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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Reasons for left sided chest pain other than heart

OTHER THAN A HEART ATTACK...what kinds of things could cause left sided chest discomfort? Like around the breast, and in the rib area, and a burning in the shoulder blade? Please, do NOT say Heart attack...I asked OTHER THAN A HEART ATTACK...what other things could cause this. It has been going on for around 2 months now, give or take a week. I have been to the doctor and am currently waiting test results, that I should be getting Monday, so I am looking for ideas now of what could be going on. I am 26 year old female. QUit smoking around 2 months and 3 weeks ago. Having chest soreness, and discomfort, along with some panic attacks. Occassional shortness of breath, but it isn t bad. Never lasts longer than a minute or two. Doesn t happen often. The chest soreness is there almost all the time. Activity does not increase it, infact, often times, activity helps it. Any suggestions would be appriciated! Thanks. Please don t say go to dr. ALready went.
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Below is a great article for you: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20051115/2012.html One of the tables lists the most common causes of chest pain in the US vs UK and in the ER. There is no doubt that musculoskeletal pain is the most likely cause in your age group, only 26, gets better with activity, etc.. However, the key point in your history is the fact that you have panic attacks. This is classic for patients often feeling like they have a heart condition, when in fact, they have anxiety. The fact that you have panic attacks confirms that your chest pain is most likely psychosocial/psyciatric in nature. Also, your recent smoking cessation may also be contributing to your anxiety. There are medical options to help you with this, such benzodiazepines or other anti-anxiety meds. Either way, most docs will rule out a heart condition with the complaint of chest pain so they don't get sued, it's ridiculous, you're only 26. Not to say it can't happen, but a thorough history and physical exam would have been enough in your case, but we're in America where people love to sue, so hence all the tests.... What a waste of money. Anyways, hope you feel better.
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