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Upper back and chest pain

Hi, I have been reading through the forums for a few days and thought I'd post. I'm 41, female, and have had chest pain on and off for as long as I can remember(20+ years). Had many heart tests due to this and because I also have pvcs (skipped beats). Anyway when I get a flare of pain I always get checked out, and this current run started a month ago. I had an ekg, stress test, echocardiogram and chest X-ray all looked ok. So I'm just living with the pain as usual...Friday I woke up and had horrendous pain between my shoulder blades, just awful. My thought was immediately heart attack but I reassured myself I've been checked out.  I ibuprofen'd my way through the day and used a heating pad and more advil at night.  It is 3+ days later and it still hurts. I am starting to think it is muscular because turning my head all the way right worsens the pain between my shoulders,  as does stretching my neck, rotating it in a circle down toward my chest and to the sides.  There is also soreness when I press under my arm on the left side and leaning forward to pick something up reproduces a localized "bruised" feeling in my left chest. The upper back pain radiating to my chest is really awful and has rendered me useless the past three and a half days. It seems to be way worse when I wake up in the morning. I also felt a bit of pins and needles behind my left armpit/shoulder blade area. I have 3 small kids so I'm no stranger to lower back pain but this upper is new to me. Last year I had a cervical spine mri and it showed a bulging disc and herniated disc I think at c5-6 if I remember correctly. There was also some arthritic changes. I don't get neck pain though I had this test for headaches. I'm not sure where to go from here. Do I see my GP?  Any text I should ask for?  I have been ready to go to the ER the pain has been so bad at times . But the movement making it worse and 800mg of Advil settling it down a bit has stopped me.


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,070
    Welcome to Spine Health
    It might be a good idea to start with your GP and then he can refer you to a specialist or order a new MRI.
    **New member information guidelines/checklist** will provide some ideas of things to share with the community. You can find this with the search engine at the top right of this page. More information will allow responses from members with shared experiences.

    Please click on the Welcome lick below for more information.

    Welcome to Spine Health
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • I have a C5 and C6 herniation too. I have neck pain and thoracic pain, the neck pain was reduced by a successful RFA treatment. The thoracic issue I'm still battling. I was told that part of my thoracic pain can be caused by the C5-C6 problem and the radiculopathy that goes with it. Also look up cervical angina, which I had only read about recently.
    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
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  •      18 years ago I had herniated/bulging Thoracic disks. I am going through it again. I had and have now referred pain as a result that is similar to what you are going through. Pain in my chest and in my armpit. Regular doctors are not aware of these things from my experience but specialists are.   Good luck.
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