Chest wall pain feels like it’s coming from your rib cage, breast or a muscle in your chest. Chest wall usually represent the structures surrounding and protecting your lungs, including your ribs and sternum.
Causes of chest wall pain:
Chest wall pain can have variety of causes including;
- Pulling a muscle in your chest
- Medical conditions like angina, heart attack, pericarditis, or myocarditis
- Lung or digestive issues
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as gallstones, peptic ulcer, or gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Musculoskeletal problems such as costochondritis or Tiitze’s syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatic diseases, nerve entrapment, or intercostal muscle strain which causes Inflammation around the ribs.
Symptoms of chest wall pain:
Some common symptoms of chest wall pain are;
- Pain that worsens when you move your chest, twist your torso, or raise your arms
- Pain that increases when you breathe deeply, sneeze, or cough
- Shooting pain that extends to your back or neck
How to diagnose chest wall pain?
If your chest wall pain is due to any musculoskeletal problem then doctor will perform following test s;
- Chest X-ray
- Nerve conduction velocity tests
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound
- Sympathetic skin response, which is a test of your nerve’s reaction when triggered with stimuli
If you’re at a risk of heart disease then doctor will perform;
- Blood tests
If you have chest wall pain due to lung problem then tests will be;
- CT scan
Treatments for chest wall pain:
A treatment of chest wall pain also depends upon the cause.
- Lung infection; antibiotics can successfully treat chest wall pain when it is due to lung problem.
- Heart diseases; if the reason of chest wall pain is serious heart problem then you may receive medications or blood thinners that open arteries. And in case of severe condition cardiac catheterization, coronary artery bypass grafting or bypass surgery may be recommended.
- Musculoskeletal problems; can manage with heat or ice, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, muscle relaxers, stretching, and physical therapy. You should avoid doing things that triggers your chest wall pain. In severe cases, doctors might suggest corticosteroids injections in order to reduce inflammation.
Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has vast expertise and his center is great for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, chest pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions.
For further queries call on 815.412.6166