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    What causes radiating pain from back to the front of chest wall?

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Posted on Fri, 3 Jun 2016 in Elderly Problems
Question: lately the right side of my chest is sore. It goes around my back and sometimes I have a burning sensation on the right front. The usually occurs with movement. I take omeprazole. also, i do have shortness if breath at times when walking. Do u have any ideas?? muscles?? thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Likely to be neuritic pain due to spondylitis

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Welcome and thanks for your query.
The pain radiating from the back to the front of the chest wall is likely to be along the nerve supplying the chest wall. The commonest cause is the wear and tear of the thoracic vertebrae known as spondylitis. This leads to pressure being applied on the intercostal nerves producing pain which is precipitated or made worse by movement of the spine. The pain may be sharp or burning depending on the type of nerve fibers compressed.
A burning pain behind the breast bone and related to food can be due to GERD. It is also good to have an EKG if you have not had one recently to exclude a pain from the heart, though the same is less likely.
An x-ray of the spine would be helpful to see if you have spondylitis.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 16 minutes later
hi. the pain isn't behind breast bone. it is all around under my breast and is in back on right side. I had EKG 3 months ago, it was fine. I had spine MRI last fall. upper spine was fine. I do have lower back problems, but this soreness is in upper chest and upper back. I started antiinflammatory yesterday, and so far nothing helped. thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Try Neurontin

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the additional information.
When the pain goes around it is most likely from the intercostal nerve and MRI when you don't have the pain may be normal. Neurontin and muscle relaxant would be helpful in relieving the pain.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 6 minutes later
I am on 1800 mg of gabapentin because I have neuropathy. I had it in my legs and feet.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Try muscle relaxant and amitriptyline in addition

Detailed Answer:
You can add a muscle relaxant.
Another medicine which may help is a tricyclic antidepressant like amitriptyline which also has pain modulation.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 6 minutes later
can u get peripheral neuropathy in your chest and back which would affect muscles? can this cause shortness if breath too? thanks again
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Welcome

Detailed Answer:
Peripheral neuropathy classically refers to the extremities. It's unusual to have intercostal neuropathy alone due to causes producing peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes may produce mono neuritis multiplex which may affect intercostal muscles.
Since you have breathlessness also, it is good to take a chest X-ray. I have seen pleuritis producing such pain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 5 minutes later
I just am short of breath when walking sometimes. If this is a nerve and muscle problem, would that cause shortness of breath upon moving like the soreness I am having when moving? Thanks again
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Welcome

Detailed Answer:
Shortness of breath can be due to diseases of the lungs, heart or muscles or due to anemia.
Since you have a pain in the chest area, it is more likely to be due to a cause in the chest like a lung, pleural or intercostal nerve / muscle problem.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 7 hours later
if it is a muscle/nerve problem would heat help? also, antiinflammatory pills? thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Moist heat often gives relief

Detailed Answer:
There would be help from moist heat like you would apply with a towel dipped in hot water and water squeezed out.
NSAIDS are anti-inflammatory medicines with analgesic property and would give pain relief to some extent. But be careful about the side effects.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2276 Questions

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