ZocdocAnswersFor four days now, i experience a mild pinching/heaviness in the left side of my chest and back.

Question

For four days now, i experience a mild pinching/heaviness in the left side of my chest and back.

I am 28 years old, male. I have no current medical problems or a family history of lung or cardiovascular disease. My weight is normal. I used to smoke occasionaly but i quit a couple of years ago. I sleep normally and i have no breathing problems or exhaustion. I had an ECG in 2003 and a chest x-ray test in 2007 which did not indicate any problems. I feel no disturbances when i take deep breaths. Sometimes the pitching sensation appears when i bend.

Answer

Since you are continuing to have these symptoms now for four days, it would be a good idea to get some advice from your primary care doctor. They'll be able to perform a complete exam and help you figure out if this is something you need to worry about. When ever someone is having chest pains, it is important to rule out a heart related problem. Your symptoms do not entirely fit with this, and you are also young. However, your doctor will ask more questions about the exact nature of the pain and help determine if you need additional testing, such as blood work or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to rule out a heart problem. They will be able to consider other more likely causes of the pain as well. For example, a pulled or strained muscle between the ribs is a very common problem and it typically causes intermittent pinching pain like you describe that is often worse when taking in a deep breath. An inflammation of the joints between the ribs and the sternum, called costochondritis, produces a similar pain, and both of these conditions can be treated with good doses of anti inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor. Please make an appointment soon.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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