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Chest pain, shoulder stiffness, taken antibiotics for cold, had asthma during cold.

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I have been experiencing pressure/dull pain in my lung area (chest) when I take XXXXXXX breaths accompanied by stiffness in my shoulder and left upper side of chest (for 5 days). I had a cold for 10 days and am on my 3rd day of antibiotics and the symptoms are still present. At times I think it is a muscle strain but it is definitely a pressure/dull ache/pain in the lungs when I take a really XXXXXXX breath in. I also had mild asthma during my cold and when I went to urgent care last week she said there I sounded tight in the chest. My nose is now completely clear and I have no asthma symptoms. I am a healthy 38 year old woman.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Chest pain on XXXXXXX breathing not improving on antibiotics could be due to Viral bronchitis , Pneumonitis Or Pleuritis. The pain usually increases on XXXXXXX breaths and is associated with symptoms like cough, expectoration of mucus or purulent sputum, etc in such cases. Hard coughing may cause pain in the muscles and chest wall.

Drink plenty of fluids, and try medicines for cold like Benadryl and/or anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen to relieve your symptoms. You can continue taking the antibiotic to avoid super added bacterial infection.

Steam inhalation is the gold standard in such cases. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for better relief.

If your symptoms do not improve after these modifications then you need to follow up with your physician for a reevaluation.

I hope this answers your query effectively.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: Chest pain, shoulder stiffness, taken antibiotics for cold, had asthma during cold. 8 hours later
Thanks for your help. Could this be the cause of occasional tickling on the left side of my chest as well as tightness when I inhale? Could that also be the cause for the soreness in my muscles on left side (neck and shoulder)? The symptoms are more noticeable than they were on Friday but not too extreme...I am still feeling quite well. Not really fatigued and am not coughing or wheezing. Not sure if I should force a chest x-tray. I feel like my doctor will just tell me to wait it out.

Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

Viral chest infection can cause chest tightness on inhaling. The stress of coughing might cause soreness of muscles of neck and shoulder that you are feeling.

Chest X-ray is not going to help you much with the diagnosis. You must wait for your symptoms to improve.

Hope my answer is helpful.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Chest pain, shoulder stiffness, taken antibiotics for cold, had asthma during cold. 2 days later
Thank you. I did get a chest x-ray and it was negative. My nurse said that it was a good thing but to me I am still questioning what is going on. I feel like some of the soreness is migrating to my back a little more but it is all confined to the area where a seatbelt would be if one was driving a car-where the belt would be on the chest and the back. Could this be a pulled muscle of some sort? If so, it has not gotten any better but the intensity of the soreness has stayed somewhat similar for the last 2 or 3 days. Other than that, I am still experiencing a clear nasal passage and just a little coughing/congestion in the morning. Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Nice to talk to you again.

It is comforting that your chest X-ray was normal.

Everything you describe here sounds like mostly a benign type of viral syndrome. Viruses in the environment are common and when we are exposed to them they can sometimes trigger a constellation of symptoms. These types of viral syndromes typically last from as little as 3 days up to sometimes 4 to 6 weeks.

I would advise that you support your body with good hydration, adequate sleep, a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise regimen. Exercise is actually good for the immune system which is why I suggest it here. In addition you can supplement your diet with some Vitamin C - 1000 mg daily. It is an over the counter medicine. Consider drinking some immune boost type of tea such as Echinacea which is readily available at most supermarkets.

I expect your symptoms to gradually level off and improve over the next week or two.
Be in regular touch with your physician in case your symptoms deteriorate.

Take care.
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