Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Robert | 2018/01/17

Q.

Short, recurring pain on left side of chest

Hi, I've been having these short (couple seconds at most), somewhat sharp pains on the left side of my chest, I think under my breast. They seem to happen randomly, and don't seem to be aggravated by breathing, lying down, pressing on the affected area, exercising, etc. I'm a teenager, not overweight, not taking any medication (apart from occasional iron and calcium pills), but I do sit for long periods of time (sometimes with bad posture), though the pains can happen even while standing or lying down. They have been happening for at least months, maybe even some years. Are these normal? They seem to be little more than a [worrying] annoyance so far and haven't caused much else [yet]. Thank you so much!

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician
- 2018/01/22

This is a very interesting and well set out question. Left-sided chest pain is not uncommon in teenagers and young adults. First off this pain is not due to your heart. It is called internal mammary artery pain or the Da Costa Syndrome(Google 'Da Costa syndrome') The pain itself is due to spasm of the internal mammary artery which is found on the inside of the chest wall. The cause of this spasm is usually due to stress. This is not a dangerous condition and you will grow out of it, When the pain occurs just relax and take a few deep breaths. If the pain worsens or becomes persistent you should see a doctor about it.

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