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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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Im a 35yr old Male with constant chest/rib pain, back and

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I'm a 35yr old Male with constant chest/rib pain, back and shoulder pain. I have seen two cardiologists and went through extensive tests on my heart, numerous blood work, ekg's, stress test and ct angiogram - all came back negative. I've had a endoscopy done as well to see if it was ulcers or anything else and that came back negative as well. I've had other tests done such as ct scans, ultrasounds, blood work etc and everything comes back negative. I was told it was just anxiety/stress disorders and put on medication but i still deal with the same symptoms each and every day with no end in sight. The fatigue is problematic alone just on trying to do every day things and with the chronic pain I experience it just makes everything worse. Any thoughts on what it could be or my next step? Could it be a heart issue still? I'm just tired and at a loss anymore, thanks for any help you can provide.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

Do you also have upper arm pain?

Or neck pain?

Do certain positions worsen the pains?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have sharp pains in my upper left shoulder, I have pains in my neck as well. I went to a neurologist who did a MRI and told me everything was normal.

I regards XXXXX XXXXX sitting up and laying down I have the most pain but no more than any other time.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

Any pains in the arm? And is this just the left side only?

Was the MRI of the cervical spine?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have pains that radiate down into my arm and my legs. I have pain in the center of my abdomen just below the breastbone. The MRI was just on my neck. I have upper and lower back pains but most of the pain is on the left side.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

This certainly is a bit of a mystery.

It is good that your doctor has ruled out heart related conditions, since that would be the most concerning here.

But the fact you have neck pains, that radiate into the shoulder and arm really does point toward the neck as the possible cause, since nerve compression in the neck can cause exactly that type of pain.

"Pinching" of a nerve can cause that type of pain, and can cause pian on both sides, called "cervical radiculopathy":

but it seems unusual that you would have had a normal MRI.

The one test that can be done is called a EMG test -- which can see if there is abnormal firing of nerves in the arms and legs which could be responsible for your pains. This test is done by a neurologist as well, and could help rule out this "radiculopathy" as well as other nerve and muscle disorders. Because it is possible to get "pinched" nerves outside of the spinal canal, this test can also help to see if that is a potential cause here.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What symptoms would be evident if there was a "nerve" problem? Would or could that pain radiate to the chest?


I agree for the past 5 mos I have been through so much and to many doctors trying to find out what is wrong with me and they all have no clue or possibilities such as stress/anxiety disorder.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, some nerves also go to the upper chest area, so often times this can be confused with heart related pain. (And the converse is true -- heart pains also cross over with the shoulder and upper arm, which is why people with heart pains can also have shoulder and upper arm pains).

Doctors often have difficulty with people saying they have pain -- because we often need "proof" to make any sense of it. So the EMG test will help to see if nerve firing is responsible. Nerves can cause pain -- and also have numbness or weakness, but can simply be pain as well.
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