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Question:

Intense pain under right breast when stretching or reaching

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I am a female, 34 and have been experiencing pain exactly under my right breast, at my ribcage for the past two weeks. I had no incident or accident so i rule out something like a bruised or broken rib. The pain is mainly when i move especially if stretching or reaching for something, or by touching , laying on this side. The pain is quite intense, like a stabbing sensation. If i touch this area, exactly under the breast, i can feel a long stringy bulge, like a strained muscle. I stopped exercising since and i went to the doctor. He gave me anti-inflammatory meds for 2 days but the pain is still there. Do i need to visit another doctor?


Answer:

Based on your description, most likely you may have experiencing a Intercostal Neuritis or Costochodritis, which is not a serious condition but very annoying indeed and slow healing. By a spasm or a direct trauma the intercostals muscles and nerves got injured, and that’s why you are feeling that stabbing pain every time you take a deep breath, sneeze or cough. The suggested strategy would be: please, try to be patient and do not expect an overnight improvement, take anti inflammatory medication (“Aleve”, “Motrin”), and also Vitamin B12 supplement. Local moist heat helps to ease the pain. Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain.


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