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Rib, chest, arm pain, chest wall pain. X-ray normal, ECG showed heart racing. Would a chiropractor help ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10359 Questions

I've had rib pain, arm and chest pain for over 12 months now. I've been to the doctor 3 times, had an x-ray which showed nothing, ECG which they said my heart was racy but normal - I'm in constant pain but do not like taking anything - The Doctor said it was just chest wall pain/muskelatal. The physio did nothing - Would a chiropractioner help? I also cannot sleep on my ribs and when I do my heart starts racing again. Thanks for your help!
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

A pain in rib, chest and arm for over 12 months constantly without any detectable abnormality in X-ray and ECG might be due to inflammation of costochondral joints.

It happens mostly due to a genetic predisposition. There are some autoimmune disorders also which need to be ruled out for their association like- fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis reactive arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease).

I hope you are not having any problems related to any other joint pains and bowel movements.

Pain killers, antiinflammatory drugs- steroids and lidocaine patch are the main treatments. You need discuss all options available with your orthopedician for proper treatment.

You also need to rule out cervical spondylosis and any breast pathology or axillary lymphadenopathy after a proper examination.

A chiropractor is also not likely to help you. You need to consult an orthopedician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Meanwhile doing a hot compresses will be useful pain relieving measure. You may apply a local analgesic gel on that area.

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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