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Pain In Rib Cage/under Arm Area?


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Hi all,

I'm very curious to know if any of you have ever experienced pain on one side of your rib cage, sort of leading up into the under arm area. My pain has been there in some form since July (in fact, it was one of the first "symptoms" I had), and it was originally diagnosed as chostochondritis, which my neurologist questions. He seems to think the pain may well be related to the dysautonomia, as many patients have inexplicable pains in their limbs and such. I can go days without feeling anything there and then all of a sudden, just the worst pain imaginable. It hurts to the touch, so it doesn't feel "muscular" per se -- like caused by a certain movement (though that doesn't always help either). I've had CT scans, xrays, massotherapy...nothing seems to help, which makes me think my neurologist is right and this is probably just one more of those things. I have an acupuncture appointment this morning and plan to mention it to my practitioner to see if there's anything she can do to help ease the discomfort.

So...am I the only one out there with this weird symptom or do I have company in this area, too? :-)

-Jen

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I deal with exactly what you described all the time! It ca. Come and go and vary in severity, but it hurts to the touch, can be excruciating and follows no patterns or activities that would cause such pain. I have been a massage therapist for 15 years and worked with Chiropractors and tried every modality I think! And while those things help my "normal" muscle and spine issues no help seems to come for this "other" pain that plagues me chronically. I have been dealing with a very severe bout of it for the past three weeks that will not seem to budge no matter what I do, under my arm and up into the front of my shoulder and chest. No fun! I wish I understood what it was and where it comes from. Sorry you deal with it!! It seems there is no end to the fun of Dysautonomia!! :) Good luck, I pray you get the answers I have yet to find. Hope you feel better :)

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Mama,

Thanks so much for your response. It's amazing to me how helpful it is just to know I'm not alone. Sometimes with this silly thing you really do begin to wonder what you're imagining and what's really there! I have a feeling we'll both be searching for answers on this one for a very long time. But it helps to know it's something more common than I maybe originally thought and that it's just another thing I can chalk up to dysautonomia! ;)

All the best to you and yours,

Jen

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I know! I swear it makes everything more manageable just k owing your not alone! Not that I wish any of this on anyone, but I know exactly what you mean!! :) I promise you'll be the first to know if I EVER get any answers ;) As the years go on I'm realizing more and more just how many of my daily symptoms are attributed to Dysautonomia and I never put it together. Fun times!!!

Take care! Happy New Year!!

Jess

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I get this too. Mine is a chronic-like pain about a hand-width from my left collarbone and goes around under my arm. At times there is a stabbing pain that takes my breath away. Don't know what it is or what causes it. Sometimes I fear I'm having a heart attack, but by the placement of the pain, I don't think that is it. I've asked a doctor about it one time and he said it wasn't related to POTS or my heart. Never did tell/suggest to me what it could be. Go figure...this bit of wisdom from an EP that was supposed to be a specialist in POTS!! I also recently have breast pain. It's a lot like you describe it...painful to the touch (like a bruise, only there is not one there) and also not really a muscle type pain as it doesn't really hurt when I move a certain way. And, goodness knows it can't be a strained muscle from exercising, becuase I haven't done that in months! I also have random stabbing pains all over and not necessarily in joints or muscles. Wish I knew what it was, what caused it and how to get rid of it. Like you, I just chalk it all up to just another symptom of this wonderful illness. If I ever find anything out, I'll let you know.

Hoping you have a pain free day!! :) Happy New Year!!

Bebe

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Bebe,

The pain you describe is just about exactly where I experience mine. Like you I'm beginning to think it will continue to come and go at its whimsy (heck, doesn't everything with this crazy syndrome?!) And I laughed when you mentioned it couldn't be from exercise, because like you, I haven't lifted and arm/chest muscle in months. LOL

I promise, if I ever figure anything out I will let you know, too! In the meantime, I've been having my acupuncturist work on the area when it bothers me most. Too soon to say if it's doing any good, but my fingers are crossed!

Happy New Year, lovely!

Jen

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  • 3 years later...

