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Thoracic Pain

Not all chest pain is because of heart problems.

Dysfunction of the muscles and nerves in your chest and upper back may be the cause of your pain. Your pain may be due to narrowing of the thoracic spine, fractures or post-surgical pain.

Some common causes of thoracic pain include:

Thoracic vertebral compression fracture

This is a common cause of middle to upper back pain, as well as chest wall pain. This pain is often the result of osteoporosis combined with trauma, falls or sometimes even just sneezing. These fractures can be extremely painful and can cause nerve damage. This is a condition that is best treated early after its initial occurrence.

Post-herpetic neuralgia

This is a painful disorder often seen in elderly patients who have had chicken pox or a shingles outbreak in the past. The pain is often described as burning and constant, and can last long after the initial shingles outbreak has healed. Typically, the pain is confined to areas of the body where the shingles lesions have erupted.

Post-thoracotomy pain syndrome

This syndrome is common in patients after chest wall or lung surgery. Surgical irritation of the nerves running along the ribs can cause both electric shock-like pains to the chest wall as well as upper abdominal pain. This pain can originate at the site of incision or anywhere along the length of the ribs.

Costochronditis

This condition involves a weakening and inflammation of the connective tissue of the chest wall. It is often seen in smokers and people with arthritis. It can also be the result of inflammatory disease or follow viral and bacterial infections. Pain occurs with deep breathing and slight pressure and can be easily reproduced on medical examination.

Costosternal syndrome

This condition involves a weakening and inflammation of the connective tissue between the rib joints. This condition is often brought on by trauma to the chest. Pain occurs with deep breathing and slight pressure, and can be easily reproduced on medical examination.

To be seen by one of our specialists, call 949-UCI-PAIN (949-824-7246) or request an appointment online ›

Make an Appointment

949-UCI-PAIN

(949-824-7246)

Contact Us

To reach a doctor or nurse during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), call 949-824-7246 and leave a message. Your call will be returned within 12 business hours.


After business hours or on weekends: call the main hospital at 714-456-7890 and ask the hospital operator to contact the doctor on call by paging 3386.