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Old 07-16-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Pain on far left side of my chest

I don't really know what to think of this. I know that any pain is a sign of something not functioning like it should, but I don't know if what I have going on is something to be deeply concerned about or something that is harmless and I can not worry about.

For about a week or so, I have been experiencing a dull ache on the left side of my chest, and even then...it isn't even necessarily my chest that hurts. The little area between my breast and my armpit is where I feel the pain, although sometimes it will migrate to the right side of my actual chest.

I felt this exact same thing last summer when my breathing problems started (they are still undiagnosed), and my doctor said that I most likely pulled some sort of muscle in my arm and doing so can hurt very much and it is often mistaken for a heart problem. I should point out that I have had no heart problems before and my heart rate is normal (78 bpm), and I am not experiencing worsened breathing problems.

Has anyone ever felt this kind of pain before? I'd like to imagine that if it was a heart issue that it would hurt more near where my heart actually is (in the center of my chest or a little bit to the left), instead of way off to the side of my chest and practically under my arm.

 
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:45 AM   #2
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Have you made an appointment with your doc yet? Could be simple but no use worrying to much untill you go in for tests. Remember it may be something simple like acid reflux or something else. But at any rate it may be a good idea to go in and let your doc check things out.

 
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Go figure - as if on cue, some time after I made my initial post, I am experiencing an odd pain (more like a feeling of something heavy on my chest) in the middle of my chest as well as that pain under my arm. Very strange. I am going to give my doctor a call and see if the meds I a currently on have anything to do with it (doubtful since chest pain is not a side effect of these meds and I have been on them for about two weeks and this chest pain just started recently). I have also gathered that staph infections can cause chest pain, and while my current infection is not untreated (I am just on my second round of possibly unsuccessful antibiotics), I will see if my doctor expresses major concern and will go to the local ER (or acute care clinic, if there is one) if I need to.

I had this the same time last summer, so I am wondering if it is somehow seasonal. If this is because of the staph infection, then it must be quite a massive infection because the meds I am currently on are often used to treat the more resistant strains of the staph bacteria.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 03:49 PM   #4
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

I have chronic chest wall pain under my right collarbone. I hurts when I breathe which the doctors say is impossible. I had pneumonia 5 years ago and the pain never went away.

Another possbility is costochondritis, an inflammation of the ribs which can come and go. It's definitely worth a trip to the doctor to find out. Good luck.~Mush
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undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

 
Old 07-17-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

I talked to my doctor and she didn't sound exceptionally concerned about the chest pain. She said that since I had this in the summer last year, it may be allergy-related and to try taking some Claritin, but to definitely see someone if it worsens or gets unbearable. Right now, I just feel a little ache when I take deep breaths.

If it gets bad or doesn't go away for a long time, I'll go and see someone. But thank you all for your advice. It's hard to keep my cool when my chest is hurting (which I know is a symptom associated with very serious conditions).

 
Old 07-17-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Have they tried giving you albuteral inhalers? My daughter is asthmatic and she has not your typical symptoms and as soon as we give her the inhaler her pain goes away. Just a thought.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

My son is also asthmatic and does the same as Pepper's daughter.

They tried inhalers with me and all they did was make me super, super jittery.

Good luck and let us know what happens.~Mush
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

123dietdrpepper and trowftd3,

I have tried albuterol inhalers because my primary doctor (the one I spoke to is my ENT) thought I had asthma too. But albuterol never helped me at all - it had no effect, positive or negative. And a methacholine test showed I do not have asthma.

 
Old 07-18-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

I am not sure but thought I would put my 2 cents in, I started the same with breathing problems, dxed asthma on & off then came the chest pain on & off then went into arm, ribs & so on over time. The breathing scared the day lights out of me since not much helped. After all the pain & being scared to death over the years we are now looking into spinal issues. For years I was treated & tested for things that I never had & left to suffer even told it was in my head. Had EMS & doctors think I was having a heartattack but I am assuming it was from the pain & anxiety of not being able to breathe.
So many causes & I wish for badly that I would have been taken seriously years ago. Mine came & went in the beginning. Now I have permanant damage. So please consider all the different things including spinal that could be causing this, & dont let it go. trust me everytime Ive thought it could not get worse it did & does. Pain that I never know existed. I hate to see anyone go through what I did & am. Good luck & please keep us informed. Sammy

