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Ache in left side under rib cage

Hi everyone,

I am 36 years old and I have had a weird dull ache on my left side under my rib cage area. It kind of spreads to the middle area and back area as well.  I actually noticed it about 4-5 years ago when I was fishing.  I was reeling my bait in and my left side just started feeling like I needed to take a break.  It is not like extreme pain, just uncomfortable, almost like muscles tensing up and you need to take a break.  I also get it when I am washing my hair in the shower.  I will have to put my left arm down.  It's like my muscles or something on that side is like tired or had enough!  I remember when I was younger I would get that feeling sometimes.  Again, it is not extreme pain, it is almost like that feeling you get when your short of breath or almost like having the wind knocked out of you.  I have noticed especially when I am lying down a lump in the middle of my lungs.  My Doctor says that is normal.  It is a strange feeling.  Like something is out of place or does not belong in that area.  Can something get inflammed in that area? I can roll my shoulders and my bones crack. Just wondering if it is muscle, nerves, or gatro related? Lately, it has come back a little more intense.It seems it is playing a big role in my day when I am feeling it.  It just feels like it interferes with my vision, thinking, etc.  A little history of me:  I have anxiety, not as bad as I used to.  I was taking laxapro and I am trying not to take anything now.  I have had a colonoscopy a year ago for this discomfort.  I do have diverticulosis.  My Grandfather died of colon cancer in his early 50's.  That always sicks in my mind when I am feeling this left ache.  I did have an MRI on that side done. Nothing abnormal came up.  My Doctor did suggest that he thinks I might have a pinched nerve and recommended ancupuncture.  I have not done that.  I am just getting exhausted with my Doctor.  He just gives me that look like what are you doing back here!  Anybody experience any of these symptoms?
2 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Either you have costochondritis or Scalene Myofascial Pain Syndrome. When scalene muscle is the cause of pain, the pain is referred to chest, inner lining of scapula, shoulder, posterior and lateral sides of the arm right up to the thumb and index finger. When this muscle shortens, this can press on brachial plexus and the subclavian artery and can compress or irritate these structures and cause symptoms such as abnormal sensation, cold extremity, claudication, and lymphedema in the involved extremity. This is a major cause of TOS or thoracic outlet syndrome which occurs as the result of narrowing of space below and behind the collar bone. Hence bringing your arm down helps relieve the pain to some extent.
Chest pain aggravated by laughing yawning, moving in certain directions, stretching and deep breathing goes more in favor of costochondritis, which causes pain and tenderness at points where your ribs attach to your breastbone.  The inflammation around the joint area gives sharp pain on taking a breath. This can also cause tenderness on pressing the area which pains. An orthopedic doctor can diagnose this for you. Generally there is no cause. However it can be due to infection, blow, injury, or fibromyalgia. It usually goes away on its own. Otherwise it can be treated with muscle relaxants, and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. It can also be muscle pull. Shingles can also start this way but unlikely as it has been for so long.
Please consult your PCP for primary examination followed by proper referral. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Take care!
Avatar universal
Thank you for taking the time.  I appreciate it.  It used to come and go.  It just seems like it is around now longer.  I am terrible at trying to explain stuff like this.  It also feels under my left rib like a soar feeling. Again thank you.  Puts me in a better direction.
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