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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Sharp Pain in the Chest that quickly goes away


 age3105 - Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:49 am

I have been having a sharp pain in my chest, which seems to be my heart, or under my left breast. It is hard to take deep breaths, but then subsides within 3 minutes or so. This concerns me, but i don't know if it is serious. Could it just be an air bubble or something?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed May 06, 2009 8:41 pm

User avatar Hi there --

Your symptom doesn't sound heart related at all, and here's why: heart pains are almost never sharp or stabbing, rarely brief or fleeting, and very rarely in the area of the left breast. Also, since deep breathing aggravates this, it sounds very much like one of several other much more innocent problems. Yes, it could be a gas bubble, or it also could be mild pleurisy (inflammation of the lining around the lung) which can cause this sort of pain, sometimes more severe and shooting up to the shoulder on the affected side. It also could be due to costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilege between the ribs near the breastbone. Sometimes the muscles of the chest wall can become similarly inflamed with the same result. Most of these (other than the possible gas bubble) can usually be treated effectively with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofin (Advil) or naproxyn (Aleve). There's very little chance of this being heart related, and the heart is actually located more toward the center of the chest, mostly beneath the breastbone, but since we tend to believe it's over on the left (and is often felt beating there) we assume left-sided chest pain is heart-related. Deep breathing and/or upper body movement that aggravates this sort of pain is one more way of ruling out heart involvement.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck with this, and you might even try to avoid taking deep breaths for a while, as this can actually cause chest wall spasms that feel like what you describe.

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