Medical Specialty >> Pulmonology

Doctors Lounge - Pulmonology Answers

Back to Pulmonology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest pain/21 year old female

 sunshine21 - Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:07 pm

I'm a 21-year-old female who has had chest pain for a couple days now...I've been writing it off as a strained muscle or ligament. It's in my left breast area, is sharp, and comes and goes. It is sharp and achy at the same time--I know that doesn't make sense, but this pain is hard to describe. I think I can rub certain areas that are more sore near my ribs...but I can't say for sure.

My family has no history of heart problems, but I have anorexia nervosa (binge/purge subtype). I've had lots of EKG's (none since this pain started) and I have occasional a-fib but not constant. I take 100 mg Zoloft and 30 mg Buspar; occasionally Sanctura.

My other health problems are frequent headaches and stomachaches. I hope I covered everything relevant![/i]
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:17 pm

User avatar Hello,

- It sounds like muscle spasm is the cause of your symptoms.

Muscle spasm alone can cause this pain which can be an unidentified cause but in many cases is the result of viral infection, inappropriate posture for long time like traveling, driving and certain types of work.

Self care and avoiding the precipitating cause will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain. Home treatment includes the use of Analgesics, cold or hot therapy. Rest for maximum two days is also beneficial.

Other causes should be excluded like:

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, which is a double-layered membrane covers the lungs separating it from the rib cage. Viral infections like flu, are the most common cause of Pleurisy. The pain is felt as sharp pain which get worse by Coughing, sneezing, moving and deep breathing. Auscultation of the chest shows a characteristic sound known as pleural rub.

Sometimes Chest pain is not originating from the chest itself; instead it is due to problems in the digestive tract. These problems include IBS, Gastritis and Gastric ulcer, gall bladder disease, GER.

Cardiac causes, should be excluded in any case of Chest pain although it is not likely to be the cause in your case (female, young age, atypical symptoms).

Psychological or emotional stress and Anxiety, in these cases the diagnosis is made by exclusion of other causes.

Direct clinical examination is essential.
Best regards,

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us