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Author Topic: chronic upper left side chest pain for over a year  (Read 28304 times)

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Offline doshismama

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chronic upper left side chest pain for over a year
« on: November 02, 2011, 11:46:09 AM »
Hello, so I've been dealing with daily pain in my chest (upper left side,  near the triangular meeting of breast and armpit) for a year and a half now. This pain is here every day and is a dull achy squeezy type of pain. Sometimes there is SOB with it, other times not. Sometimes it is really intense making me want to bolt to the ER, other times just very annoying... but it is there one way or another every day. It feels like someone or something is pushing hard in that area, or grabbing from the inside and squeezing very tightly. There are really no other symptoms other than occasionally some shortness of breath.

I've seen a cardiologist and had an echocardiogram and structurally my heart is a-ok. I've seen a gastro dr and pulm function specialist and both said they did not find anything that would cause this type of pain. So I'm at a loss and not sure where to go from here. I'm taking an SSRI for anxiety/panic disorder and see a wonderful psych twice a week for CBT. But despite the strides I am making with my years long battle with this monster called panic, I can't seem to get any relief from this chronic pain. Of course when the pain is really intense my mind starts racing, my HA is triggered and I teeter on the edge of another PA (like I am right now!!!!) Then I start thinking the cardio missed something or maybe this is the big CA or crazy thoughts like that.

Any suggestions? Anyone deal with chronic chest pain and figure out how to "fix" it????? Is there any other type of medical attention/testing I should be looking in to???? Getting pretty desperate here!!! thanks!
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Offline GenSec

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Re: chronic upper left side chest pain for over a year
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 12:47:32 PM »

Some of us were discussing this the other day - just thought you might like to check it out. :winking0008:,47706.0.html

Your symptoms sound like those of myself and another lady. In my case, doctors told me it was all just due to stress/anxiety and muscle related tension.

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Offline kindablue

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Re: chronic upper left side chest pain for over a year
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 01:32:46 PM »
If heart and GI are ruled out, that leaves muscular.

In the thread that GenSec pointed to you, both of us found that cardio/stretching helped a lot.  I did a hard spinning class yesterday and I'm feeling pretty damn good today with very few pains. 

I'm going to guess your shortness of breath is due to the anxiety created by the pains themselves.  I would tell you to get checked with a doctor to be sure, but you've done that, so if it is muscular, try:

A)  doing cardio every day for a week (and continue if it helps).  assuming your general health is good, you'll be able to work up a sweat and be even more assured that you don't have cardiac issues.  on top of that, it really does seem to help the chest pains for some reason.  perhaps the endorphins or just the fact that we're built to exercise and our bodies need it.  do chest stretches and hold them for longer than 20 seconds. 

B)  Zazen (mindful meditation).  It's astounding how many anxiety issues can be resolved with this one, and it can even help the real physical symptoms.  You just sit somewhere, don't worry too much about posture, but keep your back straight.  Don't worry about quieting your mind, because that won't happen.  Just breathe from the diaphgram and count each breath.  You'll start to hear your brain chattering, and that's normal.  The minute you start to get distracted by it, start back at 1 and continue counting your breath.  do this for 10 minutes a day.  Not sure where you're from, but mental health is something we really overlook in the US.  Meditation and mindfulness is like going to the gym for your mind.  You won't get a six-pack from one visit, and you won't overcome your anxiety with one sitting.  It's a practice.

C)  Get a massage.  This is on my to-do list as well. 
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Offline secpro

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Re: chronic upper left side chest pain for over a year
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2011, 10:16:41 PM »

Sounds muscle related. I had the same issue over three years ago, it actually kicked off my anxiety. Went to a cardiologist, electrophysiologist and GI after experiencing chest pain. All that could be found was non-erosive acid reflux disease (after numerous tests from heart and GI docs). I have learned that it is due to my poor posture while sitting behind a computer, and forward head posture.

If your cardio and GI have cleared you, it's probably muscle related. ART or Active Release Therapy, stretching and maintaining an exercise regime really helps.   
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