Fibromyalgia Chest Pain

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If you have fibromyalgia, then you may, at times, feel intense chest pain; in fact, the pain may actually make you feel as though you were having a heart attack.

The chest pain that has been associated with fibromyalgia is referred to as costochondritis. Costochondritis is an inflammation of the costal cartilage, which is a length of cartilage which connects each rib. A benign condition, it can cause chest pain and discomfort and is also called Tietze's Syndrome when it is accompanied by swelling. It is described as a stabbing or aching pain in the ribs.

The pain may vary in severity from day to day and the symptoms may include:

• ribs that are sore to the touch
• pain on the left or right side of the chest
• upper chest pains
• burning pain in the ribs
• pain that radiates up the back of the neck and shoulders
• pain in your chest when you sneeze or cough
• pain that increases with activity, exertion, or deep breathing
• pain that decreases with rest, movement, or slow breathing

Costochondritis is benign and is not limited to those with fibromyalgia. It’s thought that up to ten percent of the population has it, and can last for days, weeks, or even months.

While most of the time, the chest pain is not a life-threatening, but it is important to have your pain checked out to make sure it is not a heart attack. To relieve the pain, you may want to try over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve). A heating pad may also work.

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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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