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Started pain in stomach like knots spreading to chest which felt tight. Now spreading to back. What is it?

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Practicing since : 1998
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Hi Dr,
About a week ago I started having some pain in my stomach and feeling like knots there. Then the pain spread to my chest and it felt tight and strange. Finally it has spread to my back and it sometimes is in my lower back and sometimes in the upper back. It seems to be only painful in one of the places at a time, going back from place to place. Can you give me any idea of what is going on? And is it possible to rule out anything serious? Thanks
Posted Fri, 5 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to health care magic.

You described sudden onset pain that keeps changing location - starting from the upper abdomen to chest and then to the back. This form of pain is generally not associated with serious medical disease. However as I do not have an opportunity to examine you, I would like you to rule out two important medical disease.

1. The first thing that comes to my mind is acid peptic disease. The pain that you are having could be referred pain. An endoscopy can be performed to confirm the diagnosis and medications that decrease the acid secretion like proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers will be helpful.

2. Another important problem that can mimic this presentation is ischemic heart disease. Your doctor will ask for a ECG after a physical examination. Further investigations may be ordered depending on the ECG findings.

I would encourage you to visit your local physician, discuss about your symptoms and about these possibilities. If needed, the aforementioned test can be ordered and treated accordingly.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications.
Take care.

Dr Y V Siva Sankara Murty,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Started pain in stomach like knots spreading to chest which felt tight. Now spreading to back. What is it? 1 hour later
Can I just provide some additional information that perhaps is relevant? I have noticed that during this week I've also been sleepier than usual, and having bowel movements more frequently. Also, about six months ago I had a fast heart beat, went to the hospital and got all the necessary tests including a ECG which all came back fine. Is this possibly related?
Lastly, is it absolutely necessary for me to get this checked up in person? Thanks
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 3 minutes later

Even though you complaints suggest that it could be only acid peptic disease I feel you should certainly get checked up once. If every thing is fine well, then you can be rest assured you are not dealing with a serious concern.

Please get yourself checked up once.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Started pain in stomach like knots spreading to chest which felt tight. Now spreading to back. What is it? 18 hours later
Hello Dr Murty,
I just went to see a doctor. He did a brief checkup and said he thought everything was fine but he booked me for an ultrasound for my gallbladder and that general area. He didn't mention the 2 possibilities you wrote above. Can you please comment on all this and should I bring up those two possibilities when I see a doctor for the results of the ultrasound? Thanks
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 2 hours later

So the physical examination findings may have suggested some thing related to the gall bladder (like acute cholecystitis or may be gall stones etc ). So he may have asked for a ultra sound. If every thing is normal on that ultra sound your doctor will naturally think of other possibilities (like what ever I mentioned). So do not worry regarding that part. If possible update me with the ultra sound report so that we can discuss the matter.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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