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Ask Dr. Cawlfield Your Own Question
Dr. Cawlfield
Dr. Cawlfield, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 400
Experience:  Doctor of Medicine 2004, Colorado medical license; Family Practitioner
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acute pain from rib cage to under left arm pit started 4 ...

Resolved Question:

acute pain from rib cage to under left arm pit   started 4 years ago but only 1 or 2 time s a year not severe had a stress test and symptoms occured while on tread mill dr said ekg was fine    Now it happens every day when walking short distances and some times after eating. icing the area calms it down in about 15 minutes. am getting deep tissue massage and they say the muscles on my left are very tight and hard. no one seems to know. also no insurance. I had 15 trigger point injections in the area ,but had no effect at all
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Cawlfield replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your question.

In order to better answer your question, can you tell me what other medical problems you have? Have you had any prior surgeries? Do you take any other medications? Do you have any drug allergies? Do you smoke or drink? Have you had a chest x-ray? Does it hurt when you take a deep breath?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I do not drink or smoke Have had x-rays shows nothing 4years ago what i believe started this was I pushed a farm tractor on to a trailer with all my might   The next day I had shooting pain down my right arm for 2 days then it completly stopped after that it started on my left sid on rare occasion[ about 1/2 thriugh my mile walk .Iwould stop and make a fist and put it under my left arm pit and it would stop and Iwould finish my might do that evry day for a week then never do it again for months.Now it is every day and it comes on after walking 2oo' to the mailbox. Last night it came on after we got home from eating out pizza about 1 hour after and lasted about 15 minutes. only one day it lasted about 4hours
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
most of my ribs are tender to touch on the left    also have fibromyalgia
Expert:  Dr. Cawlfield replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for that additional informationCustomer

I need just a bit more clarification. Do the ribs feel particularly painful on the left side of the breastbone? When you get this pain from the ribs to the armpit, does it always or ever refer down your arm?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no never down the arm always on the left   sometimes when the episode is at its worst ican feel it in the left side of the neck as well above the shoulder area
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
sometimes the back of between upper shoulder blade and before the base of the neck is very sore almost can feel it going through to the front of the area half way between the base of neck and shoulder.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Dr. Cawlfield I had A Dr's app. my kinesologist . Ihope you continue with this tomorrow Thanks Ken
Expert:  Dr. Cawlfield replied 8 years ago.


Based on the symptoms that you have told me, I believe that you may have a torn rotator cuff. The only way to know this for certain is to be examined by a physician, a physician's assistant, or a nurse pratitioner. Pain in between the neck and the shoulder blade could represent a tear of the supraspinatus muscle of the rotator cuff. It would make sense that this would start hurting after activity because the rotator cuff does move the arm when you walk so that you maintain a stable gait. This type of problem won't show up on an x-ray or an EKG. Tears are diagnosed by examination and confirmed by MRI. I have included a link to some information about rotator cuff tears. This link contains an article with another link with some exercises that may help.

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