Chest pain often makes people quite anxious and worried that the pain might originate in a heart condition but it is usually quite harmless. It can come from problems with the breastbone (sternum) or can transfer through from the spine via the ribs - see also Thoracic pain.
In the case of inflammation between the sternum and the cartilaginous connection with the ribs (costochondritis), the pain can be intense on deep breaths and quite debilitating.
Causes of Chest Pain
Most of the time the underlying cause of chest pain is poor posture, working long hours on computers or sitting badly whilst using laptops or games. When the spine is kept in a C-shape for prolonged periods of time, the muscles get overstretched and lose strength and the spinal joints stiffen up. Another common cause of chest pain is persistent coughing due to chest infections which strains the muscles between the ribs. If trauma has been involved it could be a bruised or broken rib causing the pain.
Chest Pain Treatment
Treating the upper back by mobilising the stiff facet joints between the vertebrae often takes the strain off the front via the ribs. So treating the back of the body takes the strain off the front of the body. Later when the pain is resolved it is essential to correct posture and strengthen the muscles that hold the body upright with a view to stop the problem recurring.
It is important to see us early for an accurate diagnosis - if it is musculoskeletal in origin we treat it with very good results. Otherwise we will refer you to your GP who can investigate any heart or lung involvement.
Learn the signs of a heart attack: http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/heart-attack.aspx
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