question-icon

What causes chronic heaviness under left rib cage and shortness of breath?

default
Posted on Fri, 19 Jun 2015
Question: For 2 1/2 years have a heaviness under left rib cage below breast. No problem unless touched firmly, then sends sharp pain to side and around back.Shortness of breath for several months.Mammo normal 2 months ago. Wire bra makes it hurt, . Have depression and anxiety disorder for 30 years, have under control.Have sciatica on right side, but is managed.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Left rib cage pains and line of management and possibilities

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to Health Care Magic.

Thanks for writing.

I am Dr. Saddiq ul Abidin. I have read your question completely, I understand your concern and will try to help you in best way possible.

First of all, it is sad to know about the problem you are facing. You seem like a real brave person, as you have been through, such major surgeries before, and you have coped with everything quite convincingly.

Now coming back to your your current issues, regarding left rib cage pains. It can be caused by a variety of problem, but before that we need to know, and understand the structures and organs present in the closest proximity to that area, which can present with such pains.

The heart and lungs; The pain of heart is not related to touching and isn't sharp or localized usually. It takes it, out of proportion. Lung infections like long standing pneumonia or pleurisy can have such pains, which may be pointed but would be associated with fever or sputum production with coughing, though presence of Shortness of breath, may rise some eye brows, so its better to get scanning by chest X-ray and Complete blood picture, after a detail stethoscope examination by your GP.

The other possibility is of stomach, as you have been on pain medicines for sciatica and, for the problems for which you have undergone ACDF surgery. Though it may also be associated with bloating, regurgitation or other associated symptoms of stomach and heart burn. But touch wont make it intense, as is in your case.

The other possibility is of costochondritis (inflammation of rib cage), as well as, soft tissue or muscular pains in this area. These are quite possible but require detailed examination by an ortho-pediciaian.

Another possibility is of herpes, which affects a particular dermatome (an area supplied by a specific nerve), which is very often present in this area which may or may not be associated with vesicles, but for that in most cases a positive history of varicella infection, chicken pox or shingles has to be there. For that you may need to have a detailed examination by a dermatologist.

Meanwhile if i were your doctor i would have recommended you acetaminophen for temporary pain management, but you can discus it later with your GP.

I hope this answered your question. If you have more queries I am happy to answer. Otherwise rate before closing the discussion

Regrads.

Dr. Saddiq ul Abidin
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 3717 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes chronic heaviness under left rib cage and shortness of breath?

Brief Answer: Left rib cage pains and line of management and possibilities Detailed Answer: Welcome to Health Care Magic. Thanks for writing. I am Dr. Saddiq ul Abidin. I have read your question completely, I understand your concern and will try to help you in best way possible. First of all, it is sad to know about the problem you are facing. You seem like a real brave person, as you have been through, such major surgeries before, and you have coped with everything quite convincingly. Now coming back to your your current issues, regarding left rib cage pains. It can be caused by a variety of problem, but before that we need to know, and understand the structures and organs present in the closest proximity to that area, which can present with such pains. The heart and lungs; The pain of heart is not related to touching and isn't sharp or localized usually. It takes it, out of proportion. Lung infections like long standing pneumonia or pleurisy can have such pains, which may be pointed but would be associated with fever or sputum production with coughing, though presence of Shortness of breath, may rise some eye brows, so its better to get scanning by chest X-ray and Complete blood picture, after a detail stethoscope examination by your GP. The other possibility is of stomach, as you have been on pain medicines for sciatica and, for the problems for which you have undergone ACDF surgery. Though it may also be associated with bloating, regurgitation or other associated symptoms of stomach and heart burn. But touch wont make it intense, as is in your case. The other possibility is of costochondritis (inflammation of rib cage), as well as, soft tissue or muscular pains in this area. These are quite possible but require detailed examination by an ortho-pediciaian. Another possibility is of herpes, which affects a particular dermatome (an area supplied by a specific nerve), which is very often present in this area which may or may not be associated with vesicles, but for that in most cases a positive history of varicella infection, chicken pox or shingles has to be there. For that you may need to have a detailed examination by a dermatologist. Meanwhile if i were your doctor i would have recommended you acetaminophen for temporary pain management, but you can discus it later with your GP. I hope this answered your question. If you have more queries I am happy to answer. Otherwise rate before closing the discussion Regrads. Dr. Saddiq ul Abidin