Diagnosis Of Chest Wall Pain
Chest wall pain can be caused by problems affecting the muscles, bones, and/or nerves of the chest wall. Healthcare providers diagnose “chest wall pain” in at least 25% of patients who come to the emergency room for chest pain.
There are several causes of chest wall pain, and some types of chest wall pain may indicate a serious problem and may require specific treatment. In the great majority of instances, the underlying cause of chest wall pain is self-limited and is usually not serious.
Chest wall pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis.;
Here are the most common causes of chest wall pain.
What Does Lung Cancer Shoulder Pain Feel Like
Shoulder pain from lung cancer is quite similar to other forms of shoulder pain. Because of this, it might be difficult to determine the cause of your shoulder pain.
If youve recently fallen or injured your shoulder in some way, lung cancer is unlikely to be the cause of your shoulder pain. There are many reasons for shoulder pain that arent lung cancer.
Lung cancer is more likely to be the cause of your pain if youre a smoker and your pain:
- occurs during rest
- isnt associated with any strenuous activity involving the shoulder
- happens at night
- doesnt resolve itself after a few weeks
Your shoulder pain is also more likely to be a symptom of lung cancer if you have other lung cancer symptoms as well. These might include:
- shortness of breath, often mild and with activity
- a persistent cough
- losing weight without a reason
People who have shoulder pain from lung cancer often describe it as a radiating pain from the shoulder down their arms to their hands. There may also be numbness or tingling. At other times, it can feel like a deep ache.
Lung cancer frequently causes chest pain as well. Sometimes, this chest pain is a result of bouts of coughing.
In other cases, the pain of lung cancer is a result of a large tumor pressing on other structures or growing into the chest wall and ribs.
Tumors in the lungs can also press on blood vessels and lymph nodes. That causes a buildup of fluid in the lining of the lung, and it can cause pain or shortness of breath.
- minor injury
Inflammation Of The Shoulder Capsule
The synovial membrane of the shoulder may become inflamed this is called ‘synovitis’. Synovitis may occur as a result of another condition or it may happen as a result of an injury, or the cause may be unknown.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that occurs when the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes inflamed and tight. There may also be less synovial fluid to lubricate the joint. As a result, the shoulder becomes difficult to move.;
Frozen shoulder may occur as a result of another condition if the shoulder has been immobilised . Sometimes the cause of shoulder pain may not be known.;
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What Are The Types Of Angina
Angina is classified as one of the following two types:
1. Stable angina
Stable angina is the most common angina, and the type most people mean when they refer to angina.
- People with stable angina usually have angina symptoms on a regular basis. The episodes occur in a pattern and are predictable.
- For most people, angina symptoms occur after short bursts of exertion.
- Stable angina symptoms usually last less than five minutes.
- They are usually relieved by rest or medication, such as nitroglycerin under the tongue.
2. Unstable angina
Unstable angina is less common. Angina symptoms are unpredictable and often occur at rest.
- This may indicate a worsening of stable angina, but sometimes the first time a person has angina it is already unstable.
- The symptoms are worse in unstable angina – the pains are more frequent, more severe, last longer, occur at rest, and are not relieved by nitroglycerin under the tongue.
- Unstable angina is not the same as a heart attack, but it warrants an immediate visit to the doctor or a hospital emergency department. The patient may need to be hospitalized to prevent a heart attack.
If the person has stable angina, any of the following may indicate worsening of the condition:
- An angina episode that is different from the regular pattern
- Being awakened at night by angina symptoms
- More severe symptoms than usual
- Having angina symptoms more often than usual
- Angina symptoms lasting longer than usual
Common Causes Of Your Shoulder Pain
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that develops from wear and tear, an old injury, or repetitive overhead motions often caused by athletic activities or daily labor. As we age, the cartilage and joint tissue deteriorates, which can cause pain, limited mobility, and swelling.
A fractured collarbone is a break in one of the many bones included in the shoulder. This can happen from a fall or a serious impact to the shoulder and is generally quite painful. If the collarbone moves too far out of place then surgery to realign it may be required.
Rotator cuff injury is the most common reason for shoulder pain. Age causes our tendons to become worn, making them susceptible to a tear. If the arm hurts when lifting it upward from the body, it is most likely a rotator cuff injury. There does not seem to be one specific cause to rotator cuff problems, and usually pain medications and physical therapy will be the preferred treatment. Sometimes surgery is required.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa sac. The bursa sac is filled with fluid and it helps to ;cushion the bones of the shoulder joint. The symptoms of shoulder bursitis are constant pain that gets worse with any movement. It seems to strike people over the age of 50 as well as those with diabetes and a weakened immune system. It is common in athletes, especially basketball players and swimmers. Treatment includes alternating application of ice then heat and anti-inflammatories like Aleve.
