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Arthritis and Chest\Shoulder Pain

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Old 07-14-2006, 01:40 AM   #1
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Arthritis and Chest\Shoulder Pain

I don't know if this is the right place to post this or not. I'm struggling to figure out what could be wrong with me.

Since March, I've been having ongoing episodes of severe, sharp pains in the upper left area of the my chest (next to my shoulder). I'm only 25 and don't have any heart problems, so I don't think it's a heart problem (and my doc agrees).

I do, however, have a rare, genetic disorder that causes early arthritis, the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I've had a lot of joint pain, dislocations, and other problems over the last several years. It's a lot more likely that my chest\shoulder pain is related to a muscular-skeletal problem than a heart or lung problem.

The pain is usually sharp and severe. It lasts for just a couple seconds, then goes away. It may happen several times a day, or just once a week. It's not worsed by exercise or even just lifting my arm. I can't bring the pain on. Sometimes, I have a dull, aching pain that lasts in the upper left area of my chest (from just below the breast to the neck\shoulder).

The pain is in the upper left area of my chest. It can be under my breast, more to the left side under the arm, or right where the chest, arm, and neck meet. And it's deep.

I asked my doctor about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, since I have cervical ribs, but he doesn't think that would cause pain so far from the neck. I've read about costochondritis, too, but that doesn't exactly fit since my pain is on the side, not the center part of the chest.

Any ideas what could be wrong? I've seen my doctor three times since this pain started, but he hasn't been too concerned about it and wanted to focus on how I'm recovering from some recent treatments for other joint problems. I went again this week hoping to get some answers, but he pretty much told me to just deal with it for now and come back in two months. I'm getting tired of waiting, and am debating seeing another doctor, but I don't know if I should see my primary physician, rheumatologist, upper extremity ortho, or something else (like a cardiologist or neurologist). Any ideas?

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Old 07-14-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: Arthritis and Chest\Shoulder Pain

Hello and welcome to the boards.
You did not indicate what type of EDS you have. Your problem could actually be stemming from the EDS itself. Are you actively seeing a geneticist for the EDS? If so I would talk to them about it, if not I would probably consider seeking one out. You could be having problems with your ribcage or you could be having problems with soft tissue and lungs or heart. It's hard to say and with not knowing which actual type of EDS you have it makes it even harder.

Unfortunately as you know EDS is not well known and most doctors are not even aware it exists. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 30. As a result it's caused a great deal of health problems outside of the dislocations and sublexations.


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