Chest Wall Pain

ExitCare ImageChest wall pain is pain in or around the bones and muscles of your chest. It may take up to 6 weeks to get better. It may take longer if you must stay physically active in your work and activities.

CAUSES

Chest wall pain may happen on its own. However, it may be caused by:

  • A viral illness like the flu.

  • Injury.

  • Coughing.

  • Exercise.

  • Arthritis.

  • Fibromyalgia.

  • Shingles.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Avoid overtiring physical activity. Try not to strain or perform activities that cause pain. This includes any activities using your chest or your abdominal and side muscles, especially if heavy weights are used.

  • Put ice on the sore area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes per hour while awake for the first 2 days.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your pain increases, or you are very uncomfortable.

  • You have a fever.

  • Your chest pain becomes worse.

  • You have new, unexplained symptoms.

  • You have nausea or vomiting.

  • You feel sweaty or lightheaded.

  • You have a cough with phlegm (sputum), or you cough up blood.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.