Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is my chest pain anything to worry about?"
For a few years I've had instances of pain in my chest that makes it so I can barely move, under my left breast. It happens at completely random times. It used to happen only laying down and go away when I rolled onto my left side, but not anymore. I have to take shallow breaths to minimize pain. I feel soreness and tightness in that area also, more so lately.
Thank you for your interesting question. In order to provide an accurate diagnosis, especially given that this has been ongoing for years, I would need more information. I would need to be able to review your entire medical history and also perform a thorough physical exam. In addition, you may need other testing such as an EKG, chest x-ray, or stress test. Only after collecting this information would it be possible to provide a diagnosis. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to discuss these symptoms with a primary care doctor. Chest pain has many potential causes. Your specific type of chest pain is pleuritic in nature, meaning that it is worse with inspiration. A potential cause is costochondritis, or inflammation of the cartilage connecting bones in the chest pain. This can respond to therapy with NSAIDs, or anti-inflammatory medications. Inflammation of the lining of the lung or the heart, called pleuritic or pericarditis respectively, can cause similar symptoms. In some patients, an acute pulmonary embolus, or blood clot in the vessel leading from the heart to the lung, can cause these symptoms. It is also possible that your symptoms are caused by coronary artery disease. I encourage you to raise these possibilities with a primary care doctor.
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