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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes severe and persistent pain in the back, chest, jaw, armpits and elbow?

Answered by
Dr. Gopal Goel

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1983

Answered : 1479 Questions

Posted on Wed, 12 Sep 2018 in Back Pain
Question: I have upper back pain that burns, it goes all the way through my chest goes under my jaw and under my left arm pit down to my elbow. gets worse when I lay down and only eases when sitting
Answered by Dr. Gopal Goel 16 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Could be pressure on C5 nerve root on (L) side in neck.

Detailed Answer:


The way you have described the pain, in my opinion, this is because of the compression of C5 nerve root( between C4 and C5 Vertebrae) in the neck on Left side.

Pain of cardiac origin will generally become worse on sitting or walking and is better on lying down. Only way of confirming the diagnosis is with MRI.

I suggest painkillers, muscle relaxants, a combination of pregabalin and methylcobalamin. Most important would be regular physiotherapy including Muscle strengthening exercises.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. Gopal Goel 1 hour later
But the pain becomes worse, a lot worse when I lay down. Why is that?
Answered by Dr. Gopal Goel 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Due to the increrased pressure on nerve on lying down.

Detailed Answer:


Sometimes the pressure on the nerves is more on lying down position, so pain is more on lying down, esp if the nerve pinching is due to hard structures like extra growing bones called osteophytes.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Gopal Goel, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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