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Chest Pain Behind and Around Left Breast 
31st-Jan-2008 05:56 pm
Hello Everyone. Hope you all are doing well. I have been experiencing sharp chest pain right behind and to the left of my left breast. I have had this pain before and it was chalked up to be "muscle pain". I was also having some tightening and shortness of breath with the pain so I decided to get checked out at the local hospital. They ran every cardiac test they could think of and my heart and lungs are functioning normally. They finally came to the conclusion that it must be my Fibro.
Have any of you every experienced pain in the chest area? What, if anything, helped you rid the pain?
31st-Jan-2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
I have costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage that connects your ribs to your sternum. It means my chest is always tender, a bit swollen, and sometimes quite red - it feels like a heeart attack, and when I breathe in, it hurts like sharp, stabbing pain.

Basically, I just deal with it. I'm prescribed oxycontin, but as I come from a family with a history of addiction issues (and I have some of my own), I only use it when I can't take it anymore.
31st-Jan-2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
I was told years ago that it was asthma pain...I really don't know what it is just that it hurts!!!! Do you have asthma?
31st-Jan-2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
It's good that you had a full work-up.

Press around your sternum and between your ribs? Painful? Go to your doc and ask if it could possibly be costochondritis.

When I get a flare-up, the treatment is NSAIDs, rest, a non-binding bra (I'm too large-chested to let them swing during a flare), and no lifting.
31st-Jan-2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
You know, nobody's ever told me not to wear a non-binding bra when I'm flaring. When I was younger, before I knew what it was, I would take off my bra, lay on my back with a heating pad and take some Ibuprofen and when I'd wake up, I'd feel all better. It wasn't until it was sensitive EVERY DAY that I was diagnosed.
1st-Feb-2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Huh. I have a VERY large chest but I go braless all the time since I stay home all day. (except when I go out somewhere where I will be required to take off my jacket) It bothered me a little at first to go braless (minor discomfort) but I've been doing it for months now and it feels so much better than wearing a bra.
1st-Feb-2008 01:15 am (UTC)
I can go braless when I'm not having a costo flare. During a costo flare, I need something that minimizes movement without actually binding. I opt for a Decent Exposures un-bra--an old,stretched out one. It keeps the movement/sway at bay while not actually constricting and causing more pain.
31st-Jan-2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
I get a pain like this when a particular rib is out of alignment.

When it first happened I was pretty freaked out, my doc sent me for a mammogram and all to check out the pain because to me it felt like pain in the breast.

I just happened to have an appointment with my chiropractor and almost magically he fixed it.
Now when it happens, I know to get to my chiropractor as quickly as I can.
31st-Jan-2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
I used to have similar pain fairly often. It stopped when I cut caffiene out completely. I noticed the other day, when I forgot to ask for decaf at the Starbucks, that the stabby pain had returned. It's been gone ever since.
1st-Feb-2008 12:12 am (UTC)
I have chronic breasplate pain and a natirally large chest. going braless in a sport or underwire-free bra that does nothing or doing braless as much as possible is the only way to deal, although if over a D cup, a good firm bra feels better. Chest pain is part of fibro. It's a weird part:)
1st-Feb-2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Yup. I get chest pains all the time. After several workups, wearing a Holter monitor at home, etc, I was told it was "muscle pain". It's definitely linked to my fibro though because I only get it during flare ups. All I can do is rest and maybe massage the area a little, although from something I read in another comment I'm going to try my heating pad next time. :)
1st-Feb-2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Were you under any kind of stress or anxiety at the time? I ask because I've had that kind of chest pain during a panic attack before. :/
1st-Feb-2008 12:48 am (UTC)
I have cartilage inflamation from an accident,but my fibro pain is predominantly on the left side.the upper body pain radiates into the heart area.I always take the advice I would give to others if is severe,is there despite analgesics/relaxtion etc and definately if is the knee in the chest pain.I have had all the tests and I have harmless angina,but mostly the radiating inward pain.The Drs,para medics won't accept my point of view so I often have the enzyme test routine which is negative.Iam glad none of this costs me anything .I am on the pension and the Medicare(Australia's NHS) covers it.
1st-Feb-2008 01:15 am (UTC)
Sounds like costrochondritis to me. The only thing that helps stop an attack for me is Capascin cream. It's a topical that itches like hell (WASH your hands after applying it and DO NOT touch your eyes with the same finger, even after you've washed), but it gets rid of the pain right away. Also, gentle stretching, and sitting up if I'm lying down.
1st-Feb-2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Well thank you all for the input.
Well, I certainly DON'T have big boobs, so don't have to worry about that part of it. I get the pain even when not wearing a bra.
I may look further into the costrochondritis. That sounds like it could be the culprit.
I will definitely try the heating pad. I can't really take Aspirin containing products, like Motrin, because I am on a blood thinner. So I need to be careful with that. But I do take magnesium. It hasn't helped yet though.
So thanks for the info! You all rock!
Take Care
1st-Feb-2008 01:27 am (UTC)
yes i have the fibro pain there and costochondritis. It is always around in a residual pain sort of way. It got so bad for a while with what they think were constant muscle spasms on top of the regular stuff. I wasn't able to move much for a couple months while this was happening and it took a long time for the long term spasms to subside. The good thing is that since I have been experiencing it in varying degrees for about 5 years, from residual and more localized to sternum and part of breasts, to acute kick my ass completely pain that radiates out all the way to neck and sides, I now know a lot of things that help and aggravate it, at least my own.

