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  • Sternum/Chest Pain

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    Old 02-11-2014, 07:07 PM   #1
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    Sternum/Chest Pain

    I have had pain in my sternum off and on for about 2 months now. The pain isn't constant and is worse when I inhale deeply or move in certain ways. The pain isn't intense pain but is uncomfortable.

    I went to my primary care physician back in December and told her that I thought I was catching a cold (pain at that time felt like my lungs were filling due to a cold or something). She checked my lungs and my heart and said everything sound fine. She told me to monitor it but she didn't have any concern.

    A couple weeks ago, it started getting worse right before I went on vacation. I couldn't get into my PCP so I went to the CVS Minute Clinic. Again, she told me that my heart and lungs sounded fine and she thought I might have pleurisy. She told me to take lots of Ibuprofen while I was on my cruise to help with the inflammation.

    I just got back from vacation and the pain isn't any better. I went to immediate care tonight and she said that she thinks it's either GERD or I've pulled a muscle. She suggested that I go ahead and get a echocardiogram just for peace of mind though.

    I do have issues with anxiety and am not sure whether this could all be related to anxiety and that I don't have GERD, heart issues, pulled muscles, etc.

    I've also had a low-grade temperature off and on with the pain.

    Anxious to hear if any of you have any of these symptoms what you recommend.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Old 02-11-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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    Re: Sternum/Chest Pain

    It does sound like possible pleurisy, which does not always show up on any tests. I would think a complete blood count to check for infection, and a chest xray would be good to start. If you have a cough or shortness of breath, a check for possible blood clots could be done, and an echocardiogram to check for inflammation around the heart. Sed rate and CRP on blood would help identify inflammation in general, and an ANA might be needed if symptoms persist. Pleurisy is usually self limited, but 2 months is longer than usual for it to last. Anti-inflammatories usually give some relief, but may need to be taken regularly until the inflammation subsides.

    Old 02-11-2014, 11:42 PM   #3
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    Re: Sternum/Chest Pain

    My thought would be the possibility of pleurisy, or perhaps a compression fracture of your ribs? A strong bear hug can fracture ribs, especially if your bones are weak. I had that very thing happen to me a year ago. The pain sent me to the ER because it HURT to breathe. Tests showed the connective tissue separated from my sternum with the compression fracture of 2 ribs...just from a STRONG HUG from my nephew who had returned from Afghanistan.

    Please follow through until you get a definitive diagnosis. You shouldn't be suffering this way=)

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