What causes chest pain?

Not all chest pain comes from your heart or from your lungs. Sometimes it comes from your rib cage. How can you tell which is which? If the pain is coming from your heart, most of the time you will feel it, often without warning, in the center of your chest, like a squeezing or pressing sensation and the pain will radiate down your left arm into your hand or into your chin. You may feel sweaty. If this occurs, go to the emergency department right away! If a similar chest pain occurs when you are exercising and stops quickly when you rest, then it may be angina and you should consult your doctor about it.

If your pain is coming from your lungs, you may have a fever if it is pneumonia, you may be short of breath, and the pain will be worse when you breathe deeply. You need to consult a doctor soon.
If, on the other hand, the pain is in one specific spot and is made worse when you press on it, the chances are it is not coming from your heart or from your lungs. One of the commonest causes of superficial chest pain is costochondritis. This is pain where the ribs meet the cartilage that stands between them and the sternum, the breastbone. Every time you breathe in and out, this junction between the ribs and the cartilage opens and closes a bit. If the ligaments between the rib and the cartilage weaken, then there can be some slippage of the rib away from the cartilage, and stretching of the ligaments that join the two together. This will cause pain. You can also have pain in the same area if the nerve which supplies it is irritated. Costochondritis and also cause this nerve to be irritated, which may be why it causes pain.

On the back of the chest, each rib attaches on its corresponding vertebra. The first rib attaches on the first thoracic vertebra, and the 12th rib on the 12th thoracic vertebra. These attachments of the ribs against the vertebrae are called costo vertebral articulations. Generally as the result of some kind of trauma, a rib may separate from its vertebra. When this happens the ligaments that hold the rib and the vertebra together will be overstretched and cause pain in your back.
Sometimes, usually after a whiplash injury or a jolt, the nerves that supply the skin of the chest are injured. This causes them to swell. The swelling traps them in the tiny holes through the fascia, the fibrous covering of the muscles and bones of the chest.through which they must pass to get to the skin. Once trapped, they cannot “slim down” as they keep re-injuring themselves on the walls of these holes. This swelling can cause constant, at times severe, pain. If you have a scar on your chest, the skin nerves may be trapped in the scar tissue, and also, because of this, sending pain signals. Pain due to loose ligaments or tendons or arthritis only comes when you move the ligaments or tendons or the joints. Nerve pain, on the other hand, can be severe and happen at any time even when you are not moving at all. If you press lightly on an area with nerve pain, the pain gets worse.

Can prolotherapy help these unstable joints?

Prolotherapy is a series of injections of growth promoting substances in ligaments and tendons around the joint. It has been shown to thicken and strengthen the ligaments and tendons which are injected. Because prolotherapy can help rebuild and strengthen the ligaments which surround and stabilize joints, it is very helpful in helping the body repair the unstable junction between the ribs and the cartilage or between the ribs and the vertebrae. It is the only procedure which can do so.

Can nerve blocks help your chest pain?

Nerve blocks is likely to help if your pain is coming from the nerves that supply your skin. Nerve pain can be severe even when you are resting and can be made worse by pressing lightly on the affected areas. Many people suffering from chest pain have been successfully treated with nerve blocks. Because this treatment is very safe, it is worth trying at least once, particularly if your pain has not been helped by other treatments.

Prolotherapy References