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Getting pain in back muscle. Pain has started spreading. What is going on?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1019 Questions
My left start of my body, from left of the nipple, to the left back muscles started aching a few days ago, but would be less waking up in the AM especially if I did not sleep on my left side. Then it would worsen in the day. Now it has spread to my right side.

What is going on?
Posted Tue, 16 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 4 hours later

Thanks for the query.

It is likely that you are suffering from muscle strain and with no history of trauma nor sudden and acute on set, it is possible it’s due to a chronic cause. This could result from undue pressure on muscle even during the course of normal activities or at night depending on the sleeping position, you adopt.

Rest, adopting new sleeping positions and lifestyle modification usually would do for mild to moderate forms. In people with no known digestive ulcer problems or kidney problems, anti-inflammatory drugs could be taken to lessen the pain. Use of ice to apply on the affected area is also beneficial.

Sensation of muscle ache could also indicate other causes; stress, viral infection etc. Having the impression of not wanting to get up in the morning, difficulty falling asleep in the night could all indicate that there is an underlying stress. Presence of congested nostrils, nasal discharge or cough or low-grade fever, watery stools could indicate a viral infection, which within a few days should clear off.

So what I will advise you to do while assuming it’s a muscle strain will be

-have more rest
-adopt comfortable sleeping positions
-avoid straining the muscles ( e.g lifting heavy load, doing vigorous exercises etc)
-you might consider to take some acetaminophen to relieve the pain if the pain is really uncomfortable
-apply some ice regularly
-if you are stress up, you should get yourself occupied with reading, or movies or games etc
If the pains persist after a couple of days, then you might consider seeing a doctor for a detail examination.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have further queries, I will be ready to help. If you do not have further queries, you could close the discussion and rate the answer.

Best regards and hope this helps you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting pain in back muscle. Pain has started spreading. What is going on? 15 hours later
At 3am this morning, I called my doctor's emergency help number and they suggested I go to the ER. I arrived at the Brigham and Women's ER (Boston) at about 3:45am and was discharged at about 4:15pm today. They performed ECG, constant BP monitoring, CBC, coagulation studies, chemistry studies, x-ray and nuclear stress test (MIBI Cardiac SPECT 1 Study also called Tc-99m Sestamibi Stress-only SPECT protocol), getting my heart beat up to 169 bpm and bp of 160/80. They, in consultation with my cardiologist, wanted to be sure I wasn't having a heart attack. They found no signs of cardiac or pulmonary issues and stated that the problem could be musculo-skeletal and that I needed to follow-up immediately with my cardiologist for continuing follow-up, such as maybe a Holter or event monitor because of my supraventricular/ventricular tachycardia/cardiac ablation history, all of which took place about 3 or 4 yrs ago.

Thank you,
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 3 hours later
Thanks once more for writing and really appreciate you for being so verse and updated with your medical history. Also am glad your work ups also came back clean. But then as you said, you will need to be followed up regularly by your cardiologist and follow the few steps I listed in my first response.
I really hope you find great relief with them.
If you do not have any more questions, you could close the discussion and rate the answer.
Best regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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