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Women's Health

Left armpit and chest muscle pain

09/01/2006

Question:

I am a 34 y/o female. I have two kids. I`ve been experiencing left armpit pain that goes on and off for a couple of weeks now. Also, I `ve been experiencing pain in the upper side of my back (specific point) with chest muscle pain in the left side too and at the same time. Sometimes it feels like my breast hurts. I went to the doctor and she prescribed Naproxen and told me to put heat on that specific spot, and try not to use the arm. I followed her recommendations for 5 days and it was better but it came again. I am in the middle of a big change in my life. Do you think I need to keep doing what she said until the condition gets better? Do you think this could be caused by streess? Thanks.

Answer:

As your physician examined you, YES, I think you should keep doing what she said until your condition has gone away. Naproxen is a good anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, and the heat helps with healing. If you haven't gotten total relief within a few weeks, or if it gets worse, you should follow-up with your physician.

Stress can definitely worsen existing pain, and if one's muscles are tight from all the stress, then yes, pain in the back and chest wall can be due to this. Exercise and talking to a good close friend are good ways to relieve that stress before it starts to take a toll on your body.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University