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Chest pain after physical activity, around rib cage. High cholesterol, had ulcers. Heart trouble?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10460 Questions
My main concern is the pain I tend to get off and on around both my rib cages. I am a 67 female who is basically in good health and very active. I work on a small farm i own every month and own a little business that requires me to carry a case to do service work which weighs maybe 10 or more pounds. I enjoy a drink with friends over dinner or have one or two drinks often in the evening to unwind and take no medication, although my cholesterol is high. I tend to eat relatively well and I drink enough water and about two or three cups of coffee a day and a glass of milk each day. Several years ago I went to the ER with chest pain, but once they checked out my heart they paid little attention to anything else. The pain tends to get rather intense for a week or more and can be localized on either side of the rib cage. Usually there is soreness when I touch my rib muscles. Massages that I tend to get every month seem to help. I do not like ice, but have tried a heating pad which seems to help. I did have ulcers when I was young and sometimes I take a pepcid in the evening after eating sometimes, but seldom eat meat. I am a little over wight -188 pounds, but tend to be very active moving, cleaning, lifting, walking during the day. My fingers are slightly deformed from athritis, but the pain that bothers me is the soreness around my ribs.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

You have provided an accurate and detailed history regarding your problem. From the description it seems that you are having a muscular pain on both sides of the rib cage and it is not subsiding due to lack of proper rest.

The main thing in healing any muscle injury is adequate rest.

An absolute NO to lifting or carrying any weights.
Try to rest on your back instead of lying on a side.

Right now you can start taking Tablet Tylenol ( Acetaminophen) Double Strength after breakfast and after dinner. You can also take calcium supplements 500mg each twice daily. This will take care of your symptoms in 3-5 days.

Hot fomentation and local analgesic gels will also help in relieving the pain. You should do hot fomentation at least twice daily followed by applying local analgesic gels.
This has to be continued for at least 15 days for a complete relief.

In case the symptoms aggravate then you need to consult your orthopedician for proper investigations and stronger prescription medicines.

I hope this answers your query effectively.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
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