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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Pain in upper chest and throat area

 Ssmith956 - Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:12 pm

I am a 50 year female who has degenerative disk disease, psoas syndrome, bursitis in both hips and mild scoliosis. I have had 2 spinal fusions of L4 & L5. I was just told that the bone that was harvested from my hip bone is not growing in the disk space. That there is just an empty space there and the right screw has become loose.

This morning I woke up with pain in my upper chest/throat area when I breathe. I have had a headache all morning that seems to go all the way down to my throat. I have also coughed a brown/green looking blog of junk.

I went to a Care Now Clinic and they took my vitals, temp was 99.5 which is high for me because my normal runs about 97.8, did a chest exray and a EKG. She said everything was normal and I should have a sonogram of my gall bladder because the pain could be caused by that. (I have acid reflux and have been on NEXIUM 40 mg. for many years)..

I don't think it is my gallbladder but what else could be causing this pain. It hurts when I try to lay down or when I try to bend over (cleaning cat box) and hurts when I breathe.

I also had a root canal with infection fixed last week. I've been on antibiotics for that.

Do you have any idea of what this pain is? I thought for sure it miust be bronchitis or pneumonia as I have had both several times in my life. When I was 6, I was hospitalized for 6 weeks with viral pneumonia.

Should I take what this Care Now doc say and have the gallbladder sonogram or do something else. Any information you can provide would be much appreciated!

Shirlee M. Smith
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:13 pm

User avatar Hello,

-Sometimes chest pain is not originating from the chest itself, instead it is due to problems in the digestive tract. These problems include gastritis and gastric ulcer, gall bladder disease, and GERD.

It sounds like GERD and gastritis is the cause of your symptoms.
Esophagitis is a known complication of GERD and can lead to esophageal spasm. You receive treatment for GERD but it may not be enough and you need to follow up with your doctor to prescribe the proper treatment.

People with GERD may present with:
Chest pain,
Pain in the throat,
Morning hoarseness, and
Discomfort in the chest
Others may experience a feeling like the food stuck in their throat or tightness in the throat, dry Cough and Shortness of breath similar to Asthma. These symptoms are mainly due to inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis)

Certain foods as well are known to aggravate the condition, and you better avoid them.
As for gall bladder diseases, although your symptoms are less likely to be related to gall bladder disease, many doctors prefer to exclude this cause.

-Psychological or emotional stress and Anxiety, are additive factors.

Other causes to be excluded and can give similar clinical picture include:

-Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, which is a double-layered membrane covers the lungs separating it from the rib cage. Viral infections are commonest cause and dry cough is usually present which increase the severity of the pain.

-Evolving lung infection.

- Associated Muscle spasm is to be excluded too as in many cases is the result of inappropriate posture for long time like traveling, driving, carrying heavy objects, and certain types of work or spinal problems (which you have).

-Cardiac causes, should be excluded in any case of Chest pain as your doctor has done.

Hope you find this information useful.
Best regards.

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