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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64281
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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I m having very sharp stabbing pain on the left side of my

Customer Question

I m having very sharp stabbing pain on the left side of my back in the middle Hard to breath makes me scream. What would be the cause
JA: Have you had any recent injuries? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: No injuries I just took an endon. But it's hardly working. I do have copd. But I have never smoked.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I also have fybromyalga a d sleep apnea and had endometrial cancer last year and had a complete hysto.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Doctor about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.


A slipped disc is a main possibility.

You need an exam today, maybe MRI.

Sometimes early pneumonia can present like this.

Sometimes other organ problems [kidney, gallbladder, pancreas]

Given the recent surgery, I worry about a spinal/muscular problem.

I think this is most likely spine.

OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. Also, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here

Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.


  • Sharp stabbing pain, any where around the chest/rip cage, that makes inspiration to be so painful, is most likely caused by "Pleurisy" or "muscle strain/cramps". These are the most common culprits. Both of these can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications for 2-3 days and typically resolve
  • "Slipped disc" is VERY unlikely. That is not how it presents
  • I would take Advil 400-mg, three times daily along with an OTC muscle relaxant (like Muscle Ease) for 2-3 days. Your symptoms very likely will resolve. If no improvement in 2-3 days, then have it checked out by your family doctor.
  • The other possibilities listed, kidney, gallbladder etc. are VERY, VERY UNLIKELY. They present completely different

If this answers your question, please complete the rating above. It's how we get credit for the service. Best wishes

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.


As you state.

This pain starts in your back.

And, the fact that it extends is typical of radiculopathy.

We do not treat or diagnose on line here.

But you need to see your doctor now, not wait and self treat.

We do not prescribe here.

letting this go can allow it to progress....would not be good.

I am a double board certified US doctor.

Find me anytime for safe, correct and up to date answers.

Dr. Thomas only.