Intermitant sticking (stabbing?) pain in right lower chest over last 2-3 weeks

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I've been having a an intermitant pain in my right lower chest over the last 2-3 weeks.  It generally goes away after a few seconds or less, but sometimes recurs once or twice within the next 10-20 seconds.  It's never been horrible.  Maybe at most reaching a 4 out of 10, but even that might be more than it really is because there's a mental compontent due to the lack of prediction, how it comes out of the blue without warning and not based on exercise or anything else than I can tell.  Sometimes I barely feel it, so it's a 1 or 2 at most.  Sometimes I'm walking, sometimes just standing, sometimes sitting, sometimes lying in bed. It seems pinpointed in this one area that is near the center of my chest, but then off to the right where the rib cage starts. after I get this pain and feel in the area, it does feel tender do the touch, but if I feel it later, it doesn't feel tender.  I can go hours with no pain, and maybe the most frequent has been a couple three or four times over the course of two hours.  I feel like the frequency was more when it first started, but after several days it went down a bit and now kind of ranges from 5 to 10 times per day?

I do have a history of heart disease, but have been on a whole foods plant based diet for three months and other than this and persistant issues with cervical stenosis, feel much better than I did before, with lipid numbers to show.  BP is very well controlled - I do take meds, but I'm guessing at this point I probably don't need to - cardiologist appointment for the end of the month.

I've been wondering whether I should make an appointment with my primary care doctor.  I did have an annual checkup a couple of months ago and they did a full blood workup and everything was normal.  As mentioned, I've a diagnosed issue with cervical narrowing of vertibrae that has caused quite a bit of mainly upper back and shoulder pain over the last 6 months.  Been doing physical therapy for that over the last 4 months which I feel hasn't helped all that much.

Googling this type of pain doesn't provide a whole lot of clues, so wondering if this could be at all related to the stenosis or some kind of inflammation (myocarditus or pericarditus)?  I got a CT scan a year and half ago when I was having other pain along my rib cage, but I think that was on the left side.  It was normal except that they said I had a pericardial cyst.  I talked to my cardiologist about that and he said in his experience it never caused an issue for the patient...

Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Hey mine is kinda the same except I don’t have a stabbing feeling, mine is more like a ache, and it’s on the left side of my chest. It’s on and off sometimes lasting up to about a min, and the longest it’s ever ached would be about 10min. I don’t know what it is and it started about 1 week ago. I have not been up to the doctor for anything for a long time just for a regular check up. 
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  • Posted

    Just as an update, I had gotten so tired of these pains that I resolved to go see a doctor on Friday (no work due to Veteran's Day).  So I called on Thursday and there were no appointments, but they said I could do a walk-in.  I planned on it, but we had workers over at our house in the morning and I couldn't leave until the afternoon.  I did not have any pain the whole day of course, but Thursday I had one two or three barely noticeable ones throughout the day.  So I just decided I'd hold off since it seemed like it might be finally dissipating.  Saturday they returned, but only in the afternoon and only again 2 or 3 over the course of a few hours, and very very light.  Today again, nothing, and it's almost 2pm.  I've generally been resting a lot the last few days and getting tons of sleep, so I think whatever it is, is healing, but we'll see if it continues to come and go once I go back to work.  Hopefully one of those fluke random pains that I've had before that just resolve within a short period, although this time has been the longest of those periods - normally if I get something it lasts at the very most one week...

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  • Posted

    Hey, 

    So the symptoms that you have described are almost identical to mine. Except mine is also like a dull ache, most of the time it is almost in the middle of the chest but is more towards the left side right before the rib cage starts (as you described). Mine does occasionally move over to the right hand side, does move to the ribs sometimes and can become a stabbing pain. This has been happening 7 weeks for me. Sometimes this ache can last a whole day, and then I can be fine for up to 2 weeks with no symptoms. I did go to the doctor and I have a referral to go see a cardiologist. As of right now, looks as if it is nothing too serious. Doctor is a tad worried it could be viral pericarditis (in the worst case scenario) but it is most likely an aggravated muscle. But even Viral pericarditis is easily treated with antibiotics etc. I wouldn’t be too concerned, I notice mine gets worse with anxiety and also I’m a student so I carry around a backpack and stuff so I don’t think it helps with the chest pain

    But anyways, it seems as though a lot of us are going through this right now. 

