Re: Dull ache in the chest caused by back pain?
Hi Mr. Bean: I, too, experience the same pain in sterum area. It hurts near bottom of shoulder to left, under left arm, and goes around my chest. I, too, have felt a strange poking feeling under my ribs around the heart. It feels sort of like a belt tightening around me. I had a bone xray done and they found arthritis in the thoracic spine. If my husband presses it, it really aches, and feels like I was "kicked by a mule" there. They did not do an MRI to see soft tissue (disk bulge). If I "hug myself", I can get the pain to stop. Also, sometimes I feel like I am getting low level electrical shocks in that area. Since I can "hug myself" and stop the pain, that gives me a clue that it is soft tissue (disk). Somehow, when I pull the muscles, etc., by gently "hugging myself", I am obviously getting that disk away from the nerves it is pinching. I certainly could not do that with the arthritis. However, thoracic surgery involves getting near nerves that control many organs. My neurosurgeon does not touch those areas unless it is life threatening. I have had neck fusion at C5-6 in June 2000 amd decompression lumbar laminectomy at L4-5 in March 1993. Only recently have my feet been numb, so I'll bet the original disk bulge in L4-5 is bulging more. Please realize you are not alone in this. Take care, PatG