Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic Chestwall Pain/Rib pain for over a year

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: SamePain32
  • January 17, 2007
  • 11:13 PM

Hello,

I have suffered from a mysterious condition that has baffled numerous MD's. I have had every test from MRI,CT,EKG,Bonescan and the only soewhat abnormal result was a recent Nerve Conduction which showed abnormal results distally in affected arm left side. I am a 32 year old smoking male. I have lost from 215lbs to 181 at last visit in the last 10 months! Slightly anemic hemo @ 13/14

The symptoms have ruined my life I have pain every day from the sternum migrating left around to my side under armpit and (approx 5 inches below )it.

I am now getting spasms in back between left shoulder blade and spine which a cortisone injection did seem to help.

I have noticed gastric "rumbling" per say very high into my left chest from behind the left nipple to just under armpit.

In the last few days I have begin to notice pressure internally when I inhale its not painfull but there is certainly a diffrence when compared to normal right side. This pressure also resides where the gastric sounds are present just left of nipple. This symptom is new.

I had gallbladder removed to eliminate referred pain, I now wonder why an exploratory peep into left chest cavity was not done at the same time?

Willing to do anything for an ounce of insight.

Please help,

I remain-
SamePain32

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17 Replies:

  • i had the same pain repeatedly. it was a sharp breathtaking pain that felt like i was having a massive heart attack. i too had the whole work-up even so far as having a pulmonary arteriogram to r/o a pulmonary embolism.i was diagnosed with costachondritis which is a severe imflamation of the pleural space that so often goes undiagnosed and heres the best part....its easily treated. a simple coarse of anti imflamitory pills such as motrin naproxin or advil around the clock for 5 days. even after 1 day i felt tremendous improvement. good luck!!!!! i hope it works for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 07:34 AM
    • 0
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  • Might want to find a chiropractic doc that knows how to adjust ribs. That may not be all that is going on, but from your description it indicates, to me, something to check. I have had numerous patients that had ribs go "out", leading to shortness of breath, pain in the chest and back and more symptoms. Find a chiro that has done and does specifically do ribs, as some do not.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 02:46 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I cant tell you how much I appreciate your responses. The worst part of being without a diagnosis for this long is that you feel helpless and alone with your problem.I too have have the pulmo test where you breath in some sort of gas thru a mask that reduces your oxygen intake into what seems like 25%. maybe they do that so when they inject the gas into the mask you take a deep breath i felt like I was about to suffocate but that is off topic and neither here nor there.I will have a holster moniter for my heart monday as I have developed pretty significant palpatations which I think are caused by stress. I am in sales management "automotive vertical" and as the sole bread winner my job is very stressfull, with 70+ hr work weeks. Needless to say I'm at the end of my rope after the past year. In the time that it has taken to type this reply my back (around scapula radiating to left ribs) has began to burn. I am willing to try anything. I have been taking massive quantities of ibuprofin; I dont know why because I dont get any relief but Drs have indicated this to be a non RA, inflamatory disorder of some type either caused by trauma or an infection.I appreciate your help and insight any other responses would remain greatly appreciated I check the board constantly.I Remain,Same Pain32
    SamePain32 1 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 03:57 PM
    • 0
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  • Did you have an accident or something?while I know you don't want to hear this, quit smoking immediately...get your doctor to prescribe Chantix for you and stay on it for at least 6 mos...if you have anything in your chest, smoking is in fact making it worse. I realize it is a terrific distraction from the pain. I have chronic chestwall pain for 20 years with no firm diagnosis caused by a head on collision. Just also got diagnosed with acid reflux which made the pain much worse...loosen all your clothing and get rid of caffeine as well if possible. Once you stop aggravating the pain, it will be easier to tell what is causing the pain...also do some deep breathing. Try some holistic hands on therapy as well and start stretching everyday. I tell you this because they may never find out what's wrong with you and if not, you'll need to have things to help reduce the pain and get you through life. there are so many soft tissue and muscular issues that can't be tested or seen on an xray, and only the hands on people like physiatrists and massage/acupuncture people are really adept at handling those type of injuries. good luck and keep going!