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    • Posted

      Yeah, I'd read the stuff on Pericarditus.  Luckily there's no ache for me and it's at most two or three stabbing or 'sticking pains within a period of a few seconds to maybe 10 seconds, and then nothing for an hour or several hours.  Seems like it is resolving on it's own as today I may have had one or two but they were so slight that I almost missed them - just felt like part of my background "noise."  I do have a lot of back issues due to narrowing of cervical discs and that can complicate any kind of pain issue, as referring pain from that can reach around to the chest.  The other thing though, is that I have a diagnosed condition of heart disease, having gotten a stent placed in one of my diagonal arteries back almost 4 years ago (I'm 49 now).  However, my overall sense right now is that my cardiac issues are a thing of the past.  I may be deluding myself of course, but in the last 3 months I've switched to an entirely plant-based diet that includes no oil, no added salt, or sweeteners of any kind, and no high-fat plant-based foods even like nuts or avocado or tofu.  Result is I've lost 22 lbs so far (lowest wait since my early 20's), and my cholesterol numbers are incredible, not to mention BP.  I'll be going to my cardiologist in a couple of weeks and expect him to bring up the possibility of discontinuing some of the meds I'm on.  I do have back pain when I walk a lot, especially up hill, or carry heavy things, and it's similar in character to what brought be into the doctor when I got my stent (I did not have typical chest pain).  However I don't see it as being cardiac related because it tends to resolve after a little while rather than get worse like it did 4 years ago, and it also varies a lot, sometimes I don't get it for 10 or 20 minutes into walking, whereas 4 years ago it was within 10 seconds and so debilitating that I would have to stop walking after 30 seconds to rest!

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  • Posted

    I am a 26 year old male and healthy as can be. I do have a family history of heart disease, but I don't think that's what this is. Everything you have described is almost exactly like mine, except mine is on my left. My chest pains start from my sternum area and around the lower left breast and would radiate to the other side of the breast and around the start of the ribs. The pains ranges from 1-2 (the weakest) and 2-3 (the most 'painful'wink from a scale of 1-5 that I have experienced. I have noticed that it also radiates to the back right behind my left chest. Have you experienced this? I've had these pains as far as I can remember dating back to 2010 or maybe further. I narrowed it down to be the cause of carrying a heavy backpack or messenger back that I would slung on one shoulder. I even came to a morbid conclusion that it could be male breast cancer, but I just don't see/feel any of the symptoms that come with male breast cancer. It's still in the back of my mind though. I also considered that it could be a cyst that causing nerve/muscular pain, but I don't feel any lumps. Currently and as I'm typing this up, I've been having the aches, I like to describe my pains as dull aches, for days now and it doesn't help that i have a cold and have been coughing. Mine comes frequently as well. I think I've gone as far as a week or weeks where I don't have them. But when they occur, they occur almost daily and can last almost a day; it will literally drive me nuts and make me super stressed and anxious. Stress and anxiety could also be the cause of this since I've read that stress and anxiety can result in body aches and pains. It doesn't help that I'm a natural born paranoid/hypochondriac, so I'm never relieved from any stress and my job also is stressful.

    I've been going to the gym regularly and have been working especially my chests. I've noticed that I don't have the aches when I'm exercising no matter how rigorous. But, I will always have some kind of sensation maybe from muscle recovery or during my rest period and it will always be on my left side. I've never had and real sensations on my right chest/breast. No matter how much I touch/press/massage, I can ever really induce or replicate the aches. They just happen. Although lately, I have been testing it and when the aches occur around the rib area, I noticed that I being a specific position will cause and stop it, but it's never all the time so it's inconclusive. Back to my cough, I've read that viral infections like a cold can cause chest sensations like your nerves, so to add to my aches which I'm currently experiencing, I now have tingling and nerve sensations mostly on my left chest and breast which i feel shooting tingles like electricity right to the nipple. I have concluded that the tingles/prickles are affecting both my right and left chest because I do feel it on my right but very uncommon, mostly on my left.

    So yea, I have had multiple x-rays and blood tests all which came back normal, so my physician referred my to a neurologist. I hope to find some answers soon since I just set up an appointment. I really hope to hear back from you and see what your doc tells you. Sorry for the word vomit. I just really needed to describe all that I’ve experience to hopefully validate my experience with others that have dealt with a similar situation.

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  • Posted

    I forgot to mention that during the period that I don't go to the gym, like about a week is when I really have the bad aches. It makes me think if my exercising are what's causing them, but I never have it on my right side so I get very suspicious. I have also read that indigestion can cause these aches. Not conclusive, but I burped or released gas orally and it gave me a slight relief only briefly though. I really don't know what the cause of this is but I really hope we all figure it out for our sanity's sake.

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