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Have chest pain, back pain, neck pain. History of anxiety and panic attacks. Had back treatment done

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2305 Questions
Hi, I'm, 30 and I occasionally and by occasionally I mean maybe once a day since last week if that and I get this chest pain type thing, its not stabbing or burning, its more of an ache, sometimes it can feel like a dull throbbing pain, it feels muscular I thought this was either due to my back as there is a pain in exactly the same spot in my back or my caffine intake. Its located on the left hand side of my breast kind of where the underwire finishes.

I have a chronicly bad back and neck and the pain only started when i had thrown my back out, I have recently had my back put back into place which seemed to ease it but it is still there. I am also a light smoker (only about 5-10 a day) but I am trying to quit. I have also suffered from anxiety and panic attacks in the past. Am I going to die?
Posted Sat, 10 Aug 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad 13 minutes later

I understand your concern. Chest pain that occur out of blue always tests the nerves of most of my patients. There is immense panic that arises from these complaints. But let me assure you, the occasional dull ache that you get once in a while does not sound to be a serious concern. It does not seem to be related to any organic medical problem. Nevertheless a few conditions that you can consider at the cause are:
1. As the location is close to the where the underwire finishes, pressure and irritation from this material can cause a dull pain. Try loose fitting clothing or an alternative body wear and see if you feel any difference.
2. I see that you are a light smoker and caffeine consumer too. In the back ground of smoking/and caffeine the possibility of gastritis and GERD needs to be considered. Though you do not describe the classical symptoms, gastritis and GERD is always there in the list of common causes of chest pain.
3. Anxiety and panic attacks always flare up mild complaints into severe ones. As you have history of anxiety, it may be possible that the pain that you feel isn’t as serious as you perceive. Managing anxiety and panic attacks adequately with help of your doctor can solve issues with pain too.
4. Lastly, smoking does changes in lung and pleural wall structures. We can X-ray the lungs to see if any such changes are noted.

Lastly, though the pain does sound concerning to you, I don’t think you will die of it. Try to quit smoking at the earliest and you should be able to live healthy and normal life for years to come.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have chest pain, back pain, neck pain. History of anxiety and panic attacks. Had back treatment done 13 hours later
Thankyou for your answer, Just letting you know I found the cause of it. I was abused as a child and due to that suffer from an extremely bad back and what casue it was my spine (the thoracic part) since I have had it manipulated yesterday there has been no pain what so ever and the first good night sleep where i havent woken up in pain in over 2 weeks.

Your reply was much nicer than the first, when I wrote that I was very worried and scared and for the other doctor to say I sound mentally disturbed really upset me when all i was asking for was some advice.

the alternative body wear is a bit hard to do as I am a 14G so I need the extra support but I will try and find something. :)

I now know that when I got the pain It did make me very anxious and scared which caused the pain to be worse ( growing up I was a quite bad hypochondriac ) which I grew out of but when I got the pain on my left side all I could think about was a heart attack which caused me to freak out a litle bit.

As for the smoking part, I am trying to quit.. I have gone from a pack a day to 5-10 a day so hopefully soon it will be down to nothing :)
Thankyou for your time :)

Answered by Dr. Prasad 7 hours later
I appreciate your feedback.

Glad to know that the pain is much better now and you were able to have a good night sleep. I am sure with proper sleep you will definitely feel much better - physically and psychologically.

Interesting to know that pain was related to thoracic spine. We do read and see patients with thoracic spine problem complaining of radiating pain from the back (in the line of intercostal nerves). I shall review and check if such occasional localized pain is associated with spine issues.

I understand the trauma you may have been subjected too. But it is important that you look into the positives of life ahead and move on. I always believe and advise my patients that a good sleep and regular meals can help you handle physical as well as mental stressors. Practice them regularly and do visit your clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist regularly to keep anxiety and panic attacks at bay.

As far as smoking is concerned, if you wish to quit smoking and do not want to go back to it, then quitting it cold XXXXXXX is much better than gradual reduction. You can try alternatives such as nicotine supplements or e-cigarette if stopping it completely is a problem.

I hope you find my advice helpful. Thanks once again for giving me this opportunity. Wish you good luck!!

You can remember me if you need health advice in future. If all your concerns are addressed for now, I request you to close this discussion and leave your feed backs.

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