 
Old 07-18-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

So, Sammy, do you still have pain when breathing? My pm doc said the last resort for me was a discogram but he's not sure which disc and he refuses to do it because he said it would hurt me more than help me.~Mush
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:47 AM   #11
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Yes, I do, mostly around my monthly. Was into PCPs for it awhile back. According to her it was most likly worse due to additional fluid retention & she stated the weather could not be helping. She made the statement that alot of women dont realize how much fluid they can retain around that time. It will also act up if I over due it. Which is the case at this time with work.
In the beginning I had the problem on a daily basis, just could not get enough air in on inhalation, no matter what. scrared the daylights out of me. I can feel the left chest wall just get hard & feels inflammed. Both PTs noted it. funny because the doctors always ignored it & it was & is the worst thing to deal with out of all of this. It will just have this pulsating throb, spasms. The left chest area & ribs are not an area you want alot of pain in. Due to the fact it goes into the left arm & at times up the neck I told my husband I would never know it if I were having a heartattack.
Its not worth letting any doctor shove this aside because its not cardiac or they dont think its life threatening. This is the worst thing to deal with & scared the daylights out of you. I sure wish someone would have continued to look into the spine area to begin with instead of blowing it off. That is why I posted, do not let it go. I am praying that all these ESIs & perhaps a rhizotomy will give me some relief in that area. This is the one area that scares me & holds me back from being able to live a more normal life. I truely would hate to see anyone else walk in my shoes. Sammy

 
Old 07-19-2008, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Forgive my ignorance, but what does one's spinal column have to do with breathing?

Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a back roblem with me. My back has had some sort of stiffness or aching in it for years. I need to crack my spine numerous times a day to feel a tiny amount of relief. It's not horrid pain, but just a little stiffness in my back and neck. I have no idea why. I'd get it fixed, but I am afraid of going to a chiropractor...I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and all it took was one story about someone who ended up paralyzed from the waist by the hands of an inept professional to make me swear off chiropractors.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Have you had a spirometry exam? If your breathing is truly messed up it could be another issue but your back could be contributing to the pain.
My docs say that there is nothing wrong with my breathing even though it hurts when I breathe and I'm in more pain and short of breath if I do anything.
One idea is a disc in my neck(or upper back....c-4,c-5 or t-something) is damaged and causing a nerve to transfer pain around to my chest. If you can find nothing else it might be worth looking into. Although I can't give you much hope. My doc who is the head of his department at a major hospital and university had never seen anything like it and claims to have asked every doc he knows and ......no luck.

I hope you find out what is going on. Please keep posting. This is a great place for support and I may learn something new from your search!!~Mush
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:01 AM   #14
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

I am not a doctor but trust me when I say I think when it comes to the spine its about as complex as you can get. In my case I have alot of inflammation & inflammation in the right place can indeed cause problems with breathing.
I am living proof of that. Keep in mind there can be more then one thing going on, & doctors tend to get foucsed on one potential cause & problem & that can prolong getting a correct diagnosis. Mush is right, have you had any breathing tests? Although I failed some & passed others, so go figure that one out. At this time, I have in all probabilty muscle damage & spinal problems, but the damage is from being misdiagnosed for so long, because it went untreated. If I am not mistaken there have been others with problems with breathing & chest pain to spinal invovlment. It can get confusing, even more so when doctors cant or answer you questions incorrectly.
In fact I am seeing more people complain about chest pain & spinal problems then when I first came on the boards. I felt like a freak (as my friend marcia would say) when I first came on here. My PM has even went over how the spine can cause chest pain, I believe primarily the thoracic area.
As I have said a million times I would never have let this go if I could go back again, but I allowed the doctors to push it aside & for that I will pay the rest of my life. I am really curious to see how it goes with you. Just stay on top of it & dont let any doctor ignore or not take you seriously. Sammy

 
Old 07-20-2008, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Pain on far left side of my chest

Hey there, just thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in and totally agree with everyone else. Your spine has everything to do with it because that is where the nerves that feed your major organs etc come from - especially in the thoracic area. I have a crushed T8 nerve on the right side (has been operated on) and it gives me shooting pains constantly, worse when I breathe. I also get pain right in the centre of my stomach and sometimes a heaviness in my chest and right chest spasms...then, from the stress, i get anxiety and the breathing gets worse. Different injuries will present differently - I've a dodgy disk in my neck which causes numbness and weakness in my left hand, but no pain. It's a complicated thing and probably only something a dr can dx - though as Sammy says, this isn't always easier. If drs had dx'd my injury correctly earlier, I wouldn't have permanent damage that causes me permanent pain. In their defense, it didn't show up on MRI properly (hidden by a rib) and the full extent of damage was only found during surgery.
I hope you find some relief soon...if not, pls keep searching. Good luck.

 
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