Health Tips for Seniors

Shingles pain is not from heart

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is a burning, aching pain usually on one side of the chest wall. We know where the pain is coming from as soon as we recognize shingles, for a skin eruption usually

Fig. 66. Breast Pain. Caused by several different disease possibilities, pain in the breast probably will afflict almost all women at some time or other. By comparison the undeveloped male breast is only seldom the seat of any trouble. Most people are surprised to learn that breast pain hardly ever means cancer, but that pain usually means a benign (non-malignant) condition, like “cystic disease of the breast.” Breast pain never means heart disease.

shows up over the course of the pain in just a few days to a week. Also, in shingles, pain is produced by pressing with the finger along the course of the nerve, between the ribs, and we know now that any kind of pain produced by pressing against the chest wall, in any area, is never recognized as pain originating from the heart.

Chest pain coming from tumor growths of the chest wall itself, is extremely rare. Because of the rarity and difficulty in attempting to describe such tumor growths, we will only say that the enlargement of the tumor will certainly be noticed much before the pain. This alone should bring the patient to his physician. Chest pain of great importance may originate from the swallowing tube (esophagus) running from the throat to the stomach.

Fig. 67. Shingles Pain. Often called Herpes Zoster, the pain of shingles is due to soreness of a nerve itself. The pain typically burns, aches and stabs, and follows the nerve route between the ribs (generally the 4th, 5th and 6th ribs). The usual shingles skin eruption may appear within a few days, itching furiously and inviting constant scratching.

This type of pain is worthy of special study in the age-fifty group, because it is so common and so often severe. Real pain of the esophagus which might be confused with heart pain, is nearly always that of heartburn (reflux-esophagitis or achalasia). In heartburn, the acids normally in the stomach back up into the esophagus and cause intense burning pain. Being situated deep in the chest, in the heart region, this chest pain is named heartburn, a well-known name among chest pains.

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