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Spine and Back Health

Rib Cage Pain and Pressure

10/14/2009

Question:

Hello,

For the past six months, I have been having pain and pressure accross my ribcage. When you press on parts of the rib bones, there is a sharp pain, there is often tightness and pain underneath my breasts, where my breast bone is I suppose. At first I was terrified that it was heart related (due to the squeezing type of pressure), I saw a cardiologist and had a stress EKG and echo and my heart has a perfect bill of health.

My GP said it is probably costochondritis and there isn`t anything that can be done, that it needs to resolve itself. I have burning upper back pain near my shoulderblades along with this. I think this Chosto spell stems from a pulled muscle in my back that I had around the time this started.

Is it common for Chosto to last this long? I saw a chiropractor yesterday and didn`t feel the practice to be valid or helpful. Should I see an Orthopedist? Oddly, while I excersize, it usually feels better. I also feel fine upon waking up. It gets worse as the day goes on.

I`m a female, 29, non-smoker, slightly elevated anxiety levels!!!!

Thank you for any advice. I`m at a loss!

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University