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have what I think is similar pain. I am seeing an orthopedic Dr. for disc issue s in my neck, 5/6 and 6/7 disc. I had surgery on my right shoulder 10/10/05. I have had continuing pain in my shoulders, across my shoulder blades, down my spine to the bottom of my ribs, up into my neck, my ribs, and sometimes it hurts to breath. The Dr. that did the surgery was at a loss for what was causing the pain. I saw another Dr. in Chicago who thought I have what is called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). I was being seen by a Dr. For pain management, but she did not think I had CRPS, just chronic shoulder pain. Now this Dr. has referred me to a spine Dr. who has ordered an EMG. I go in for the results 1/29/08 to see if I need surgery. In researching this on the computer chest wall pain can be caused by spine issues. Hope this helps hawkeye12134@yahoo.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 28, 2008
    • 10:26 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have the same type of pain. Under my Left armpit on the rib cage. I can run my fingers along my ribs and really feel the pain when I do that...very painfull to the touch. I had a CT scan to see if I tore my muscle but came back clear. I play a ton of sports and have landed on that side of my chest a few times. I smoke and when I do, it makes the pain act up a little bit more. Comes and goes but is always there and my Doc says live with it. Don't worry about the Heart beats a lot, 2% of my heart beats are irregular and if you have a anxity disorder like I do, your body will tune those in making you feel worst about the beats....I had a Monitor, stand up test, EKG, ultra sound...etc on my heart..all clear. You will notice when you smoke though, your irregular heart beats act up more because its a stimulant on your heart...Quit NOW but who am I to talk, I still smoke 5 a day and I am 30.Anyways, any advice about this pain will be greatly helpful, I have had my Gallbladder removed about 5 years ago and i LOVE Mountain Dew as well. Please help me fix this pain, it is getting annoying and continuousScott
    Hunter7977 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • You came to the right place because after years of trying to understand what was wrong with me, I discovered about an hour ago on this same site. It is called 'costochondritis'. I think it may be a side effect of a generalized arthritis or low grade virus. I was a smoker too. Went to doc and got x-ray and EKG but all they did was shake their heads. Stopped smoking and the pain subsided. Started back and the pain reocurred. I used to do a lot of pushups too. That along with smoking and other viral infections and who knows maybe stress is probably the cause. I have been off smokes for over two years, but I still have lingering pain, mostly in lower rib and sometimes shoulder. It seems to be around my heart now. I took different regimines of antibiotics which helped for a while, but it recurs. I also had carpal tunnel syndrom, but that was from typing all day with conventional keyboard. I got the 'swing out' kind and used heat and massage and after less typing, it subsided.I was convinced I had some kind of slow growth cancer, but since I have scratched my head now for about ten years, I think I finally got it figured out. Think I'll go have a drink or two.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same type of pain. Under my Left armpit on the rib cage. I can run my fingers along my ribs and really feel the pain when I do that...very painfull to the touch. I had a CT scan to see what is going on, because I am tired of the pain. I got the results today. I guess I have two fractured ribs (3 & 4). I had a surgery on 7/28/07 due to a fall on left side in 3/07 and had my C-spine disks 3 & 4 removed, replaced by titanium rod placed with three screws. The pain has stayed with me ever since after healing from my surgery. I never realized I had two fractured ribs, and constantly picked up floor tile (Home Depot, QUIT) weighting about 40lbs or more on a regular basis. I think I kept re-injuring it and that is what is happening, but am not sure? I do not have insurance any longer. I have been taking (2) Vicodin 5mg/500mgs evry 6-8hrs since 7/07 until 4/15/08 ,and now take (2) darvocet 650mg every 6hrs from the pain. Consistantly in PAIN......HELP!!!Stacey 34 in AZ
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I have had rib pain very very similar to what you describe for 5 years now. I have feeling of pressure in lung on left side too. I have going through testing for years to no avail. On June 23 I go for bone scan- coincidentally I turn 38 on that day. I have also had gall bladder removed. The pain has slowly built up over the years and is so debilating that I no longer work. I do not smoke. So far they have cleared lung and heart as cause. It has become depressing for me to not have any diagnosis, family and friends no longer have patience for my "phantom" complaints. I feel isolated. If I knew what else to do or to ask for - testing etc... If anyone has advice please email me at deenahjane@gmail.com . I will also keep reading here- hoping someone can help. thank you!Dinah Avalon
