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: An all over pain

 nslick - Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:17 pm


Currently I am experiencing a good deal of random pains throughout my body. I am posting in this forum because the majority of it seems to be in my chest, not really on either side but in the middle, around the sternum. It's a dull, aching sensation that seems to come and on, and is very sensitive to touch. I haven't done anything or experienced any injury that would lead to this.

Also I am experiencing dull pains in other areas. In my neck, both sides tend to ache randomly, as well as pain in several spots in the back of my head. Pain along the jawline is also a problem on occasion.

Any ideas on what this may be is appreciated.
 nslick - Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:20 pm

I also forgot to note that I am also having a sharper pain in my abdomen. Usually this strikes me whenever I am sitting for a long period of time. It sometimes hurts to the touch, and is located on both sides.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:47 pm

User avatar Hello nslick - At first glance I was thinking your pain sounded cardiac-related, but then I came to the part about the affected area being very tender to touch. Pain in the chest, even in the sternal area, if aggravated by touch, is almost never cardiac-related but is usually Tietz's Syndrome (costochondritis, or inflammation of the cartilage which connects the ribs to the sternum. This area is surprisingly flexible and can become irritated any number of ways, sometimes for no apparent reason.

The fact that you describe the pain as an "ache" instead of sharp leaves some slight question in my mind as to what exactly is going on, but the sensitivity to touch pretty much rules out cardiac involvement. The abdominal pain, occurring when you are seated (and so bent at the waist) is probably not related and may well be due to unconscious swallowing of air.

With the other pain you describe also occurring in other areas, you may have some sort of neuritis (inflammation of nerves). This can be caused virally or for other more obscure reasons.

The first thing I would do is try an anti-inflammatory agent such as ibuprofin or naproxyn (available over the counter as Advil and Aleve respectively). If this causes the upper body pain to decrease or go away, then there's no reason for further concern. However, these can irritate the stomach, so should be taken with food, especially if you are already having abdominal pain.

If nothing changes after a day or two of over-the-counter NSAID self-treatment, I would bring this to the attention of your regular physician. I don't think it sounds heart-related, however..

Good luck to you with this.

| 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