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Have tenderness below sternum, heartburn, chest pressure. Have COPD

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Practicing since : 1962
Answered : 693 Questions
I have a very tender place when touching under my sternum, between ribs. It hurts the most between the bones. It appears to be a bit swollen, but I'm not sure (maybe fat). Lots of days I wake up with heartburn in the morning. I feel like I swallowed a chicken bone all day long. If i sit slumped a little bit, it feels like there is pressure on my chest. I have COPD, so could this be part of it. I see a pumonologist on August 16th.
Posted Sat, 25 Aug 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 2 hours later
You told us that you have been dignosed with COPD.
I assume that you are or were a heavy smoker.
Lot of medications that are used to help breathing
like inhalers, especially that contain cortisone can
affect the acidity of the stomach and cause irritation
of the lining of the stomach and esophagus. If the pain
is right on the bone at the end of the breast bone
(Xyphoid ) it may be due to inflammation of that
piece of the cartilage. Try rubbing some pain killing
cream or ointment like Aspercrem or icyhot.
You should be on some acid controlling medication
as well such as Omeprazole on a daily basis.
Wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have tenderness below sternum, heartburn, chest pressure. Have COPD 3 hours later
Thank you for your answer. I suppose that is also why it feels like I have something tight around my neck to. No I was not a heavy smoker. Lots of second hand smoke growing up. I reread your response to me. The discomfort is below the breast bone. It feels like it is in the hollow space between the ribs. When I press on the ribs themselves, they are tender though, but otherwise I am not aware of discomfort in the ribs
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 10 hours later
Yes, that is the srea of the tip of the catilage called Xiphoid.
That can get irritated from repeated coughing etc.
I am glad you have a followup with your pulmonologist.
He can check that spot also.
Wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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