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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Occassional pain around center of chest area

 venukgopal - Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:01 pm


I have been experiencing at least once a week this dull pain around and mostly at the center of the chest since about 6 - 8 months. Since I am otherwise healthy, with no reported illnesses (as every year I go for physical check / blood tests - results being NORMAL all through since last 10 years).

When it began I also experienced fast heart beats during nights sometimes (and only during nights when I woke up in between the sleep - which has been my habit for 20 years). Besides that this pain. The pain is dull, can last for time windows of 30 mins (which has been common) and during that windows I would experience this dull pain that last 2 seconds to 10 seconds at max. Few times I observed this pain on the back, exactly opposite of the center of the chest. It is just a pointed area. There is no pain observed any where else. When I raise my hands I feel relief during that time. I observed that I am getting this pain 1 day after I do Yoga exercises. When I stopped doing exercises for a week or two to observer results, I am greatly normal. I stopped exercises to contact doctor.

I contacted a doctor with my family history (father - heart attack at 67, died of hammarrage at 86, mother died of severe stomach pain in 3 days at 82, brother - heart attack at 66 - doing good now at 73; for a family of 10 brothers and sisters that we are, no other incidences) and above symptoms reports, doctor ran EKG, plain stress test and considered the pain might be due to muscle inflammation. Doctor gave Meloxicam 7.5mg - 1 tab/day - for 15 days. I started my exercises and I got the pain, when doctor increased the dose to 2tab/day - I continued for 15 days, without exercise. When I resumed exercise, I get the pain. I stopped exercises, stopped medicine - as I read that this medication has side effect on GI track and also for the reason the pain is certainly bearable, though causing my concern when I experience the same.

I strated taking anti-inflmmatory food like garlic, ginger, turmeric, almonds, peanuts, spinach, carrot etc, making each of my food in take (breakfast, lunch, dinner) on an average anti-inflammatory. After 1 month of this food, no exercise, I did only couple of exercises - trikona asanas - bending the torso over waist on left and right for 2 days. I experience pain again, but like always 12 - 16 hours after the exercise. I realize that sleeping on my left side causes the pain, not on right side. This pain now longer for window of 1 hour (only when I am awake) comes and goes for 1 -2 mins. When turned on left, it will start _ when it starts -after 10mins, then last for 1 hour at lengths of 1-2 mins of pain.

While I can bear the pain, go with anti-inflammatory food, I am concerned if something else is going in my body around chest (I am convinced this is not cardiac) / lungs. Is it common for the inflammatory pains to reveals 8 - 16 hours after the exercise?

 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:44 am

User avatar Hi,
In cases of pain over the front of the chest (especially over the sternum or the general heart area), a cardiac cause has to be considered and excluded.

You say that you are practicing certain yoga exercises.Ideally, these have to be performed under supervision of experts(at least initially). Not all yogic exercises are suitable for everyone. If a particular "asana"(posture) is found to be unsuitable for a given individual, alternative postures may be considered to achieve the desired benefits.There are 'asanas' suitable for various age groups.

Your pain has quite a few features of a "radicular" pain- a radiculopathy (nerve compression) originating from the thoracic spine.Muscular pain presenting so intermittently and for such short durations is rather unusual.

You should ideally consult an orthopedic surgeon and get assessed.You may also discuss with your yoga instructor to discuss your symptoms and if need be switch over to an alternative 'asana'.
Best wishes!
 venukgopal - Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:14 pm

Doctor Kamath

Thanks for the reply and your comments - on both caridac cause and yoga instructor- are noted.

Cardiac: As I mentioned in the my original posting, a physician has verified EKG for normal results, plain stress test (on treadmill) were verified to be NORMAL by a cardiologist. Even before both these test, my primary care physician (based on the sympton description from me) suggested the problem as a 'chest muscle inflammation' and suggested the medication. Are you suggesting additional cardiac tests? I am not clear.

Yoga: I took yoga lessons under Guru in 1994 and have been practicing the asanas since then without any problem.

I am intrigued by this pain patten. It always lags the exercise by 8 - 16 hours (approximately). Is this common for inflammatory or cardiac situations? While waiting for your guidance, I would still consider your recommendation and so would consult my physican for a follow up visit.

 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:55 pm

User avatar Hi,
You are right in saying that a cardiac cause has been excluded. I mentioned it as a routine, as an important information to be useful to the other readers of the forum.

In my practice, I have come across occasionally, even yoga teachers with similar or related complaints(may well be exceptions). You must be aware that even the most well trained athletes at times succumb to sprains, strains or other injuries, even during routine practice sessions.

Your symptom may well be a due to myalgia or a muscle inflammation. i was only suggesting some of the differential diagnoses for your complaint without actually examining you!

Hope you will get well soon. Good luck!

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