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Chest pain, difficulty breathing. EKG, stress test normal. Pain in arm and back. What may this be?

I am a 20 year old female. Occasionally I get upper left sided chest pain ( just left of the center of my chest). At time i feel like i am not getting enough oxygen when taking deep breaths and it forces me to yawn (this happens with and without chest pain, more so without). I tend to get very scared and anxious because i automatically assume that I am having a heart attack and will die. Ive been to the emergency room atleast 6 times this year (2012) due to chest pain and was told that everything looks fine. Ive seen a cardiologist and had EKG test done, stress test done, and a echocardiogram . The cardiologist also told me that everything looked fine and I was ok. The pain only seems to go away when i take a 800mg ibuprofen. Sometimes it is accompanied by left arm pain and back pain. I thought it may be gas because at times my stomach hurts and i havent had a good bowel movement in a long time but after taking Prilosec and gas x the pain remained!! Can someone please help me and tell me what this may be!!!!!
Asked On : Sun, 23 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  40
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General Surgeon 's  Response

Thank you for the query!

What you are suffering from is most likely intercostal neuralgia due to rib nerves irritation. Such irritation can be caused by spine diseases (like spinal disc herniation), nerve compression by ribs, or by local inflammation process. Such pain is usually well localized, sharp and aggravates while breathing.
This is nothing to worry about, however the only way to treat it are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprophen). It is advisable for you to get scheduled for spine MRI, have chest X-ray performed. Some other medicine can give more relief than Ibuprophen does - Diclophenac.

Hope this will help.
Answered: Sun, 23 Dec 2012
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