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Referred chest pain

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What is a referred pain?

A referred pain or reflective pain is one that is felt on the site other than where it is actually arising from.

For instance, heart attack causes pain at sites like: arm, neck, shoulders and back. This is the most common example of referred pain. The pain is arising from the heart but presenting in sites other than that. This kind of pain can also be radiating pain which is different from referred pain.

Referred chest pain is a pain that is felt in the chest but the source of origin of the pain is different.

Referred chest pain appears due to reasons involving back. This pain points out any abnormality that may be associated with spine.

How would you know if your chest pain is referred pain?

Well, the most important thing to notice is that the chest pain is arriving without any injury at the area at all.

No injury or any other kind of manifestation is showing over your chest but it still hurts.

The pain may get worse if you take deep breaths or perform any activities that raise the pressure inside your chest e.g. coughing, sneezing etc.

Your chest pain may be a referred one if you have upper back area that feels sore and stiff. The muscles of that area would be tighter and painful. The pain would arise at the site that is affected but present on your chest.

Thoracic spines (in your vertebral column, in the area that covers the back of your chest forming its skeleton between the shoulder blades and the middle of the back) may give a referred chest pain. Most of the athletes experience this kind of chest pain.

Most of the time the referred pain initiates at a site is upper than the site where pain is manifested.

A referred chest pain may be because of several other causes. The most common joints involved are zygapophyseal joints (these are the joints between the articular processes of the adjacent vertebra that lie superior and inferior to each other). These joints have a good mobility; remember: the mobile the joint, the more it is vulnerable to injury. So these joints degenerate owing to their heavy-duty job and undergo wear and tear as the person ages.

The pain may also arise from the joints known as costovertebral joints. These joints are present between the ribs and vertebra.

Sometimes the muscle stiffness can lead to referred pain of the chest.

What can be done to kill referred pain of the chest?

The first and obvious thing is to treat the underlying cause.

The other treatments you might want to consider are given below:

–         To relieve the stiffness of muscles, some stretching exercises may be done. These strengthen the muscles.

–         To restore joint movement that is under pressure and is hurt, spinal procedures may be carried out. The spinal manipulation will not only kill pain but also treat nerve compression (if present).

–         A good way to deal with muscle pain is massage. Massage increases blood flow and alleviates pain.




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