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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Pain around the rib cage, back, intense burping, feeling of vomiting post meal. Is this heartburn?

Hi I had dinner about 8 hours ago, have been feeling pain around my rib cage and back ever since. In the front the pain is where sternum separates into the two sides of rib came, not as high as where the heart is. On the sides, it hurts exactly where my bra band is. It s not a shaft searing pain, more like a dull ache that makes sitting of lying down in any position quite uncomfortable. I ve been burping a little, but nothing acidic coming up. I feel like I d probably feel better if I can vomit , but I have not been able to induce. Is this heartburn? I took a nexium 6 hours ago, nothing has changed. Pls help! Thanks
Mon, 22 Apr 2019
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General Surgeon 's  Response
Hi,

Pain below sternum, rib-cage at bra line can be due to a condition called Costochondritis wherein there is inflammation and hence the dull pain.
Pain at the lower sternal area can also be due to gastritis and GERD that is gastroesophageal reflux disease.
There is reflux of stomach contents in esophagus and burping causes this to occur causing heartburn.
Nexium will help only to reduce the stomach acidity and symptoms related to it.
For stopping burping and reflux you need to add on motility regulators like Metoclopramide or Domperidone. This needs a prescription.
Also take antacids when on empty stomach.
Go for soft bland diet in small frequent ways.
Avoid stress and anxiety as these can cause burping as well as costochondritis.
Apply local rubefacient liniment over the affected area to get soothing. You may take stomach friendly analgesic for costochondritis if needed.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. T Chandrakant,
General Surgeon
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