FROM OUR EXPERTS
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...
Walk this Way As someone with lifelong asthma, my upper and lower back are places that hold an extreme amount of tension. This is not uncommon for asthma sufferers. After a bad bout of bronchitis, my back and chest can hurt for weeks. Even during daily activities, I may notice chest heaviness on an allergic day. Back tightness is ever present. So, keeping my back, spine, chest and lungs healthy is a top priority. Sometimes the back has its own way of telling you what to do however, and major discomfort or spasm forces the body to stop, rest and regroup. Within the last ten years I've only had two lower back "incidents," by that I mean back-spasms. One was before my first alumni reunion weekend in Vermont. I woke up and I couldn't stand up straight. I went to my family chiropractor who gave me an adjustment and I was able to attend the weekend. The second incident occurred after I was lifting a television set (I know, I know). I felt my ba...
Back pain - nonspecific
Low back pain
Pain in any part of the back
Pain may radiate to the buttocks or upper leg(s)
Signs and tests
A physical examination focused on the back, the abdomen, and the extremities may confirm back pain or muscle spasm , but the examination does not reveal a specific cause (such as a herniated disk) or any neurological problem (such as weakness or change in sensation).
X-rays of the spine are usually normal. Further work-up may include a CT scan or MRI of the spine .
You should know
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