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Q. I feel tenderness when I press on both sides of chest. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abelrahman Abouibrahim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 02, 2018

Hello doctor,

I will attempt to summarize this as best I can here.

Symptoms:

I have been experiencing what feels like I strained my chest muscle(s). They have been terribly sore for about a week. The pain lessens after sleeping. But something as simple as stretching my arms seems to flare it back up again. The pain is consistently in the same location. I can press on my chest and feel the tenderness. I have pulled a groin ligament, and the pain level is very similar. Massaging it seems to briefly relieve the pain. But, I can definitely pinpoint the pain with my fingers easily.

It does hurt to breathe at times. But this could also be allergies, as the weather here would result in that. Over the past few days, the sides of my ribs have begun to feel sore. But I am wondering if this is due to me holding myself up differently, as I am attempting not to overload my chest. This is causing me a great deal of anxiety.

Facts:

I check my blood pressure and heart rate at home. Both have been normal. In fact, my blood pressure is looking great this week. I have terrible anxiety issues, which has landed me in the ER a few times due to heart palpitations. I have had two EKGs, CBC and other blood tests, an X-ray, and seen a cardiologist. The verdict: Anxiety. This April, I had my last round of blood tests and an EKG done. I was told that I looked great. I have the test results for reference, should anyone care to see.

I am quite out-of-shape and have been trying very hard to improve my health. I started up the P90X DVDs about two weeks ago. This chest pain kicked in after a few P90X sessions. I moved a few heavy items around my home during this time as well, so I imagine I may have irritated whatever is going on there. Icing the chest seems to help a good bit. It is just so strange, as I can quite literally press on the pained areas. They are on both sides of the chest, in exactly the same locations on either side. The middle of my chest is a bit sore, but not remotely close to the pain on either side.

I am uninsured and really cannot afford to shell out the money for cautionary tests. This is very distressful to me and triggering off some major anxiety for the last week. I have been hoping the pain would improve. I have ridden an exercise bike rapidly, multiple times, while having this pain. The pain did not worsen at all. In fact, it felt great (aside from the fact that I am in severely sore pain).

Personal details:

37-year-old male. 5’8”. 185 pounds. This pain has been going for about a week. It feels like my chest muscle(s). I am not on any medications. I do not take any drugs at all. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life.

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abelrahman Abouibrahim

General Medicine Internal Medicine
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have checked the attached files thoroughly (attachment removed to protect patient identity). All the investigations you performed are within normal and there is no need for further investigations.

From what you mentioned, you have acute muscle sprain which is due to lifting heavy objects and the exercises that you have started.

  1. I recommend that you take Ibuprofen 400 mg tablets when you have pain (recommended not to exceed four tablets per day and not for more than one week). Consult a specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and start taking the medicines with their consent.
  2. Local deep heat cream thrice daily for two weeks.
  3. A warm pack would be helpful.

This sprain usually resolves within one to two weeks with no long-term consequences.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician


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Hello doctor,

Thank you so much. The reports are from three months ago, so a little old. Would they have shown some sort of issue if there was a heart attack coming now?

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abelrahman Abouibrahim

General Medicine Internal Medicine
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

In order to exclude a heart attack, a new ECG and troponin test is required. But I would like to reassure you that the chest pain you have described is most likely due to muscle sprain following exercises and lifting heavy objects.

Moreover, heart attacks are strongly related to risk factors like diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol levels, as you have mentioned you have none of these risk factors.

Chest pain due to a heart attack is usually compressing, heavy in the central part of the chest with numbness in the jaw or left shoulder.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician


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