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What causes severe pain in the shoulders and breasts?

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Posted on Thu, 29 Jun 2017
Question:






Sharp pain above left breast with severe pain in shoulder and breast area with movement or breathing. No comfortable position to rest. Sudden onset, not relieved by any position. Took aspirin 10 hours ago, still there this morning after difficult attempts to sleep but suddenly better and able to move arm without pain and breathe without pain. I have severe COPD and am usually on 1-2 liters of oxygen. This had some heart attack symptoms. I thought maybe gas but no relief from gas-x as sometimes happens. Based on self-diagnosis, maybe pulmonary embolism that broke apart now. Residual soreness but nothing like the past ten hours







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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka (29 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I would recommend as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

Your symptoms are not typical of pulmonary embolism or a heart attack.

The pain characteristics that you describe go in favor of a musculo-skeletal pain. Did you try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen?

Anyway, considering your past medical history, I would recommend consulting with your attending physician, for a careful physical exam and some tests:

- a chest X Ray study to exclude pneumothorax or pleuritis
- a resting ECG and cardiac enzymes
- complete blood count for infection
- ESR and PCR for inflammation
- D-Dimmer levels for possible pulmonary embolism.
- a cervical spine X ray study to exclude possible degenerations of the cervical spine which can lead to radicular nerve pain in the chest and shoulder.

You should discuss with your doctor on the above issues.

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 8609 Questions

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What causes severe pain in the shoulders and breasts?

Brief Answer: I would recommend as follows: Detailed Answer: Hello! Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM! Your symptoms are not typical of pulmonary embolism or a heart attack. The pain characteristics that you describe go in favor of a musculo-skeletal pain. Did you try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen? Anyway, considering your past medical history, I would recommend consulting with your attending physician, for a careful physical exam and some tests: - a chest X Ray study to exclude pneumothorax or pleuritis - a resting ECG and cardiac enzymes - complete blood count for infection - ESR and PCR for inflammation - D-Dimmer levels for possible pulmonary embolism. - a cervical spine X ray study to exclude possible degenerations of the cervical spine which can lead to radicular nerve pain in the chest and shoulder. You should discuss with your doctor on the above issues. Kind regards, Dr. Iliri