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What causes shingles when suffering from chest pain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3622 Questions
On 1/21, as I sat at my computer at work, I began having pain in my left chest. I had no shortness of breath, no fever, no sweating. The pain did not radiate but steadily worsened over the next few hours (internal stabbing toward my left breast). The only pain relief was standing up/lying down. All tests were normal in the ER (EKG, cardiac enzymes), but because I am 55 and have had type 1 DM for 35 years (no complications), I was admitted for a radioactive stress test the next morning. The stress test results were normal, and I was discharged from the hospital in the afternoon of 1/23. I was told that I probably have shingles that hasn't yet erupted. It is now noon, on 1/25, there is no rash/itching/blisters on my left chest, but the discomfort continues. I'm at a loss and do not know what to do to make the cause of the pain go away. To my knowledge, I've not done anything to cause a pulled muscles(s). What do you suggest?
Posted Sat, 15 Feb 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Intercostal pain Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for your query. I do not think the pain is due to heart condition, as pains due to heart do not vary on changing position . The test results also rule out the same. Based on the description of the pain you had I suspect it to be due to sprain in the intercostal muscles. A simple stretching or rotating movement can cause intercostal muscle tear. This pain intensity changes with the position of the body. I suggest you to take anti-inflamamtory medication like Tb Motrin 400mg twice daily after food. This will for sure provide you relief if it is musculoskletal problem as I suspect. Wish you good health. regards,
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