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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Left side back and chest irritation, pricking - no signs

 askingquestion - Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:43 pm

I am a 29 yr. old male with no history of anything. The past few days I have had an irritation on my left back that feels like a pricking feeling and is sensitive to the touch. There are no discolorations, swelling or anything of any kind. My front left chest is now feeling the same...all on the left side of my body. I had some sharp chest pains a day or so before this, but blew it off as stress and anxiety, since we are moving. It is not affected or increased due to heat or exercise like another sympton I noticed others were mentioning. It isn't an extremely painful pain but it is discomforting and just raises questions to me since it has been about 5 days now and now my front left side is feeling the same. My family has a history of heart attacks (both grandfathers) and I just wanted to see if this was related to the heart or just symptons of stress/anxiety. Thank you.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:47 pm

User avatar Hello,

The pain you have described sounds like neuralgia or neuropathy pain.

This could be due to nerve compression or irritation (disc prolapse, infections like prodroma of herpes zoster (shingles) or any other cause of nerve irritation and nerve compression.

Shingle: which is due to reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the virus causes chickenpox), in the dorsal root ganglia when the immune system is lowered , e.g. during periods of stress.

Typically patients with shingles present with a painful, blistering rash along dermatome of the affected nerve, however, the pain may starts a few days before the appearance of the rash (preherpetic neuralgia).

The rash starts as reddish bumps that turn into blisters in few days. The blisters usually crust over and fall off in 7 - 10 days while the pain may last longer.

Other causes of nerve compression or irritation should be excluded.
Your pain is not typical for cardiac causes, however in any type of chest pain, cardiac causes should be exclude.

Direct clinical examination is essential.
Keep us updated.
Best regards

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