Chest pain is one of the scariest symptoms a person can have because the first thing we usually think of is a heart attack. Of course, any new chest pain should be considered a medical emergency and checked out right away. But once a heart problem has been ruled out, one of the possibilities your doctor may consider is costochondritis. Costochondritis ((kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). It is one of the most common cause of musculoskeletal chest pain. Symptoms: The two main symptoms of costochondritis are pain and tenderness in the chest wall, specifically where the ribs attach to the breastbone.
Pain – The pain of costochondritis is usually described as sharp and/or stabbing, but may also be dull, burning or gnawing. Often the pain gets worse when coughing or taking a deep breath. There may also be some difficulty breathing. The location of the pain can be on either...
Hello, this morning I woke up to a sharp stabbing pain on the right side of my head. I have never experienced anything like it before and it happens every few minutes, sometimes constantly. I have been bedridden all day due to the fact that these quick pains sometimes make me stop what I am doing. They last around 5 seconds. I am 14 years old and not sure what this could be. sincerely, Vivian.
It's possible that these pains you're having are ice pick headaches. You can read more about them in Ice Pick Headaches - The Basics .
Please tell your parents about these headaches and ask them to take you to the doctor. Unexplained headaches should always be checked out. Nobody can tell you through the Internet what's causing them. The only person who can do that is a doctor, after he or she examines you in person.
Good luck, John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician ...
When we live with pain on a daily basis, we often wonder if a new pain is something we should be concerned about. It can be particularly difficult to tell if you have a condition like fibromyalgia, where the pain typically moves around from day to day. Right or wrong, most of us wait to see if the pain gets worse before getting it checked out. But when it's chest pain, we naturally wonder if we could be having a heart attack. Heart Attack Symptoms So how do we know when chest pain is something to worry about? Following are signs that can indicate a possible heart attack: • Uncomfortable pain, pressure, squeezing or fullness in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. • Discomfort that spreads to other areas of the upper body including the back, neck, jaw, stomach, shoulders, or one or both arms. • Shortness of breath. • Sweating, anxiety, nausea, or lightheadedness. • A feel...
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