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is to samepain32My husband has been in the hospital for the last week and a half. He was finally diagnosed. CT's, MRI's will not show this condition. It is tearing of the chest wall cartilage.They tried a nerve block injected into his spine and he was pain free for 4 hours. This was used as a diagnostic test to see if it would work. It WORKED! Now they are considering having a catheter surgically implanted in his back so his family doctor can inject the nerve block medicine into his spine every two days. This takes a long time to heal and you have to virtually do nothing to let it heal.Hope this helps.Your symptoms are almost identical to my husbands.Good luck.
    quarryworker 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have also been suffering from rib pain for 3 years now. It seems to be a band that goes across my ribs and into my back. I too have had all kinds of tests from barium swallow, bone scan and bone x-rays and nothing has shown up. The doctor has now dismissed me because he doesn't have any more answers. I am completely tired of this and I just want it to end. I am 30, light smoker. I always think it may be cigarettes but I just cant give them up. It seems that when I try to quit, the pain gets worse. So I have come to believe that it is stress and something physcological is causing it. I have also considered the costochondritis idea but advil doesn't work. It seems alot of people have the same condition so it must be something. I am not making this pain up!!!!I hope we all can get some answers soon. D
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • i had the same pain repeatedly. it was a sharp breathtaking pain that felt like i was having a massive heart attack. i too had the whole work-up even so far as having a pulmonary arteriogram to r/o a pulmonary embolism.i was diagnosed with costachondritis which is a severe imflamation of the pleural space that so often goes undiagnosed and heres the best part....its easily treated. a simple coarse of anti imflamitory pills such as motrin naproxin or advil around the clock for 5 days. even after 1 day i felt tremendous improvement. good luck!!!!! i hope it works for you.yes, works perfectly even after 1! pill of Motrin. Thanks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 2, 2010
    • 01:48 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I too had chronic chest wall pain for over a year after a bad allergic reaction to inhalation of tar fumes at work. I had ekg's, blood work, x-ray's, pulmonary function test, and ct scans all clear. Finally after what seemed forever I was diagnosed with costochondritis as well. Unfortunately for me ibuprofen did not help and gave me horrible acid reflux that would not go away even with rx medications, causing the chest pain to worsen. After awhile the psychological ramifications of constant pain becomes almost worse than the pain it's self. Depression, isolation and general feeling of hopelessness take a toll. Three weeks ago my angel of a dr decided to try me on nortriptyline an antidepressant used to treat chronic pain. The starter pack has you increase the dosage every week from 1-5 pills. Just stop at the dosage that works for you. I'm on my 3rd week and stopped at the 2 weeks dosage. I have been pain free for a week and a half and its like the world has been lifted from my chest. Here's to hoping it stays away. I hope this information proves helpful to someone in the future.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 5, 2010
    • 09:09 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Don't care what anyone else has told you > First and most important thing you can do is get PH levels inbalance. 7.3 is what you want to obtain. Do this and watch what happens. Oh, you won't be able to have balance and smoke! Get PH stick to measure from a Pharmacy. Look up how to get your body Alkaline to 7.3. Lemon in water and Wheat grass are two ways to start. If you want to be pain free look this up. This is your sign from God. I cant tell you how much I appreciate your responses. The worst part of being without a diagnosis for this long is that you feel helpless and alone with your problem.I too have have the pulmo test where you breath in some sort of gas thru a mask that reduces your oxygen intake into what seems like 25%. maybe they do that so when they inject the gas into the mask you take a deep breath i felt like I was about to suffocate but that is off topic and neither here nor there.I will have a holster moniter for my heart monday as I have developed pretty significant palpatations which I think are caused by stress. I am in sales management "automotive vertical" and as the sole bread winner my job is very stressfull, with 70+ hr work weeks. Needless to say I'm at the end of my rope after the past year. In the time that it has taken to type this reply my back (around scapula radiating to left ribs) has began to burn. I am willing to try anything. I have been taking massive quantities of ibuprofin; I dont know why because I dont get any relief but Drs have indicated this to be a non RA, inflamatory disorder of some type either caused by trauma or an infection.I appreciate your help and insight any other responses would remain greatly appreciated I check the board constantly.I Remain,Same Pain32