Hello all!  I am so glad to find this post!  I have been having the terrible ribcage pain you describe for three years.  I have EDS Hypermobility, Sjögren's Polyneuropathy (incl. Central Nervous System involvement) and of course POTS, Dysautonomia and Mast Cell Activation.  I'm being treated for all of them - including amazing IVIG.  I'm also being treated for Psoriatic Arthritis (which they think may be causing my rib cage pain as well as causing my bilateral dupuytren's contracture and toe arthritis.)  Anyway - the pain still continues!!  It's so awful.  Do any of you have diagnoses and treatment for your pain?  I'd be so grateful for clues!!  Thanks again for your posts...  Mary

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 I think chest pains (usually not dangerous) and pressure and neck/shoulder pain are common with dysautonomia, but not sure about other pain from POTS itself. Lots of us have pain because they have co-conditions, like EDS. A few other people have mentioned their other conditions in this thread.  You may want to investigate those with your doctor.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/26/2012 at 7:28 AM, jenniferlynne76 said:

Hi all,

I'm very curious to know if any of you have ever experienced pain on one side of your rib cage, sort of leading up into the under arm area. My pain has been there in some form since July (in fact, it was one of the first "symptoms" I had), and it was originally diagnosed as chostochondritis, which my neurologist questions. He seems to think the pain may well be related to the dysautonomia, as many patients have inexplicable pains in their limbs and such. I can go days without feeling anything there and then all of a sudden, just the worst pain imaginable. It hurts to the touch, so it doesn't feel "muscular" per se -- like caused by a certain movement (though that doesn't always help either). I've had CT scans, xrays, massotherapy...nothing seems to help, which makes me think my neurologist is right and this is probably just one more of those things. I have an acupuncture appointment this morning and plan to mention it to my practitioner to see if there's anything she can do to help ease the discomfort.

So...am I the only one out there with this weird symptom or do I have company in this area, too? :-)

-Jen

Hi Jen,

I have not had any until about a week ago and it started on the left side in my abdomin and moved up into my ribs. Now I had an appointment with a lung specialst friday and I mentioned it to him and he blew it off....will not be going back there. Since it is so hard for em to get into my PCP I thought he might know. So yes I have started getting those pains and this one wont go away and it hurts...know its nto a muscle pain as I do not workout or lift anything. I feel you literally and I am not liking it...if you get another answer let me know be interested thanks

 

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I have what I thought was Chostochondritis  sp?.   Mine is a stabbing pain in my rib cage through to my back.  At first I thought it was a heart attack because it is so painful it takes my breath.  Now I'm now sure what it is.  When it's in my right chest I also think it might be gallbladder which is also painful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jennifer... I haven't been on the forum for awhile so I just saw this post. Back in late July/early August I was having the same type of pain in what I thought was my rib cage (the left side). I have had it before on and off..the best way to describe it was like the pain you get if you have a side cramp from walking or exercising but 100 times worse, and I didn't do anything that I knew of for it to happen. But anyway instead of it being on and off it was becoming more constant and more painful and I couldn't take it anymore so I gave in and went to urgent care. I had xrays and that Dr said I had  chostochondritis and that it would heal on it's own. And the best thing for me was to rest and not over do it. Well I had just start PT for my shoulder and had to cancel the rest of my appointments because all of the exercises made the pain worse. So my orthopedic surgeon has told me now to avoid doing anything that would bring it on or make it worse till it resolves and then maybe we can start therapy and then do surgery on my shoulder but either way this chest wall pain has got to be resolved before I can do anything else.  I'm not on any pain medicine. I just use heat or ice packs when I need it but it doesn't; offer much relief.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi Jen,

I'm experiencing a similar pain in one side of my ribs leading up to my armpit area.  The first time I noticed it, the pain was subtle and almost felt like a body hair was getting cause in my t-shirt.  The next morning the pain felt like it was between or on my ribs and felt like a skin burn.  There is no sign of anything on the surface of my skin.  I haven't been to the doctor yet.  I am in pretty good physical shape and I run a lot.  I use an arm band for my cell phone when I run and the band is at the same level as the pain.  I don't know if it is the cause, but it's my best guess.  The pain is not constant and only happens when my rib muscles are flexed or I hop or jump or get jolted.   I'm somewhat confused by this and am wondering if you ever found any answers to your situation?

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