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Cmfc0523

What’s up with this pain in my chest?!

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Hello all! I’m hoping for input on some confounding pain.

 

I’m about three months into this journey, and so far my chief complaint has been some joint pain. Most is in the typical places like hands feet and upper back, but I also have this crazy, random pain in my upper chest. I should note that I had both an Echo and PFT 3 weeks ago and both were great. My doctors don’t seem to think it’s significant, but it is irritating and a bit painful at times, not to mention a little unsettling since it is my chest. It seems to come and go like my back, with no real trigger, except it does seem to get a little worse with activity, as the day wears on or even after a lot of talking. Exercise or heavy breathing does not make it worse.  

 

Has anyone experienced something like this? Could it be something akin to muscle and joint pain?  Is there something more serious that I should be asking my doctor about? I’m just not sure where to go with this one. I did start Plaquenil recently, which I understand could be helpful but will take awhile to feel benefits. Any thoughts or personal experience is greatly appreciated, because I’m stumped!

 

Cathy

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Hi Cathy,

 

I'm sorry to hear of the chest discomfort you are having. , it could be so many different things. The body keeps us wondering doesn't it? It could be costochondritis. Check the link and see if that sounds like what you are experiencing. It could also be a simple matter of your back being misaligned, or tight muscles. Do you do any stretching? One thing I notice is due to my pain, I can contract all into myself. I have to remember several times a day to relax, stretch back my shoulders. I lay on the floor and do other stretches which can help.  


Warm and gentle hugs,

 

Pamela

ISN Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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18 hours ago, Cmfc0523 said:

Hello all! I’m hoping for input on some confounding pain.

 

I’m about three months into this journey, and so far my chief complaint has been some joint pain. Most is in the typical places like hands feet and upper back, but I also have this crazy, random pain in my upper chest. I should note that I had both an Echo and PFT 3 weeks ago and both were great. My doctors don’t seem to think it’s significant, but it is irritating and a bit painful at times, not to mention a little unsettling since it is my chest. It seems to come and go like my back, with no real trigger, except it does seem to get a little worse with activity, as the day wears on or even after a lot of talking. Exercise or heavy breathing does not make it worse.  

 

Has anyone experienced something like this? Could it be something akin to muscle and joint pain?  Is there something more serious that I should be asking my doctor about? I’m just not sure where to go with this one. I did start Plaquenil recently, which I understand could be helpful but will take awhile to feel benefits. Any thoughts or personal experience is greatly appreciated, because I’m stumped!

 

Cathy

 

I recommend lots of exercise and heavy breathing then Cathy. :wink: Seriously though, I get a lot of cramping in my chest, especially so in colder weather. I too am finding that plenty of aerobic exercise and stretching helps.

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Hi Cathy,

 

I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering with worrying chest pain. As Sweet has suggested, it could be any number of things, some more serious than others. The trouble with a disease such as scleroderma is that there is a tendency to blame every new symptom on it, whether they are due to it or not and it can blind one to any other unrelated problems.

 

A rule of thumb is that if there are new worrying symptoms (especially if you have an underlying condition such as scleroderma) then it's always worth checking it out with your doctor/scleroderma expert, if only for peace of mind.

 

Kind regards,


Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Secretary of the Board

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Cathy,

 

First of all, we should be celebrating the good news, which is that it sounds like your doctors have already ruled out the very worst causes of chest pain, such as heart or lung troubles. So let's take a deep breath while we all rejoice over that! 

 

So now it's down to troubleshooting the lesser causes. See 19 Important Causes of Chest Pain by doctor's Opinion.  Given scleroderma, some of the more likely culprits would be costochondritis, heartburn or esophageal spasms, muscle tension, or anxiety.

 

I've had random chest pains for over 20 years.  Once I had the baseline testing done that ruled out the severe and acute causes, my doctor just explained it could be this, that, or the other thing, and simply not to worry about it unless it goes on for over 5 minutes, is significantly different, or is accompanied by other symptoms.

 

Variously, my chest pains have been due to esophageal spasms, heartburn, pneumonia, pleurisy, influenza, bronchitis, pericarditis, a mammary gland infection, Raynaud's of the nipples, muscle strain (from pushing a car), palpitations, referred pain from gallbladder, mitral valve prolapse, and costochondritis.  Plus, then there are just random ones that appear out of nowhere and resolve themselves without any further ado -- and a fair number that I've personally chalked up to fibromyalgia, when they occur along with other roving aches and pains. 

 

So, one thing to keep in mind is that you might be having more than one source at the same time, which can really confuse things.  Overall, I like to take comfort in whatever they've proven likely won't kill me today, which helps reduce anxiety, which can also cause or worsen chest pain.  Plus, one source of chest pain does NOT mean that all chest pain is due to that particular source. 

 

There's such a fine line between reacting and over-reacting, and never is the line quite as difficult to find, as when dealing with chest pain -- it is the most common cause of all for emergency room visits. So, my thoughts are with you as you get this sorted out. 

 

:hug-group:


Warm Hugs,

 

Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

 

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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