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2010
    • 04:34 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I know this thread is old - but I am glad I visited this. I have been having the left rib underarm pain for over 3 years with no diagnosis. Am glad to get this input on this thread available ..... had barium slow, cardiac tests, PFT, xray, MRI - everything to no avail. Even the neurologist has no clue of what it might be .... celebrex and flexiril helps for 2-3 days and then the pain comes back and I am continuing to be in this "medication, heal and come back to pain mode" for the last couple of years (and it does get very frustrating at times). No smoker, 34 year old in decent health but cant shake this off at all. Did physio, chiro, massage therapy, acupuncture - nothing heals it fully. Neuro recommended carpal tunnel test and I am waiting on that .... work a lot on computers and have become more concious of posture, strectching etc.I have to check the chest wall tearing mentioned by a poster above .. Thanks and if anyone else knows of their diagnosis, please share.
    yodablue 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know this thread is old - but I am glad I visited this. I have been having the left rib underarm pain for over 3 years with no diagnosis. Am glad to get this input on this thread available ..... had barium slow, cardiac tests, PFT, xray, MRI - everything to no avail. Even the neurologist has no clue of what it might be .... celebrex and flexiril helps for 2-3 days and then the pain comes back and I am continuing to be in this "medication, heal and come back to pain mode" for the last couple of years (and it does get very frustrating at times). No smoker, 34 year old in decent health but cant shake this off at all. Did physio, chiro, massage therapy, acupuncture - nothing heals it fully. Neuro recommended carpal tunnel test and I am waiting on that .... work a lot on computers and have become more concious of posture, strectching etc.I have to check the chest wall tearing mentioned by a poster above .. Thanks and if anyone else knows of their diagnosis, please share.Tietze's Syndrome Finally diagnosed - google it on the NHS site its inflammation of the Cartridges. My story, 9 weeks ago, felt like a cord type feeling on my left chest wall, tender & sore, it arrived after struggling from a viral infection. My GP thought it was something called Thrombofilibitis, inflammation of a blood vain. X-ray, Blood test, ultrasound - All clear, but the chest pains increased, sensation from chest wall across to side of chest under under arm pit. then random chest pains around the chest area. referred to a specialist who sent me for a scan of the lungs to check for blood clots which involved inhaling & injecting radioactive pill, scan takes one hour- also came back clear. then he wanted to send me for a camera into my airwaves test bronchosophy test, I refused that. I had retained an appointment with a Heart transplant & lung transplant speacialist which i couldnt get for 3 weeks, he, sent me for a CT scan & sputum test. All came back clear but he diagnosed the problem. He immediately noticed I had a cough, which actually had been lurking for several years, never thought much of it, it was mild, he diagnosed me with a form of Asthma which has been caused by coughing over the years, still trying to get to the source of the cough, so using Asthma inhaler for now. The cough over the years was the cause of the Tietze's syndrome which was triggered by the Viral infection that swept through me. Im recently starting treatment so will keep you posted. This GP is brilliant, he understood my condition immediately and described it well, was disapointed the other GP was going to send me for a Bronchosophy as that could have caused other complications and should have been a later resort, he said he knows this because he is a contributor to the British Medical Journal. Hope this helps someone, comeback to me if you need specialist info.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello SamePain32,My husband has had the same symptoms you discribed. Except the weight loss.Pain middle chest radiating to left under armpit. He's had all tests you've had without a diagnosis. It has been nine months with constantpain. He woke up with it one morning and it hasn't stopped. It has been several years, how are you doing now?jj9
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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