Chiropractors/pain in chest

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QUESTION: Thank you for your kindness in sharing your expertise. I have had pain across my chest, often only on the left, sometimes on the right, and sometimes all across the upper chest. sometimes i feel soreness under my arms. I am obviously scared that this could be serious, yet I have no insurance or money to afford a doctor. My mother recently had a stroke, and I take care of her and my child. I do lots of running up and down stairs. lifting things, etc, and I am not short of breath or winded or tired from such activities. I often notice myself leaning and slouching, so I am hoping it is possible that the pain/pressure is related to my posture?? the pain/pressure has been going on for quite a while, and it is tolerable...it is just that I am concerned about what it could mean. I would appreciate any insight you might have, albeit i understand you cannot assuage my concerns fully given this medium. thank you once again for your willingness to expend your time and energy and knowledge to help people who are in need of guidance. I,for one, am most appreciative.

ANSWER: Hello JJ,
Thanks for the question and I will do my best to give you some advice. Obviously anytime someone talks about chest pain, it raises red flags with every doctor. Let's break this down though. You are having chest pain both left and right that seems to radiate to your underarms. There is a family history of stroke and you have no issue doing exertional activity (which is a good thing). Based on just that small bit of info, I would say that it seems more of a muscular issue and maybe even costochondritis which is irritation of the cartilage of the ribs into the sternum. Rib cartilage irritation can radiate pain along the ribs such as what you are describing under your arms possibly. Posture tends to cause this issue as well as weightlifting, lifting heavy items repetetively, and lack of flexibility of the pectoralis muscle. Start with basic chest stretches in your doorway consistently and maybe even begin working on your postural muscles with specific exercise. You can pretty much just google search posture exercise and find plenty to do. If you are not working out, start doing some basic bodyweight exercise like push ups and pull ups. Try some of this basic stuff and see how you feel. Of course if your pain persists or increases, please visit a doctor and get evaluated. Feel free to follow up with me.

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QUESTION: wow thank you for a possible explanation for this pain. a couple of things i would like to elucidate...the pain does not radiate under my arms, it just feels like a soreness..right now, there is no underarm soreness, just a strong pain/pressure as you said in the sternum, right in the middle...i would not say there is a hx of stroke as my mom had extremely high blood pressure for way over 50 years and just recently had a small stroke wherein she now still has use of her right side but just cant feel anything. she has learned to walk again, though she can not feel the ground...the brain is an amazing organ, is it not?? so may i ask you what makes you think that it might be muscular rather than cardiac involvement? thus, what things would you be looking for to indicate each of these scenarios? secondly, do you have any thoughts as to the etiology of my pain if indeed it is muscular or costochondritis? i can not think of anything out of the ordinary i have been doing since the inception of this pain. i do not have adequate words to thank you for allowing me to converse with you. the stress of wondering what this is cannot be healthy for me, no matter what is going on and having an opportunity to explore this with you is something i am so grateful for . please accept my sincerest appreciation. you are truly a kind and caring person -and smart and prophetic too, i hope!!!!

Answer
Thanks for the clarification JJ. I would say that your chest pain resembles more of a non cardiac chest pain (nccp) because of the lack of other cardiac symptoms like neck or jaw pain or pain down the arm. The pressure you describe at the sternum is very similar to costochondritis. Some actually hear a clicking sound at their chest when they stretch with this issue. The other cause of NCCP could also be esophageal pain since it is near the heart. This includes things like acid reflux or heartburn known as GERD. It's always tricky when it comes to chest pain and you may still have to consider a medical check up where they can do stress tests or GI tests to rule out heart and digestive issues. But maybe try the stretching and light exercise modifications to see if it helps. Change your eating habits to see if chest pain is worse after eating. I'm glad to hear that your mother is doing better and yes the brain is amazing.  

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Vishal Verma DC CCSP

Expertise

I can answer questions about acute and chronic pain and their conservative management, sports injuries, back and neck pain, extremity pain, herniated/bulging discs, sciatica or other neurological issues, rehabilitation and fitness concerns, spinal decompression and cold laser therapy. I can't answer questions about specific medications and their prescription. I can give general information about them at best.

Experience

I have years of experience in sportsmedicine and conservative care of musculo-skeletal injuries with the use of chiropractic, rehabilitation, and fitness/exercise as well as the use of advanced technologies such as spinal decompression and low intensity laser therapy. I have private practice experience as well as experience within an integrated medical setting with concurrent care of patients with both medicine as well as alternative therapy. I am a board certified sports chiropractor and have treated athletes of all kinds in the conservative management of sports injuries and performance enhancement.

Organizations
American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physicians North American Association of Laser Therapists

Publications
Your Health Magazine Alternative Health Magazine Northern VA Womens Magazine Townsend Newsletters

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Chiropractic Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician

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