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Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.
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For a few days now I have a pain in my back, upper left,

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Hi there.
For a few days now I have a pain in my back, upper left, just under and to the side of my shoulder blade/top of ribs. It particularly hurts if I breathe in deeply, but is also just generally uncomfortable. I have taken Ibuprofen and Codeine which hasn't made any difference. I have no cough, no blood, appetite is fine etc....
I pick up my children (aged 3 & 4) always on my left side, so not sure if I've pulled a muscle or if it could be something more sinister?


Welcome to just answer

The symptoms that you are describing (pain left shoulder area, with influence of breathing or any added symptoms) can be due to -

- injury - this can be muscular injury or bruising of ribs

- costochondritis - This is inflammation of the area where the ribs meet the sternum. Usually the affected area is tender to touch

In your case, the cause most probably seems to be muscular injury or strain. You would need stronger anti-inflammatories than ibuprofen, rest to the left shoulder area and warm or cold compresses (whichever helps the pain)

I would recommend you to consult an Orthopedecian for a detailed evaluation and treatment.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Dr Gupta.
The area of pain isn't tender to touch and doesn't feel inflammed, so not sure if it would be Costochondritis, and i'm not sure where I could have caused myself an injury (especially to my ribs), maybe I've pulled a muscle somewhere along the line. Could it potentially be Pleurisy or something similar?

Most probably its a pulled or strained muscle. If there is no tenderness, then does not seem like costochondritis also. In pleurisy there is pain while breathing, shortness of breath and tenderness in affected areas.

Again seems like a muscle strain only.


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Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Dr Gupta
I actually saw my GP last night, she checked my lungs and breathing and felt they were okay. She thinks my pain is due to a muscle knot, just under my left shoulder blade which is the reason it hurts when I breathe. So i think your prognosis was correct.
many thanks

Glad to be of help

Wishing you a speedy recovery