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Experiencing chest pain while sitting or lying down. What could be causing this?

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
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My son is 18 years old and has been experiencing chest pain on the left side for months. It has progressively worsened and is now radiating down his left arm. The weird thing is that it only happens when he is sitting still or lying down. If he is moving around, he doesnt have the discomfort. Any ideas on what it could be? We have an appointment with our family doctor today and I just want to know what I should be asking, etc.
I did fail to mention that my son is otherwise in extremely good health. He eats foods that are good for you, drinks no sodas, runs cross country, and track. If anything, I do worry that he is too thin. He is 6 ft tall and weighs under 135 lbs. He wears a 28 waist and 32 length in pants....he is so thin it is difficult to find clother=s that fit him
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 9 minutes later

Thank you for posting your query.

First of all, I would like to reassure you that your son is not suffering from any serious illness.

There are two likely possibilities:

1. Cervical disc disease with radiculopathy- in this condition, one of the nerves originating from the cervical region travelling to arms is compressed due to disc bulge, and it leads to pain in the arm, neck, chest, etc.

2. Costo chondritis- this occurs due to inflammation of costo-chondral junction, located on the sides of middle of chest (between sternum bone and rib cage), most often left upper chest wall. In this condition, pain may increase on XXXXXXX pressure too.

Both these conditions are easily treatable with medications and exercises.

Your family doctor after physical examination would be in a better position to correctly identify the underlying cause.

Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology)
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