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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Left side chest and arm pains

 clarebee - Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:51 am

Hi, i'm a 25 year old female, my health is quite fine. I smoke up to 10 cigerettes a day but apart from that i'm generally fine.
For the past 6-8 months i've been having chest pains on the left hand side of my chest just underneath my armpit and sometimes radiates into my left breast and the top of my left arm. It's a dull throbbing pain.
I went to the A&E department who did blood tests, chest x-ray and ECG's. They told me I had Pleurisy and my heart was fine. It eventually cleared up or so I thought but I keep getting these pains and i'm now starting to get worried again. Are they serious? Should I get it checked out again? Please help.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:54 pm

User avatar Hello -

What you describe is classic pleuritic pain, so the diagnosis makes total sense. This is an inflammatory problem with the pleura, the lining between the lungs and the chest wall. It can become chronic or recur at random, and usually responds well to over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofin or naproxyn. While ten cigarettes per day is not huge, one of the things smoking can do is aggravate pleurisy, so if you are able to limit yourself to ten per day you can probably, with some effort, cut that in half, and if you can do that, you can probably then stop smoking altogether, which is the only safe relationship with tobacco. End of sermon.

You undoubtedly are having a recurrence of pleurisy. It can be quite painful but is rarely serious. If the OTC meds don't help then by all means bring it back to your doctor's attention. It's not serious, but it can be awfully uncomfortable.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you.

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