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What causes pain in left side of chest and back pain?

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Posted on Tue, 15 Jul 2014
Question: Hello,
About 10 days ago I woke up one morning with a moderate chest pain on my left side which got worse when I twisted my body to the left (and my back was hurting too). I ignored it and for the most part it went away in 2 days, but not quite. Since then I have had persistent mild pain/discomfort around the left side of the ribcage - hard to say exactly there - it's around the breastplate, around the nipple and also when I press on my left-side lower ribs I get some pain in my back. Pain is more palpable in the mornings and evenings (when I lie down) and when I inhale and exhale.

I am 35, former smoker. I have no fever and no cough, nor troubles breathing. For a week or so I seem to have diarrhea, but I'm not sure whether that's related or when it exactly started. I do not exercise much, have high cholesterol and have a stressful life (occasional anxiety moments). I also think I may have sleep apnea as I snore pretty much every night when I sleep on my back and at times wake up with a headache

I will see a doctor and will insist on an ECG/x-ray, but from what I read this is likely costochondritis or a strained muscle...? Could it be walking pneumonia with no fever/cough? Anything else to consider?

Thanks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal (39 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
it does look like a case of strained muscles or co

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

From your description of pain, it does look like a case of strained muscles or costochondritis.

It does not look as if it could be anything to do with your heart or lungs. No it doesn't look like walking pneumonia though you can never be absolutely sure.

You may take a pain killer if the pain is really bothering you and apply a local analgesic ointment.

If the pain persists, then it is advisable to consult a physician for a complete check up which you are already planning.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal (5 hours later)
Thanks. Can a strained/cramped chest muscle last this long though (10+ days)?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal (42 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes it may

Detailed Answer:


Yes it may and improve gradually over time.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shashi Dangwal

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1157 Questions

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What causes pain in left side of chest and back pain?

Brief Answer: it does look like a case of strained muscles or co Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX From your description of pain, it does look like a case of strained muscles or costochondritis. It does not look as if it could be anything to do with your heart or lungs. No it doesn't look like walking pneumonia though you can never be absolutely sure. You may take a pain killer if the pain is really bothering you and apply a local analgesic ointment. If the pain persists, then it is advisable to consult a physician for a complete check up which you are already planning.