Chest Wall Pain
Chest wall pain refers to discomfort affecting the chest wall (thoracic cavity wall) which includes the the upper abdomen above the diaphragm. These sections are composed of skin, muscle, fascia (connective tissue) as well as bone. Because chest wall pain can afflict a variety of structures, the causes of the pain are likewise varied.
Chest wall pain can be indicative of serious medical conditions. A heart attack often involves chest wall pain (but is also accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea. Pneumothorax (collapsed long) also causes chest wall pain, but is again accompanied by other signs such as shortness of breath, blueness of the skin, and rapid heart rate. Angina pectoris (extreme chest pain) is ischemic and due to coronary heart disease (plaque buildup in the arteries). While these conditions include chest wall pain as a feature, they are serious and complicated conditions in which chest wall pain is only one of a litany of symptoms.
Chest wall pain is often caused by non-life threatening issues in which controlling the pain and letting the body’s natural healing process proceed is the best treatment. The pain can be related to a physical trauma such as a car wreck or other injury. Another common cause is costochondritis, in which the cartilage that sits between the ribs and the sternum become inflamed. With costochondritis, the treatment generally just involves getting the pain under control and letting the inflammation subside on it’s own. This is the most common cause of benign chest wall pain. Myalgia (literally, muscle pain) can come from overuse of the muscles, in this case the muscles of the chest wall including the internal and external intercostals, the innermost intercostal, the subcostals, and finally the transversus thoracis (all of these are muscles attached to your ribs). Chest wall pain is often simply overuse of the chest wall muscles! People with fibrositis / fibromyalgia often experience chest wall pain with no determinable cause, so again the best way to handle it is usually just by controlling the pain.
Generally, unless accompanied by other disdressing symptoms, chest wall pain is just an inflammatory and painful response to injury or other minor insult to the thoracic wall. Although it can be very uncomfortable and disconcerting, treatment is usually easy and simply involves controlling the pain that is present and reducing inflammation if possible. To see more on how hypnosis can control chest wall pain, check out hypnosis and pain control