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What does severe pain underneath left breast indicate?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14962 Questions
Shooting pain left side directly underneath left breast. Not continuous but on and off for approx 1.5 to 2 hrs. Then stopped. No nausea. First thing that comes to mind of course is heart, but is this a sign of something other than heart? The pains were quite severe but short lived. This happened at work on Monday but no symptoms since.
Posted Sun, 26 Jan 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: sounds more like nerve related pain Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic Pain in the chest can originate from any structure in the chest from the skin inwards- skin, muscles, nerves, esophagus, lungs, ribs and sternum, heart. Heart related pain can be due to different conditions affecting the heart but the most common are angina and a heart atttack. Both of these occur when a part of the heart does not get enough blood, in the case of a heart attack , the blood supply cuts out completely and part of the heart may stop working properly. In angina , the pain comes on when a person is active (this is when the heart needs more blood) and stops when the person is at rest (sitting on lying down, standing still). It would normally be associated with palpitations and shortness of breath. Though the pain can go towards the left side of the chest, it usually starts toward the center of the chest and is tight or heavy. Heart attack , is severe and constant. It is normally central though can affect other parts of the chest. Associated with palpitations, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, nausea, dizziness Based on what you have described, the pain is more likely neuralgia or nerve related pain.This type of pain is normally intermittent and can be shooting in nature. It is related to abnormal structure and/or function of a nerve. This can occur due to different causes- vitamin deficiency, trauma, diabetes, spinal cord diseases,stroke, idiopathic (cause is unknown) It may or may not reoccur. There are medications that are used for nerve related pain if it reoccurs. Examples are tegretol, gabapentin, lyrica, amitriptyline If it does repeat itself, you can consider visiting your doctor for an evaluation I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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