When we say pain below sternum, we are usually referring to the mid section of the breast bone. The breast bone is usually located in the center of the chest. If you experience pain right underneath this area, suggestions usually would tell you there is something wrong with your abdomen. These pain ranges from a mild to a mediocre and at times even serious in nature. The cure or the treatment for this is highly based on the cause of the pain or the involvement of the particular tissues. Go through this article to find more about the different causes and their treatment methods for it.
Pain Below Sternum- Probable Causes
There is a muscular tube that joins the stomach through which the food is passed on from the food pipe to the stomach. Inflammation or problems in the esophagus arrive only in the occasion of stomach acid flowing back up the muscular tube. A few side effects to this can be abdominal pain- mediocre or severe in nature, persistent coughing and coarse voice, difficulty in swallowing or pain below sternum. Some trigger points for esophagitis can be excess alcohol consumption, smoking, medication interactions or vomiting.
Cure: the first step requires you to stop smoking or drinking. There are a few OTCs that you can take to reduce stomach acids or some antacids for the same. Antibiotics too can be taken to get rid of the infection or inflammation in the esophagus duct.
- Heartburn and GERD
Indigestion or heartburn related to it just might be a possible cause for pain experienced underneath the sternum. Upper abdomen pains experienced in episodes are deemed to be a result of GERD or as we call it Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. One of the symptoms of heartburn is to cause a burning sting like sensation in the chest which can expand its way to the sternum. This is a common effect if you are serving a pregnancy term. Similar symptoms for it include bitter taste in mouth or at the back of the throat.
Cure: If you maintain a healthy body and weight and refrain from taking in certain food products, symptoms like heartburns can easily be controlled. Eating healthy food and taking medicinal drugs to reduce the stomach acid can help you deal with gastrointestinal issues. Here’s a video to show you how to reduce stomach acidity with ease.
- Breathing disorders
Any sort of respiratory disorder such as pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, inflammation on the inner linings of the lung wall, a blood clot to the lung or anything as such can be blamed as a reason the pain in your sternum is acting up. Some of the symptoms for it include, difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing, fevers etc. the determination of the kind of respiratory problem is dependent on lab tests like X-rays or pulmonary functioning tests. Your medical history and physical tests too can be used for diagnosis.
Cure: smoking is a trigger substance and therefore one should refrain from smoking once and for all if possible. Bronchodilators and breathing exercises can be of great help at this time. Medically antibiotic doses can help you get rid of the inflammation or pain.
- Straining the abdominal muscle
If you pressurize or stress too much, the abdomen muscles in and around the abdomen area may feel strained. Usually these are in the form of small rips or ruptures of the muscles and may cause pain in the sternum area. Now if the damaged muscular fibers are segregated from one another, muscle ruptures and causes a serious case of agony. This can be seen in cases where you over exert your muscles like whilst doing a heavy exercise or lifting heavier objects. Unexpected body twisting or sudden muscle stiffness and even performing exercises in an improper manner can cause such a pain.
Cure: the first step to curing is ceasing the trigger point that caused the muscle sprain in the first place. Use a cold compress at least twice or thrice a day for a good 15-20 minutes to get instant soothing relief. Analgesics to relief the pain can be taken, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If the pain subsides in time, get back to your exercise but be gentle with yourself. However, if the pain doesn’t subside, immediately get a doctor’s assistance.
- Acute pancreatitis
Pancreas is a sack of organ located just below the stomach area in the upper abdomen. Now an inflammation or a disorder in this area may radiate the pain towards the sternum. Usually these can be blamed on some factors where the enzymes get activated causing the pain to occur. These factors can be blockage of any of the primary ducts, too much alcohol consumption, any sort of injury or higher levels of triglyceride in the body etc. certain interaction to medications or fats can also lead to acute pancreatitis. The symptoms for this include a bad pain in the upper abdomen that which rolls at the back if you lie down, abdomen swelling or clayey stool textures and indigestion.
Cure: you may need to be hospitalized with the chances of your stomach ingredients being suctioned out. Any infected pancreatic tissue may need a surgical treatment to be removed as the pain medications administer pain. also hydration should be an important call at this time.
- Lower lobe pneumonia
If the lower lobe to your lungs contain any infection or pneumonia symptoms chances are that pain is going to radiate back to your sternum. The collapsing of the lung can bring about the same symptom. If not the sternum, you may feel the pain in the upper or lower abdominal area. Symptoms apart from this include cough, fever, pain etc.
Cure: the cause of the pneumonia is definitely taken into consideration but mostly antibiotic treatments may provide relief.
- Fracturing the breast bone
Certain accidents mostly say vehicle accidents may cause the sternum in the chest to fracture. The chest hitting the steering wheel too hard may cause the crack to show up. In the event of this occurring, a steady pain in or underneath sternum can be felt. Seek immediate medical help in this case.
- Such similar conditions:
Similar such cases for pain below sternum may be either one of these- stomach ulcers, excess belching, hernia or lung abscess. Also be aware of respiratory problems like lung tumors or worst, cancers which may cause the pain to occur or stay stagnant.
Diagnosis of Pain Below Sternum
Causes for pain below sternum or the ones relating to the upper abdomen can be dependent on a variety of factors. Your past medical history and physical tests matter a lot but apart from that a few diagnostic laboratory tests may be required for you to confirm the determination. Some of these are – MRI or CT scan, X-Ray of the chest or simple blood tests.
If the home remedies or the OTCs are not doing their job very well, its time you consult a doctor and get this thing sorted out.