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Dr. Das, MD
Dr. Das, MD, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MBBS, MD, with wide experience in all aspects of medical treatment, including cancer therapy.
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Steady pain when I reach the end of exhale in my left armpit,

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Steady pain when I reach the end of exhale in my left armpit, left side of my pectoral muscle. Pain subsides as I inhale, no pain from deep breath. Has persisted for 2 weeks. The pain also radiates from my left armpit down the insideof my left arm.

Welcome and thank you for your question.

pain on exhalation usually has two causes - it can be musculoskeletal or it can be due to pleurisy - inflammation of the covering of the lung known as pleura.

Muscculoskeltal pain occurs when a muscle gets pulled and spasms - the spasm can cause a trigger point w=from where the pain can radiate to other places.

In your case, since the muscle radiates down the arm, it is musculoskeletal in origin. In pleurisy, the pain will be present in the chest and will not radiate to the arms.

Please take a painkiller like ibuprofen 200mg thrice a day - it is available without a prescription. And yes, restricting activity will help. Slow stretching exercises of the arms and upper body (bending sideways , forwards, back) also helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That seems reasonable. Just one follow up, the pain is sharper considerably when I lean forward and exhale. Would this suggest anything different?

It actually makes musculoskelatal pain the more likely diagnosis. Leaning forward probably causes the affected muscle to spasm harder increasing the pain.

If this had been pleurisy, the pain would not increase or decrease depending on a particular movement or position of the body.

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