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Possible causes of dull pain or pressure in the chest

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I have already posted my question in the forums and got only 1 response which wasn't that helpful to me.

I am 30 years old. Never smoked, and do not drink. I exercise regularly now but only for the past month or so. I am single mom
(dads in iraq) and work 5-6 days a week so I can get very stressed out.

I have been having a weird feeling in the dead center of my chest since October. It's more of a dull pain/pressure. It almost feels as if something is stuck there. I don't feel it all the time but I do feel it everyday. Nothing triggers it and I notice it most when I'm still. It doesn't get worse with exertion or movements.

I've been told it could be from stress or high blood pressure. My blood pressure 2 days ago was 112/88 which is high for me as my diastolic number is usually in the 70's.

I'm not really satisfied hearing that its just from stress b/c I am not sure there is a solution to that and I've been under much worse stress than this in the past w/o pain. thanks!


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replied July 6th, 2009
Chest Pain Answer A6900


The data you reported (dull pain/pressure in the chest, no triggers detected, but worsens with exertion or movements) is not specific enough for any definitive diagnosis to be given. However, certain assumptions can be made.


The dull pain in the chest might be due to a pathological process in the esophagus. A tissue putting pressure on the surrounding organs might stretch them enough to cause dull pain.
Various disorders in the heart might also be presented with pain, although the pain is usually described as stabbing rather than dull.


You might want to visit an internist for a physical examination and visualizing methods (barium X-ray, CT scan) to check for tissue inadequately positioned in the esophagus or ,eventually, a mild form of gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, in Gastroesophageal reflux disease the pain is usually described as burning and is associated with meals. An ECG and echocardiography might be needed to check the heart condition.


If nothing is found, then you might be experiencing a condition similar to globus hystericum. Globus hystericus is a subjective feeling of a lump in the throat, when there is none at all. This feeling is caused by various psychological conditions and might need help from a psychotherapist to deal with it. A similar feeling can be identified in the chest, right below the sternum (chest bone). Please note that the psychological origin of the pain can be given only after all other possible physiological causes are ruled out.


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