Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chest Wall Pain Overview

What is chest wall pain?
A person with chest wall pain has discomfort that originates from the structures of the chest wall. The chest wall includes the skin, ribs and muscles that surround the ribs. Chest wall pain is usually caused by injury, inflammation or infection of these structures. Common causes for chest wall pain include: muscle strain, chest contusion, and costochondritis.

What are the symptoms of chest wall pain?
Symptoms that may occur with chest wall pain include breathing difficulty, cough, chest tenderness, chest swelling, and chest bruising.

How does the doctor treat chest wall pain?
Treatment for chest wall pain may include rest, cold compresses, muscle relaxants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Chest Wall Pain Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chest Wall Pain References
  1. Ballas SK, Viscusi ER, Epstein KR. Management of acute chest wall sickle cell pain with nebulized morphine. Am J Hematol. 2004 Jun;76(2):190-1. [15164390]
  2. Disla E, Rhim HR, Reddy A, Karten I, Taranta A. Costochondritis. A prospective analysis in an emergency department setting. Arch Intern Med. 1994 Nov 14;154(21):2466-9. [7979843]
  3. Eslick GD, Fass R. Noncardiac chest pain: evaluation and treatment. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2003 Jun;32(2):531-52. [12858605]
  4. Karlson KA. Thoracic region pain in athletes. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2004 Feb;3(1):53-7. [14728915]
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