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I've been having minor pain in mid back on left

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Posted on Sun, 10 Mar 2019
Question: I've been having minor pain in mid back on left side between the bottom two ribs. I can typically pinpoint the spot (size of a quarter). I'm a 61-yr. old, very active, non-smoker runner who does occasional weight training, so I'm used to normal aches/pains of muscular variety. This seems different; it's been noticeable on and off for a few weeks, but daily for past 4-5 days. I don't remember any injury, although it does seem to bother me more after I lift weights. Able to run 3 miles easily, with no pain. I notice it more when I'm not active; pain does not wake me up at night. Saw my family doc, who prescribed Prednisone, which helped somewhat. Sent me for X-rays yesterday. Test results show a "small, not impressive, asymetric density (could be confluence of vascular/bone) in lower left chest. Could be shadow of nipple". I've also had prior Whipple surgery, so they noted some artifacts from that. Suggested I get CT scan as a precaution, or follow up in 3 months with another X-ray. Scheduled for CT tomorrow. Whatever this is apparently isn't hugely urgent, but I"m wondering what it could be, and how much I should worry.
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Answered by Dr. Olgeta Xhufka (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Probably costochondritis.

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear, welcome to Ask a doctor service.
I read your query and here is my advice.

According to the symptoms you refer most probably it is costochondritis, an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone, or sternum. If you press the point with your fingers you may feel pain by compression and this can confirm it.
Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually goes away without treatment. The cause is usually unknown, but may happen from increased activity involving the arms that's why you refer to have more pain during physical activity.

This is the most probable condition causing your symptoms anyway the MRI will differentiate the condition.

Hope I have answered the question.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Olgeta Xhufka

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 6915 Questions

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I've been having minor pain in mid back on left

Brief Answer: Probably costochondritis. Detailed Answer: Hello dear, welcome to Ask a doctor service. I read your query and here is my advice. According to the symptoms you refer most probably it is costochondritis, an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone, or sternum. If you press the point with your fingers you may feel pain by compression and this can confirm it. Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually goes away without treatment. The cause is usually unknown, but may happen from increased activity involving the arms that's why you refer to have more pain during physical activity. This is the most probable condition causing your symptoms anyway the MRI will differentiate the condition. Hope I have answered the question. Let me know if I can assist you further.