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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What can cause severe tightness and clinching feeling in the upper left side of the abdomen and chest along with muscle weakness?

Answered by
Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 1929 Questions

Posted on Thu, 4 Oct 2018 in Abdominal Pain
Question: really bad tightness anf clinching feeling on whole left side of abdomen, upper left ribs anf chest when tilting my head downward. and sometimes muscle weakness.
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Needs EKG, ultrasound abdomen and X-ray abdomen erect spine.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in the best way possible. First of all, it's sad to know what you had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, though it most likely seems to be of musculoskeletal in origin however other possibilities with the left abdominal pain of upper areas and chest should be ruled out like stomach related including peptic ulcer and gastritis etc., however, these are not usually varying with the posture as you described.

A baseline ultrasound abdomen to look for underlying structures for any spleen related issue or enlargement of spleen etc should be ruled out and a careful abdominal examination will be needed to be carried out at least by your primary care physician.

The radiation to the chest also increases the need to be worked up to rule out heart-related causes so a baseline EKG and if needed echocardiogram may also be needed. If it's related to some shortness of a breath or a dry cough, a chest X-ray to lungs related issues will be done.

These are most of the possibilities relating to your symptoms however since these are so generalised that narrowing it down to a single one needs to rule out each one as with sequence as we discussed.

The most likely possibility is still of muscular and meanwhile, OTC analgesics like Acetaminophen along with muscle relaxants like Orphenadrine or Tizanidine may be started.

Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope this has answered your query. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 1 hour later
wow thank you so much for this explanation. ive also had some other symptoms. ive been having gurgling and rumbling sensations in the chest but that could be from mu stomach and ive also have had a tingling and buzzing sensation in my left pinky finger when i look downward. and also when i look downward i can feel that whole left abdomen tightness and tension travel down to my left quad muscle
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Stomach issues and cervical rib should both be ruled out.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, those gurgling etc favors more towards stomach but both can occur simultaneously with musculoskeletal pain. Using Motility agents like Domperidone etc. can help to mediate such exaggerated bowel movements. If symptoms persist and all other tests are unremarkable, endoscopy may also be needed to rule out any a hiatal hernia or structural lesion.

The feelings in the pinky finger with head movements can be due to cervical outlet syndrome or something pressing upon the nerves supply to the arm and hand and in some cases, an extra pair of ribs are present in the cervical region by birth and may cause the same symptoms so should be ruled out.

Hope this helps your query.

Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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