What Are Fibromyalgia Chest Pains?

A symptom that I suffer from that really worried me for the longest time was fibromyalgia chest pains. The pain is in the ribcage and chest area and can feel like a sharp poke or aching stabbing and sometimes a burning pain. If your chest pain is making it difficult to sleep, work or even breath easily, it’s important to talk to your doctor about this condition and have it checked just incase it’s not fibro related. If you do however realize this is fibro related I can tell you one thing it does take some of the worry off your chest. The first time I had chest pains I literally felt scared to death. I thought I may have been having some form of a pre-heart attack. I started crying because my husband told me that it was probably due to blood pressure levels rising constantly and that high blood pressure could cause a heart attack which is true so you can only imagine how scared I really was. I called my doctor and made an appointment only to show up and find out that after I’d taken an EKG nothing was found. Whew! That was a relief.

So why was I suffering from bouts of chest pain? How could I stop it? Was I going to have to live with this my whole life now? So I did some online research…I had to know why! Here’s what I found. Costochondritis is the chest pain that is associated with fibromyalgia. Costochondritis in women is common, especially in women that are between the ages of 20-40. Costochondritis also affects those who don’t have fibro and if a result of chest trauma or exercise-related injury or strain. About 10% of the population has Costochondritis. Because our muscles are weaker we tend to strain them a lot faster so it’s more common in people with fibro to experience some form of chest pain. Costochondritis affects approximately 60-70% of fibromyalgia sufferers and is more common in women. It can last for days, weeks or in some cases even months before going away for lon periods of time and then returning, bouts of chest pain that come and go. The area affected is the junction between the rib bones and the chest bone, also known as the sternum. Costochondritis causes cartilage to become inflamed and sore because there are 7 bits of cartilage that attach fro your ribs to your sternum, so if you have costochondritis you should feel pain when you move your upper torso. Commonly the pain is located on the left side of the chest as it was in my case but there are people who do get it in the right side of the chest.

Symptoms of Costochondritis

  • sharp, stabbing pain in the front of the chest
  • pain that increases with activity, exertion, or deep breathing
  • pain that decreases with rest, movement, or slow breathing
  • ribs that are sore to the touch
  • burning pain in the ribs
  • pain that radiates up the back of the neck and shoulders
  • pain on the left or right side of the chest
  • upper chest pains
  • pain in your chest when you sneeze or cough

If you are experiencing Costochondritis it’s a good idea to go talk to your doctor about it to help rule out any other complication and learn ways in which you can prevent it from happening, and find fibro friendly activities that will not stress or strain your chest muscles until they are strong enough. A lot of us over-exert ourselves when we get just the tiniest burst of energy (I know…that’s a rarity) and so because our muscles aren’t used to moving it’s easy to stress and strain them so be careful not to over strain, sometimes just getting up out of best too fast can set off Costochondritis.

By: Haullie Free



THE FIBRO SHOW | Radio show for survivors of fibromyalgia




  1. I have had fibromyalgia for 7yrs. I started to suffer chest pain 3yrs ago. I had ecg and various other tests for my heart all came back negative. I was sent for a stress test just to be on the safe side That showed i had heart problems. The cardiologist tried to do a stent but the blockage was too long so i had to have a heart by pass.surgery. So if you have any chest pain please go see your doctor and dont just think it may be your fibromyalgia.

  2. I just had this happen recently and wound up in the Emergency Room. They did an EKG and ran blood work. The doctor said my labs were “beautiful.” He diagnosed gastritis, but I had a feeling it was fibro related. Now it know it most probably was. Thank you for the article.

  3. This is something I experience quite regularly and it’s incredibly painful, but it also helps to know that it will ease at some point. Sometimes after 5 mins, other times several hours. The biggest problem I have is the lack of knowledge by doctors who have little understanding of the numerous associated conditions that fibromyalgia presents. I very rarely go to my doctor now with any new or worsening symptom because I always get the same reaction. Thanks for highlighting this….

  4. Good Morning. I have just gone through all of this. I have had fibromyalgia now for several years. The latest pain has been the shortness of breath and then the chest pain. It wakes me up right out of my sleep. This happened to my this week, and went to the hospital and had all of the test, ekg, stress test, etc. They find nothing. So then they say it is gerd. Well I know it is not the same pain as gerd, because I have had problems with that forever. So I thought I would see if it my be related to fibro. Thanks for the information. I tell people that I don’t go to the doctors because they never find anything wrong with me. Well i know it is not in my head and I hate the feeling I get when I am in pain, and am told it is nothing. Thank youf or sharing this information. Makes me feel a little better knowing that others have had the same issues.

  5. I have had fibromalgia for a couple of years. I am 44years old and found it difficult to accept that something like this could be happening to me and i was always active, worked since i was 16 years old. Ate well, (drank fairly well too) but thats not the cause. Over the past 4 months, i have to come to realise that education is better than medication. If we truely understand our bodies, listen to it and get educated about how our bodies work, you can ease those aches & pains by simple activies but not to say that exercise is the only answer, but that it can help. I have a swivel chair at the computer and often do the gentle twist on it. stretch my arms up and out, strectch my legs in & out. When i start getting frustrated, i force myself to get up and walk to the clothesline and take 5 big breathes, tur around and go back inside. At night i go to the bathroom, breath in front of the mirror, and go back and keep doing it until you feel just a little bit more relaxed. Sometime before you know it, you want to go walking all over the place…GO i say… Just walk where ever you want to and practice smiling as much as you can. If for any other reason other than to exercise your cheek muscles, someone might see you walking along with this great big smile on your face and smile back. or not! but its a great feeling. practice makes perfect. Good luck fellow freinds.

  6. My sister has had fibromyalgia for years and was sure I had it. I was finally diagnosed a few years ago. She went to the ER because of chest pains and they did all sorts of tests. Once she told them she had fibrymyalgia, they immediately said it wasn’t heart related and was costochondritis. My symptoms usually happen when I’m in bed and I attempt to turn over from my right side to my left side. I am unable to because the pain in my chest is so severe that I can’t lift my body. The first time this happened I was terrified. I have to roll onto my back for a moment and then roll to the other side. The doctor immediately told me it was costochondritis and it does make it easier to handle knowing that I’m not having a heart attack. I did not realize that a burst of activity could bring on symptoms, which explains my current bout.

  7. I have both Fibromyalgia and Costochondritis and it is no fun I just come from the ER it is my second time in 3 for pain I get scared when this happens. I live 50 miles to get to a hospital is there anyone or anything I can do help it I know I can not stop the pains. Is there anyone that can help out so I do not have keep going to the Dr yes I know they even told me if I am having pains like I get I was to the hospital that is a long way for me to go. Hope someone can help Ginny

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