hope any of these can help you too!

rather than go bra-less wear a soft shelf or sports bra (sports bras i wear one size too big so it doesn't bind into my sides but keeps me from moving). even though I am fairly small chested I couldn't take much movement at all, but the effect of light binding without much movement or parts digging in helps. I learned later that I couldn't deal with elastic/rubber, eliminating these helped keep in check the additional skin sensitivity that often would accompany.

heat & cold - depending on the aggravation du jour. i tend to use ice on it and my lower back if it feels like a spasm to almost numb it to stop spasming. heat when it is more residual pain or high pain nonspasm.

bextra when it was on the market (celebrex not even close)

muscle relaxers

stretching out my neck, arms, between shoulder blades (opens the chest and relieves pressure even if the core pain remains) and sides

PT, in particular stain counter strain and active release. i still can't have them touch chest directly but if i can get areas nearby stretched it helps immensely. also do stretching in the water.

reiki and acupuncture. acupuncture seems to have a more immediate effect, where it tends to get worse for a bit when the needles are inserted and then starts to calm down-- a lot.

deep breathing- for the calming affect but it also it helps keep the chest open too, which is hard when it is hurting all the time

some food in my diet was making it worse but not the cause. for me these are wheat and excess sugar, some dairy.

-some of these may hurt more at first- stretching and whatever but in the end it helps keep it down for longer periods with less flares there.

i know I listed a lot but it's really a pick and choose what helps you best. these have just helped me over the years. best of luck to you in getting the pain down.
1st-Feb-2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I have the same pain. I have very large breasts and only wear a bra when I leave the house. I found that if I support the left breast (with my hand or lay down) for 5-10 minutes, the pain stops.

I also have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and I think it's probably related to that.
1st-Feb-2008 01:43 am (UTC)
I have very small breasts, so I don't seem to have any change in the chest pain whether I wear a bra or not. I get the pain mostly after a panic attack, ad it looks as if my sternum almost totally collapses in on itself. The only thing that helps me so far is deep breathing and rest. I seemed to have it a lot less often when I was on amatryptiline, but as I decided that I would rather be functional and get a little less sleep/pain relief, I went off it. The Lyrica has really had no effect one way or another on that part of things so far.
(Deleted comment)
1st-Feb-2008 04:39 am (UTC)
it probably is related to fibro.. costochondritis/tietze is symptom of fibro but its still a serious chronic pain on its own! i hope your doctor will be more helpful.. maybe you should mention it to him
1st-Feb-2008 04:38 am (UTC)
I have costochondritis aswell but here it's better known as tietze syndrome..

it is a symptom of fibro but im sure even people who dont have tietze who have fibro will get occasional chest pains.

the things that help me is taking off my dam underwired bra.. I dont wear it inside, I dont leave the house so yay but when I do go out, I wear a bra and OMG it hurts. I get pains all over my chest but the sharp pains you describe are present too. sometimes it feels like a trapped nerve or a stitch in the side of my ribs but mostly its just sore in the middle and tender and hurts when you breathe..

the thing that helps most is my strong prescription painkillers.. Ive been on them a year which sucks, but the pains are extreme.. so.. i guess its justifiable and without them I'd function so much less, even as bad as it is already!
1st-Feb-2008 04:42 am (UTC)
sorry for so many comments, I just remembered a stretch my physiotherapist told me to do.. link your fingers together and stretch your arms above your head - Its supposed to stretch the muscles but tbh it hurts so much for me.. but I assume the idea is the more theyre stretched the less they will hurt.. =/ (pls dont hurt yourself.. ask someone whos trained first) >_
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