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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest Pain on Left side


 dutt - Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:08 am

For the past few days, I have a pain at a point in my chest on left side between nipple and left underarm. I can feel it more when exhaling after deep breathing. I can point out the location with a finger. Today, my left arm was also tense due to this for some time (especially the last two fingers). I am a male 48 Yrs. Is this a heart problem or something else ? Fortunately, I can sleep well.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:16 pm

User avatar Dear dutt,

The chest contains many organs, like the heart, lungs with its pleural covering, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, and nerves.
They all can be the source of the pain felt in the chest.

Inflammation of the pleura (pleurisy) covering the lung gives a sharp pain that is associated with Cough and is more severe when taking deep breath. Viral infection is the commonest cause of Pleurisy.

Overexertion of the chest wall muscles or their inflammation as a part of viral infection like flu or cold results also in Chest pain, the pain is usually aggravated with certain moves and is usually associated with tenderness over the affected muscles. Pain due to rib or chest wall bone disease is also another cause of Chest pain.

Cardiac causes although are less likely to be the cause in your situation (young age with no risk factors and atypical symptoms) , should be excluded.

Sometimes Chest pain is not originating from the chest itself; instead it is due to problems in the digestive tract. These problems include IBS, Gastritis and Gastric ulcer, gall bladder disease, GER. But these medical problems are usually related to meals and are not related to deep breath or physical exercises.

You need to be examined by your doctor, since the pain you described can be any of these causes. Only by complete history and physical examination, the correct diagnosis can be reached.

Best regards,

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