My left chest area pulls up when I turn my head.


Q: About a year ago I noticed that when I turn my head left, my whole left upper chest area literally moves and pulls up as I tense my neck muscle to turn. This does not happen when turning right. I've felt around the area while turning my head, and the area that feels 'pulled' starts at the center of the pectoral and extends to the middle and top of my sternum as well as to under the middle of my collarbone.

A few months ago I confronted my doctor about this and was dismissed saying that it could 'just be stress.'

This condition hasn't gotten any worse or better since I first discovered it, and I have not had any pain or other symptoms with this. I originally was concerned with this because when researching muscle structures, I noticed that in the models the neck and pectoral muscles don't connect. So I am just wondering what this could be.

Symptoms:  No symptoms

A:   Hello. Welcome to Ask The Doctor.
I understand your concern.
There are following possibilities:
1. Chronic Cervical Myalgia's.
2. Muscular neck & chest pain.
3. Chronic Tension headache.
I do agree that the muscles don't connect but they don't need to have any connection to cause the pain.
Cervical Myalgia's can be due to Cervical disc protrusion, Osteopathic changes and Cervical Nerve compression. If Nerve compression is there you would feel a tingling and numbness associated in your hands.
Chronic Tension headache also presents like this. They are also associated with band like sensation over the head and such pains as described by you.
The Muscular Chest and Neck pain is less k possible as it should have caused pain while moving the neck in any direction. So it is the last possibility.
My opinion for you is to get a MRI Cervical spine done to rule out Cervical issues.
Start Physiotherapy.
Apply Diclofenac ointment.
Do hot fomentation.
In case your MRI is normal this is probably Tension Headache. You would need to start meditation for that. Your doctor may treat you with antidepressants for a few days.
I hope it helps.
Stay Healthy.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Hello Doctor.
No, I am not having any pain at all, and I do not have headaches. My chest muscle just seems to painlessly pull up as I turn head as if the muscles are connected somehow. Is this something I should be concerned about?
Doctor: This is simply muscular pull.
I don't find any reason for concern.
Good Luck.

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