Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Undiagnosed stabbing chest pain for years

Posted In: Medical Stories 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • December 6, 2007
  • 04:15 PM

I have had this kind of pain since I was young, I'm now 25 and in nursing school and trying to figure it out because it has seemed to increase in frequency. It can come on suddenly as a sharp pain that gets worse as I breathe in. I have to take shallow breaths until it goes away. If I arch my back it worsens and is always on the left side where my heart is. My doc doesn't know and the nursing instructors don't seem to know either. It isn't related to eating, stress, medications. I'm clueless but its scary no doubt.

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  • Over a year ago, I had stabbing chest pain, I would say on the right mid-clavicular line in the 10th intercostal space (imagine a line that goes down your body in the middle of your collarbone and that intersects with the space of the 2nd lowest rib). I thought it would be either a costochondritis (an inflammation of the rib cartilage) or pleurisy (an inflamation of the sac that contains the lungs).I was indeed diagnosed with costochondritis. I was told it could be a remnant of a viral infection I had earlier and that it would probably go away soon. If not, I could take an NSAID (e.g. Ibuprofen, Tylenol). It did go away, but over the last year, it has come back several times, although always only for a few days or maybe a week, so I'm not sure anymore. On the other hand, I have been getting a lot of colds lately, so maybe it just never really went away.You say you have had this pain for years since you were young. Do you tend to get sick easily? How often does the pain occur? Is it there on all or most days, or can there be a period in between occurrences when you are pain-free?In both of these cases, costochondritis and pleurisy, the first-line treatment is NSAIDs, so you could try that (just get the over-the-counter products even if you get a prescription, it'll probably be cheaper; just get the indicated medicine and take the right dosage). In the case of pleurisy, if you have fluid in your lungs, it may have to be drained. Depending on how old you are, it may also be something more serious, like a heart problem. That's why, if you're an adult, you should probably get yourself checked out by a medical professional.
    BrainlessBaby 2 Replies Flag this Response
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