Central Sensitization & Chest Pain
People with central sensitization can experience frequent chest pains, particularly on the left hand side. If you have consulted your doctor on your chest pains, and they did not find any other cause, your issue could be one of the following.
Stress Breathing Chest Pain
Chest breathing makes everything really tight, especially the chest region. I use to be a chest breather, and over time I kept correcting myself and am now an abdominal breather. It’s easier to breathe with the abdomen too, which is very important for those with shortness of breath. If you’re not sure if you’re a chest breather or abdominal breather, place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen and breathe normally for a little while, and then think of something stressful.
If the hand on your chest is rising and falling, you’re a chest breather. If your hand on your abdomen is the one rising and falling, you are not. If you are stress breathing, be mindful of your breathing when you are experiencing periods of heightened stress. Also, take time out of your day, or time right before falling asleep, to focus on abdominal breathing. Both are habit forming, so if you keep correcting yourself, and practicing, you will change your way of breathing without having to be mindful of it.
Myofascial Chest Pain
It could just be tension in general or myofascial pain. Myofascial pain can be helped with gentle stretching massage. Push, stretch, release (Myofascial Release). Simply give the muscles in your chest, neck and shoulders a gentle push, and then while pushing generally pull and stretch the muscle very slowly. One you reach the end of the muscle, remove your hand, and move on to another muscle. Try to take about a minute to stretch each muscle on the front of your neck, across your chest, and in the shoulder area. Use both hands to speed things up.
Gas Chest Pain
As silly as it may sound, one of the most painful things you can experience that is not actually harmful to you is gas pain. It’s a stabbing sharp pain and it can be localized around your heart. However, it’s just gas, so while it may hurt like hell, it’s probably not going to kill you (even though it kind of feeling like it). If this is the issue, you will need cut out foods and beverages that cause a lot of gas for you. Only you will know what these are, but for me its plant or animal milk, greasy foods, fruit juices, and carbonated beverages.
You can also place a cold pack (not frozen, just right out of the fridge), and place it over the pain. This will reduce the pressure of the gas. If this works well for you, then it’s likely just gas pain and its completely preventable. Again, it may sound silly, but it was enough to send me to the hospital in a wheelchair screaming and I’m a trouper when it comes to pain. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, this is defiantly a possible cause of the pain.
However, it could be a combination of all of these things. So, correct your stress breathing, take time each day to use myofascial release on your chest, neck and shoulders, and avoid foods and beverages that make you gassy.