alot of different testing argue that it is probably musculoskeletal in nature along with a degree of negative conditioning that has caused you to dramatically change your activities. There are alot of muscular and bony structures in the chest wall and joints, cartilage and ligaments connecting them that could all be implicated. Another possibility includes fibrocystic breast disease.
After revieing the data, the fact it has persisted this long would be somewhat reassuring to me as a physician to say that while quite bothersome, the symptom certainly isnt life threatening.
Perhaps a supervised activity program, along with some stress reduction therapies can help get you back on track. I would discuss this with your primary physician, as lack of activity can certainly impact your overall life.
I think I might have commented to you before, I have ankylosing spondylitis and have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome secondary to the AS. I also have costochondritis related to the AS(what you are describing is exactly how my episodes/attacks of costochondritis act, on a scale from 1-10, sometimes it could easily be rated a 10, it literally freezes you in your tracks and disables you, can't take a deep breath or move, just lay as still as possible, it rarely is that severe for any longer than 24-48 hours , but the dull and tolerable pain can linger for weeks at a time, only return with weeks or months with a vengence.
I have found that valium 5mg (diazepam) twice daily and only one 325mg of regular aspirin helps me a great deal, also co-dyrammol 2 tablets about every 12 hours can ease the pain when it very severe, I only take co-dyrammol when the pain is very severe , but I take the valium and aspirin on a daily basis, valium is one of few anti anxiety that is used to relive muscle spasms and most find it addictive, I never experienced any addiction it and I have taken it for months before and stopped without problems , of course we are all different. These are the medication that help, in no way am I suggesting that you take these same medications, i am only saying what I have been diagnosed with and what helps me, you might have something completely different, I am only saying that your symptoms sounds very much like the costochondritis I experience, glad to see you got your question posted.
Take care , hope you feel better soon.
I have Fibro and Costochondritis also. I know the pain you are speaking off. I have had the pain for months at a time already. Mine started in the ribs under the breast and into the breast but now get it in the front of the shoulder, the under arm, down the sides of my breasts. Sometimes my ribs feel like there is a tight belt around me. I also get so many sore spots in my upper chest and collar bone that even heayy clothes bother me. I do have some heart issues but the Dr. said this pain is not related to heart. I know a lot of people get this in the sterum also. Flexerol is a anti-inflamatory isn't it. If you Dr. put you on that for Fibro, Fibro is not inflamation. I take an anti-anxiety drug, aspirin and use a lot of moist heat.
I developed pain in my back on the left side about 4 years ago. I thought it was stress as I was finishing up my BSN degree. Over the past 4 years the pain has changed in quality and quantity. The in is now in my chest and back in the same area and is present there to some degree at all times. It does hurt when I take a deep breath but at times just holding my breath hurts. I have tried high dose Ibuprofen for R/O costocondritis and the pain got slightly better but once the ibuprofen stopped, the pain came back. All tests have been normal IE CXR, Echo, UGI and blood work like ESR levels, thyroid panel, CBC with DIFF everything. I'm 37 years old and weight 155lbs at 5' 5" tall. Pleurisy has been ruled out as well and Ive seen a chiropractor 3 times with the return of the symptoms every time. I'm confused and turning here is another effort to understand what is going on.
I to suffer from some sort of "PHANTOM" pain on my upper left side which started about a year and a half ago. The pain started in front on my left side just under the breast bone and would go through to the back. It was almost like my gallbladder attacks before I had my gallbladder out 6 months prior to this happening for the first time. The pain was so bad I went to the ER thinking it had something to do with the gallbladder but didn't. I have been to the ER about 7 or 8 times since it started. After the 4th time there seemed to be a pattern, it would ALWAYS happen with my periods. They keep me each time I go to the ER and do tests the next day, so far I have had 2 scopes, ERCP (I think that's what they called it), upper GI, colonoscopy, many CT's, X-ray's, EKG (every time I visit the ER) and tons of blood tests and the only thing they found is that I am anemic. I started taking prevacid and zelnorm a year ago and did very well until Feb. 2004 when I had another attack. This time a CT showed a cyst on my left ovary and the Gastro Dr. decided to have me go be checked for endometreosus (SP?). I started having lots of tests on that and decided to have the cyst removed along with a D&C to help the heavy periods and animea. I had this done in May and it showed no signs of Endo. I quit taking the prevacid and zelnorm to see what would happen and did fine until September 1st when all all hell broke loose (that was 7 months pain free). As usual it happened just one day before my period started and was stronger than ever before but this time the pain focused not only in the front but also the side and back...almost like it's on a rib and just keeps spreading around but never reaches the right side, it always stops in the middle (front and back). The ER once again told me they thought it was peptic ulcers but all tests have never shown anything. I started taking the prevacid again and waited on the zelnorm. October and another period came along with the pain so I started the zelnorm as well. November, another period and the pain once again, went to the ER again and this time they test me for blood clots (blood tests and lung-CT) still nothing. The pain seems to be starting more in the back now instead of the abdomen. The Dr. has given me Vicodin to take when it starts but it don't even take the pain from a 10 to a 8...takes about 2 Dilotted's. The pain has never lasted more than 24 hours, it goes away as sudden as it comes on and seems to mostly come on at night (just like the gallbladder attacks did). Eating don't seem to bring it on...onlgy my periods. Now we're in December and it came back again but this time about 5 or 6 days after my period started. It was all I could do to not go to the ER again (I'm sure they think I'm nuts). BUT...something is different this time. After the main left I'm still very sore on my left side just above the bra line and have also noticed some aches in different areas under the breast and yesterday started to get a little sore in my left arm pit. I just had a mamogram and ultrasound done 3 weeks ago and as usual I have benign findings. I made them do an ultrasound just to be safe. I am 39 years old by the way. I just don't know what else to do and where to turn. I'm so scared that they are missing something and it's going to get worse and maybe become serious. I have thought about having my uterus out to help not only my anemia but to see if no periods would fix it. I also get mouth sores with my periods, they have checked my hormone levels but say everything is ok, I have a hard time with that...something has to be really off when this happens. It's so hard to have testing done when it's not hurting and you can only have so much done in the ER because they're only looking for life threatening illness's. Someone help me please, I feel like I am going insane.
I currently take Altace, zelnorm, mirapex for restless leg syndrom due to the anemia, prevacid, 2-324 mg iron, stool softener, xanax as needed and vicodin 750 as needed.
I forgot to mention I also seem to get bloated with these pains.
Ask your doctor about Behcet's syndrome or disease and see what he thinks.