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How is chest pain under the left pectoral muscles treated ?

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I am 19 years old. i have had chest pain underneath my left pectoral for about 7 days, and sometimes the pain creeps its way up to my neck and left ear. what can this be? i am a college baseball player. some other symptoms include: lightheadedness, diarrhea, shortness of breath.
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 13 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
For a pain under the left pectoral with pain in neck and left ear three possibilities are coming to my mind, these include:
1)The first possibility is of pleuritis - You may have VIRAL BRONCHITIS. Your pain may be caused by PLEURISY, an irritation of the lining of the lung that is usually caused by a viral infection. Hard coughing may also cause pain in the muscles and chest wall. Drink plenty of fluids, and try cold medicines and/or anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve your symptoms. See your doctor if the pain continues for more than a few days or if you develop a fever.
2) The second possibility can be of myositis or muscle pull due to overuse of muscles. Mild antiinflammatory drugs and hot fomentation will help you.
3)The third possibility is of Peptic ulcer disease or Hiatal hernia. Diagnosis can be confirmed by upper GI endoscopy. Try raising the head of your bed about four inches with blocks. It also might help to avoid eating or drinking for two hours before you lie down. To help control the stomach acid, one should not drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them, or eat chocolate or spicy or greasy foods. Also take some antacid but if the symptoms are severe, then you may need drugs like proton pump inhibitors.
I suggest you to consult a physician and get these causes ruled out.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
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Follow-up: How is chest pain under the left pectoral muscles treated ? 2 hours later
i have already had these symptoms for a little over 2 weeks. i was diagnosed with altitude sickness while taking a trip to costa rica. i got back to chicago on the 28th of July. i was wondering if there is any possible way this could be related to heart problems or anything of that nature. im a very active person (college athlete). Im going for a echocardiogram in 2 days. could this tell me more?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 13 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.

Mild persistent chest pains are less likely to be due to cardiac reasons. Going for an ECG will clear your doubts.

Associated shortness of breath is suggestive of viral bronchitis.

It can also be a muscular pain. The most common cause of this type of pain is a minor bruise of the rib.

This could occur with even minor trauma what you might not remember in the recent past.

The pain generally will slowly improve over a period of about two weeks.

You could try applying hot fomentation and taking two tablets of ibuprofen three times a day for the next five days to see if this makes any kind of significant difference.

Avoid doing exercises or playing for a few days till the pain relieves.

Wishing you an early recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is chest pain under the left pectoral muscles treated ? 46 hours later
i also wanted to let you know that the chest pain/discomfort usually comes around the time i am doing, or just got doing any type of physical activity. (or it comes as the day goes by). also, i have had diarrhea for the past 2-3 weeks or so. im not sure if that has anything to do with it or not? so once again, here are my SYMPTOMS: pain (discomfort) in left pectoral that sometimes creeps up to the shoulder and neck and sometimes mid-chest, diarrhea, tiredness after short physical activity, light headedness. also i forgot to mention that i am 5'10 and weigh 280lbs. my coaches are suggesting that some of this may be because i am over weight. although, i do have a lot of muscle.

thank you for everything. it just scares me because im not used to this type of feeling, i went in for the ECG today and should have my results tomorrow.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 24 minutes later

Thanks again.

Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of a heart problem. However I think (based on the history) the chance that this could be a heart ailment is less likely.

Apart from the previous conditions that I mentioned electrolyte imbalance also needs to be looked at. Diarrheal episodes can induce electrolyte imbalance producing all these symptoms.

For symptomatic relief, you should take a rest whenever you feel such a pain and have an electrolyte XXXXXXX drink to balance any electrolyte imbalance.

Proper and detailed investigations under the guidance of your physician will help you in treating the symptoms completely.

Take care and Regards.

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