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Sternum pain, back pain, rib pain, chronic condition. Treatment ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I seem to always have sternum pain in my chest and back pain with the exact same ribs connect to sternum and back. It has been going on for about 10 years. I had a EP study ablation 10 years ago. I am now 33 years old, 5'10" and weigh 165lb. I have PVC's every now and then too. I do notice caffeine and lack of sleep bring it on. I do not smoke, or do drugs, and i have not even drank alcohol in months. i have had MRI's, PT, Chiropractic care numerous times, massage therapy quite regularly but nothing will get my old self back. I have not been pain free in 10 years. My posture is not bad but it is not perfect but i have been working on that as well and still no signs of relief for me and as i get older i feel it is only going to debilitate me more. Sometimes i feel like a "rib" is out in my back that if it just got pushed back into place it would feel better, but chiro never does it or they said i dont have a rib "out"PLEASE HELP IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING TREATABLE. Im not stressed. I have a good job, go to school part time, and not in any debt, and am a very happy person. Only thing that brings me down is this agonizing pain in chest/rib wall and mid back area. people have said i have angina, costochondritis, fibromyalgia, etc. and my back crunches, pops alot right around the area where it hurts inbetween my shoulder blades, but is not typically painful. MRI reading said noting serious just really mild arthritis but nothing to be concerned about at my age. Again Id love some help on this
Wed, 23 May 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 43 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Chronic pains are generally hard to treat. It is difficult to point a clear diagnosis without physical examination.

It is wise to rule out certain medical conditions such as cardiac pain, gastritis / esophageal inflammation completely. I also hope neurological pain (paraesthesia) is probed for as a cause here.

Since MRI and all other reports are suggestive of arthritis, a few measures that may be useful are as follows:

1.If the cause of such prolonged pain is a muscular - try taking some good muscle relaxants like thiocolchicoside with the routine painkillers you take. I am not sure if muscle relaxants are over the counter at your locality. You could perhaps check with the local chemist. Else you may need prescription. Along with it, do hot fomentation and apply a local analgesic gel on the area.

2.Avoid sleeping on a soft mattress which do not give good support to your back.

3. Avoid weight lifting.

4. Some simple back pain exercises.They will help to strengthen the muscles and improve the stability of the spine.

5. If none of the above measures are helpful, pain specialist have used low dose tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentins or other anticonvulsants for modifying the intensity of perceived pain. This is also an option available which can be tried. Discuss with your doctors to prescribe the medications if needed

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

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