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Smoking and getting pain under ribs and shoulder blade. Throat is cracking along with stiff neck. What could it be?

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Practicing since : 2009
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hi, my husband is 47 and a smoker and been getting a pain under his ribs an shoulder blade for years.but over time is stops and reacurs at some point. however he has started getting a really sore throat he says it feels like his throat is cracking along with a stiff neck. he does get acid reflux and also has a highitas hernia
Posted Mon, 18 Nov 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Sore throat=acid reflux; pain=gastric conditions?

Detailed Answer:
Hello ma'am and welcome.

Thank you for writing in.

First of all ma'am, symptoms of acid reflux are the following:
-Burning sensation in chest
-Sore throat
-Chest pain
-Difficulty swallowing
-Dry cough
-Sensation of something stuck in throat
-Hoarseness of voice
-Regurgitation of food
So as you can see from the above listed symptoms, the sore throat is solely due to the acid reflux ma'am. For this, I would first advise you to request him to strictly discontinue smoking, and secondly, to take your husband to your doctor and initiate medication to reduce acid production.

As for the pain under the ribs and shoulder blade, this could be associated with a number of gastric conditions, including hiatus hernia, but we cannot assume this without further investigating. If you do not mind me asking ma'am, is sir (your husband) on any medications?

In my opinion, if I were your husband's doctor I would advise an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) to look into sirs food pipe, stomach and small intestines; as the location of the pain would indicate an abnormality in these parts. If all other conditions have been ruled out, we can attribute the cause to be the hiatus hernia, and accordingly treat it.

I hope you found my response both helpful and informative ma'am. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications or information, I would be more than happy to help you. Also, please try your best to make your husband quit smoking, as the acid reflux and hiatus hernia are aggravated by this.

Best wishes.
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Follow-up: Smoking and getting pain under ribs and shoulder blade. Throat is cracking along with stiff neck. What could it be? 31 minutes later
Hi , thanks for your reply, no he is on no medication at all.He says that when he swollows it feels like his throat is cracking.So would the pain in his shoulder be related to the acid reflux as well. thanks
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes it could be; but is non-specific

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again ma'am.

Yes ma'am, the pain in the shoulder, below the rib cage and back, can also be related to the acid reflux, but as mentioned earlier, this is a non-specific symptom. It can be seen in many other conditions, some more serious than acid reflux.

Which is why I would advise both an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) and an EKG (ECG) of the heart.

Hope this helps ma'am. Please feel free to write to me if anything is unclear or if you need more information ma'am, I would be more than happy to help.

God bless.
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