Pain on back shoulder, under my left armpit and left breast

by rose

I had a lot of pain on my left back shoulder, my left armpit, my left breast and also my neck and back for the last 5 months; sometimes I had numbness, tingling on the right hand, and arm.

I went to see a doctor who said it is a nerve problem, and gave me some medication for nerves; and also I went for physiotherapy and the problem was over.

But now it's back; especially in cold seasons is when its disturbing me a lot.

Kindly advise.

Dr. Barrie Lewis

Hello Rose,
Firstly, it's possible you have two different conditions; one in the neck causing the tingling in the fingers, and the other in the midback affecting the rib and the nerve between the ribs.

Does turning your head to the left, and simultaneously looking up, cause pain or tingling? Where?

Does taking in a deep breath hurt, or did it hurt in the beginning?

I'm assuming your doctor listened to your lungs and examined your breast and armpit.

Secondly, there is a condition called Tietzes syndrome that affects the rib, or collar bone, or both, with pain in the midback, radiating under the armpit and breast to the breastbone; it can also affect the nerves to the arm where they pass close to the collarbone.

They key sign is tenderness, and sometimes a lump, where the collarbone or rib meet the breastbone. Run your fingers down the breastbone; is one side much more tender than the other.

It's a good sign that you responded well to the physiotherapy; perhaps you need to return to the same person.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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