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Prim Care. 1988 Dec;15(4):767-82.

Approach to musculoskeletal chest wall pain.

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Division of Rheumatology, Sunnybrook Medical Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario.


Pain in the chest may be the presenting feature of a diverse number of musculoskeletal chest wall conditions. The more common causes are costochondritis, trauma to the chest wall, benign overuse myalgia, fibrositis, referred pain, and psychogenic regional pain syndrome. These disorders are often mistaken for angina pectoris and other serious disorders. Information about onset, location, character, duration and modulating factors of the pain and other symptoms, a meticulous examination of the ribs, spine, sternum and their articulations, and a few judiciously selected diagnostic studies will establish the diagnosis in most patients. Knowledge and understanding of the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of these musculoskeletal disorders is important for optimal management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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