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spreading upper back pain, scoliosis, clicking noise?

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For the last several months, I have been experiencing pain on both sides of my chest, and on my sternum. This pain comes and goes, and usually affects a very specific area, which is usually no larger than an inch or two in diameter. I have been to the doctor for this, and after conducting an ECG and an x-ray, they said that my heart was fine and that it was likely that I had inflammation in my chest wall. Recently, the pain has spread to my underarms, and for the past two days I have had pain in my upper left back. This pain begins in the morning when I am taking a shower, and persists throughout the day. Additionally, for the past two days I have experienced an audible clicking/popping noise in the area around my heart, which I can also feel. It only seems to occur when I lay on my left side. Could this be a heart problem?

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replied April 30th, 2013
Back Pain Answer A43209
Welcome to e health forum.

Description of your chest pain - appears to be due to - conditions associated with chest wall inflammation.

The chest wall includes the skin, ribs and muscles that surround the ribs. Chest wall pain is usually caused by injury, inflammation or infection of these structures. Common causes for chest wall pain include: muscle strain, chest contusion, and costochondritis.

Costochondritis is inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum. The condition causes localized chest wall pain and tenderness that you can reproduce by pushing on the involved cartilage in the front of the rib cage. Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause, and they usually subside spontaneously without treatment.

Such pain if intolerable or annoying can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Celexa etc. In your case since such medications are not helping you can be prescribed antidepressents like Imipramine or amitryptyline which can be highly effective to control your pain.

Other possible causes can be due to functional disorders like fibromyalgia.

For proper diagnosis you may benefit by consulting with your doctor for a examination and a few tests including a chest Xray which can rule out other severe causes of your symptoms.

For the time being taking anti-inflammatory medications - like Advil, would help you manage your symptoms. Once proper diagnosis of your condition is done, specific treatment may be initiated by your doctor.

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