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Heart Disease Not The Only Reason For That Feeling Of Angina
Although chest pain is oftenand rightfully associated with heart disease, other medical problems can be causes of chest pain. Anginafeelings of pressure, heaviness, tightness. or pain in the chestoccurs when plaque in the coronary arteries partially blocks blood flow and the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients. Yet the heart isn’t the only organ in the upper abdomen, and chest pain may be due to conditions affecting the esophagus, lungs, gall bladder, or stomach.
Yes Gas Can Cause Chest Pain
A burp is a common sign that you’re, well, experiencing some gas. Chest pain, on the other hand, is a gas symptom that’s way less discussed.
“Gas can cause more than just pain in the belly. Gas can be described as a stabbing pain or tightness in the chest, which mimics chest pain,”Dr. Monisha Bhanote, MD, FCAP, an integrative medicine physician, said.
According to Dr. Bhanote, gas is created in the body two ways: by swallowing air and through the digestive process.
When one eats or drinks too quickly, they can swallow air, which may lead to gas accumulation in the stomach; so, eating slower could help, she explained.
As for digestion, Dr. Bhanote said that not all of the sugar, starch, and fiber one consumes is broken down in the small intestine. It passes onto the large intestine, where bacteria further breaks it down into carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and methane, which eventually leaves the body.
“Certain foods may also increase gas in individuals. This varies based not only on the food but on the bacterial colonization of the individual’s gastrointestinal tract. Common culprits may include cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage whole grains, as well as dairy products, soft drinks, beans, and some fruits.”
Slowing down when eating, avoiding drinking through a straw, and passing on chewing gum are easy ways to avoiding swallowing access air, she added.
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How To Tell The Difference Between Anxiety Chest Pain And Cardiac Chest Pain
There’s no guaranteed method of knowing whether or not chest pain is caused by anxiety or by a heart problem. But generally the two differ in their overall experience:
Anxiety Chest Pain
- Is usually more localized to a specific area.
- Closer to the middle of the chest, although not necessarily.
Cardiac Chest Pain
- Tends to radiate all around the shoulder and possibly the jaw.
- Tends to be a duller pain, like the heart is being crushed.
- Lasts longer than 10 minutes or more.
There are a lot of similarities between the two. Both may have lightheadedness or dizziness and feel like the heart is being squeezed. Both can make it harder to breathe . It’s not easy to tell the difference, but the differences are there. Furthermore, once you identify what anxiety chest pain feels like for you, in the moment, you may feel more reassured about what your symptoms are indicating .
Psychological Causes Of Chest Pain
Both anxiety and panic attack can cause symptoms very similar to angina. These attackswhich can occur out of the blue or in response to a stressful eventinclude chest pain along with shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. The key difference is that the chest pain is usually fleeting, lasting only a moment or two.
Start With The Area In The Middle Of Your Chest
There you will find the medium fibers of your pectoralis major the large chest muscle. It is the most common cause of chest tightness and pain.
A massage ball is the best tool for massaging this muscle.
- Place a massage ball on your chest between yourself and a wall and press up against the wall.
- Now roll the ball slowly over your chest area searching for tense and painful spots.
- As soon as you find one, concentrate on that spot rolling over and massaging this area a maximum of 15 times.
- Increase the pressure on the ball in the area slightly before the painful spot, roll very slowly over it until just after it; decrease the pressure, roll back again and repeat the process.
- Do this with every sensitive, painful areas in your chest!
Lets continue with the area under your collar bone. This is where your subclavius and your pectoralis minor are located.
Both of these muscles frequently cause chest pain if too much tension is present.
You can massage these muscles with a ball, the Trigger Fairy or with your fingers.
When massaging with your fingers, make sure to take regular breaks and keep the sessions short to avoid straining your fingers.
Symptoms Can Be Different For Men And Women
Men and women experience heart attack symptoms in slightly different ways. The main difference is how pain radiates.
- For men: Pain will spread to the left shoulder, down the left arm or up to the chin.
- For women: Pain can be much more subtle. It may travel to the left or right arm, up to the chin, shoulder blades and upper back or to abdomen . Women are also more likely to experience these accompanying symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain. Read an in-depth overview of heart attack symptoms for women here.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Surviving a heart attack depends upon how well you recognize and react to these symptoms. Remember that “time is muscle.” The sooner you receive medical care, the sooner heart muscle can be saved.
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What Are Common Causes Of Chest And Neck Pain
Chest and neck pain rarely occur together. When they do, the most common cause is arthritis or injury. Chest pain is commonly caused by heart trouble, inflammation, or digestive problems. Neck pain is most often a result of sore or tight muscles. While neck pain is rarely serious, chest pain can be a symptom of a heart attack or another life-threatening condition, so its important to see a doctor right away.
