Strange pain in rib cage
July 4, 2011 9:19 PM Subscribe
Help needed for a friend who is experiencing intermittent pain in his rib cage.
posted by katy song to health & fitness (7 answers total)
I'm asking this for a friend who is not on Metafilter - the following is in his words. I can follow up with him for more info if anyone has any follow up questions:
First, I know you are not my doctor (or a doctor) and are not giving me medical advice.
I am a 34 year-old male in good health, exercise 4-5 times a week, haven't had any recent changes to my diet or anything. About a month ago, I started having this odd pain in the left side of my rib cage, about an inch or 2 below the nipple. It isn't overbearing, it doesn't last long (usually just a few seconds), but it does come multiple times a day. It feels like a burn or tiny needles - it's hard to describe. It seems to be random and I can't think of any kind of pattern in my diet or activities that brings it on.
Prior to this pain, I was having a strange tingling sensation in my back almost directly across from where this chest/rib cage pain is. I have no idea if they are correlated - the tingling sensation in the back doesn't happen nearly as often anymore.
I recently read about Precordial Catch Syndrome which does sound similar, but I think I know what that feels like (I think I experienced that when I was a kid) and it's different from the strange pain I'm experiencing now - what is happening now is not nearly as painful as how that is described. I also think I can rule out heartburn due to its location and my diet/history, and I don't think these are anxiety attacks.
Has anyone experienced this and do you have any idea what could be happening? Does this sound serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor or can it wait until my next checkup? I know that chest pain in general is usually met with a "see a doctor NOW" response but as this has been happening for awhile now, it doesn't strike me as an immediate emergency. Am I wrong to wait on this?