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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Sharp Intense Chest Pain

 medic036 - Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:39 am

23, Male, no past diagnosis, no past surgeries, no family history, no current medication.

This Sharp intense Pain I have had for a long time now, and concidering im still alive I never thought it was anything big, but the pain just gets worse and now im worried. The pain comes at any point in time, very sparaticly, wether im sitting and relaxed or exercising, it comes whenever it wants. This pain is so intense it feels like someone actually stabbed me in the side. It completly makes me stop what im doing and keel over in pain, people ask "o my god, whats wrong?" and I say "o nothing im fine" as I grind my teeth in pain. Then the pain goes away in a couple seconds. I am a very athletic 23 yr old male, I know its not a heart attack I have had blood tests done everything looks as tho im perfectly healthy and my doctor sends me on my way. I know something is wrong with me but no one seems to beleive me. The pain is approximatly one hand width below the left breast. The pain feels like its right on the inside of my rib cage. I know its not a muscle strain or pull thing its more pain than that. I hope this was enough information for you to help me thank you, Adam
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:57 pm

User avatar What you are describing is actually a fairly common phenomenon. There are a couple of possible causes of your pain. The most likely is a syndrome known as Precordial Catch Syndrome. It obtained its name because people describe the pain as if something was caught and tearing with intense sharp pain. Then the pain goes away as if what ever was caught gave way. It's not well known why this happens. Unfortunately, because the pain is intermittent and irregular, treatment is very difficult. Ibuprofen may help reduce some inflammation that may be at the source of the pain.

The other possibility is pleurisy, which is inflammation of the coverings of the lungs/chest wall. This can be quite painful. I suspect that Precordial Catch Syndrome is a variant of this. Pain here tends to be worsened with breathing. Also, it tends not to suddenly appear and dissappear, although it can. A course of ibuprofen to help alleviate the inflammation.

I would suggest talking with your doctor to get a thorough exam. This is always safest to rule out other causes of pain, and to decide on a treatment course.

Hope this helps.

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