A heart attack happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the heart. Chest and neck pain can be symptoms of a heart attack, though its more common for the pain to be localized in the chest and sometimes radiating out to the shoulder and arm. A heart attack can also cause shortness of breath, fainting, and nausea. Symptoms vary from person to person, but this is a life-threatening condition, and anyone with these symptoms should see a physician right away.
An angina is another common cardiac cause of chest pain. An angina happens when cholesterol plaques build up in the arteries that carry blood to the heart, narrowing these arteries. This can hinder blood flowing to the heart, which causes episodes of chest pain.
Can I Care For My Angina At Home
Stop doing whatever it is that causes the symptoms and call 911. Immediate help and intervention offer the best chance for survival if someone is having a heart attack or other serious problem.
- Lie down in a comfortable position with the head up.
- Chew a regular adult aspirin or its equivalent . Chewing more than one will not do any good and may cause unwanted side effects.
If the person has had angina before and been evaluated by a doctor, follow his or her recommendations.
- This may mean rest and the immediate use of sublingual nitroglycerin.
- It may include a visit to the hospital emergency department.
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What About Surgery For Angina
Like angioplasty, surgery is an option for people whose angina does not improve with medications and others who are at high risk of having a heart attack. Surgery is usually reserved for people with very severe narrowing or blockage in several coronary arteries.
In almost all cases, the operation used for severely narrowed coronary arteries is coronary artery bypass grafting.
Coronary artery bypass surgery
- The chest and rib cage are opened up
- The narrowed part of the artery is bypassed by a piece of vein removed from the leg, or with a piece of artery behind the sternum , or a portion of the radial artery taken from the lower arm or forearm.
- Several arteries can be bypassed in one operation.
- This is a very safe operation, with a mortality rate of less than 1%, in people whose heart muscle is not severely damaged irreversibly and who have normal lungs, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
- Because the chest is opened, the recovery time can be quite long, especially if the person is older and has multiple other health problems.
No : Pain In Lower Back Or Between Shoulder Blades
“Most often it’s arthritis,” says Brangman, who is professor and chief of geriatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. Other possibilities include a heart attack or abdominal problems. “One danger is aortic dissection, which can appear as either a nagging or sudden pain. People who are at risk have conditions that can change the integrity of the vessel wall. These would include high blood pressure, a history of circulation problems, smoking, and diabetes.”
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Muscular Chest Pain: Self
This muscle is not very often involved in chest pain in the same way as those described in the first point.
However, to be absolutely thorough, it should nevertheless be examined since the presence of trigger points in this muscle could be the cause of pain.
Dont spend too much time on this area if you dont find any sensitive spots.
Here were dealing with the sternocleidomastoid muscle, but dont let its name scare you.
All you need to know is that it is the thick, round muscle on the side of your neck that stretches from the collarbone to the back of your head.
Massage this muscle with the thumb-index finger technique. That means you roll it back and forth between the two fingers.
- Take hold of the side of your neck shaping your hand like a pair of pliers.
- Now, pull the muscle you find there slightly outward. You can easily feel the entire length of the muscle with your hands in this position.
- Take the time to search for painful spots. As soon as you find one, slowly roll it back and forth between your fingers a maximum of 15 times.
- If you feel your pulse under your fingers during the massage, then that means you have taken hold of the large artery located in your neck. There is nothing to be worried about. Just let go and grasp the muscle again this time without the artery.
Neck And Shoulder Pain Even When Together Can Have Quite A Few Causes Some Life Threatening
This is why its natural for GERD sufferers to hope that both neck and shoulder pain is being caused by their GI problems and not something more serious like a heart issue.
GERD can cause non-cardiac chest pain, begins Dr. Brian Lacy, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Med Center, who specializes in functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and is author of the book Healing Heartburn.
It is usually under the breast bone but can occasionally radiate up into the neck and into the left arm, continues Dr. Lacy.
However, GERD by itself is unlikely to cause shoulder pain. The key to distinguish neck and shoulder pain is to have the patient see their PCP and do a careful exam.
Isolated neck and shoulder pain without classic symptoms of reflux is rarely due to GERD. Pyrosis refers to heartburn.
A careful exam will usually identify the cause of the neck or shoulder pain .
Another life-threatening cause of both neck and shoulder pain, other than a cardiac problem, is lung cancer.
This is when the tumor is located in the top of the lungs. Here, it encroaches upon the nerve that passes from the upper part of the chest to your neck.
However, when this happens, there will likely be other symptoms along with this such as weakening of the hand muscles, a drooping eyelid and/or blurred vision.
If you have both neck and shoulder pain, dont panic and think you might have lung cancer.
However, dont assume it might be GERD, either. See your doctor.
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