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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes back pain radiating through chest?

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Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 2921 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 30 Oct 2015 in General Health
Question: My husband has pain starting like a cramp in his back and going thru to the front. He is trembling and is sick to the stomach. He says he hurts everywhere and didn't sleep all night. Any idea what this could be?
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Answered by Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Workup required to determine cause

Detailed Answer:
Hello and Welcome

I appreciate your concern

Back pain radiating to the front indicates a spine problem. An EKG should be done primarily to rule out a cardiac cause as atypical presentations can occur with M.I. If there is associated fever and epigastric pain then pancreatitis should also be looked for. X ray erect abdomen with both hemi diaphragms, x ray of the spinal segment involved ( in this case most likely the thoracic spine ) , ultrasound abdomen , blood counts, basic metabolic panel, ESR/CRP and serum amylase can be advised to determine the cause. An MRI of the thoracic spine can be considered if the above investigations are normal. For the time being the pain can be relieved by narcotics or NSAIDs (provided renal functions are normal esp for NSAIDs). The decision whether to give antibiotics, PPIs and fluids will depend upon the clinical exam and results of the investigations.

Wishing you best of health

Thanks


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Dr. M.S. Khalil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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