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Pain Between Breast Bone And CoolSculpting: Are They Related?

Pain between the breast bone, also referred to as sternum pain, can be caused by various conditions that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your sternum itself. Your sternum connects the two sides of your rib cage together and is situated in front of many major organs (heart, lungs, and stomach) located in your chest and gut. But it’s only natural to wonder if cosmetic treatments such as CoolSculpting can cause pain between breast bone if conducted especially in the chest area.

So is pain between the breast bone and CoolSculpting related? CoolSculpting comes with several side effects, such as swelling and bruises. These are normal and should go away after days or weeks. If you’ve had CoolSculpting near the chest area, the swelling and bruising could be the reasons behind your sternum pain. However, there are instances that the pain can be caused by something else and this is something that should be checked by your doctor.

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Common Causes of Sternum Pain

Think of your first reaction to chest pain, especially if it’s the consistent or severe kind. You probably think that you may be having a heart attack, but in a lot of cases, pain in the chest has nothing to do with the heart. Sternum pain can work similarly and is more likely to be caused by conditions that have nothing to do with your sternum itself. The pain could be caused by your muscles, bones, and your digestive tract.

Costochondritis is the most common cause of sternum pain which occurs when the cartilage that connects your sternum to your ribs becomes inflamed. Symptoms include sharp aches or pains on the side of your sternum, pain or discomfort in one or more ribs which gets worse when you breathe deeply or when you cough. 

The condition doesn’t always have a specific cause, but the likely culprits are physical strain, chest injury, or joint conditions such as arthritis. Fortunately, costochondritis is not a serious condition and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.

Sternum pain can also be a result of conditions or injuries to the bones and muscles around your sternum. These conditions include injury in the joints or collarbone, hernias, fractures, and surgery on the sternum, such as open heart surgery. Such injuries are:

  • Sternoclavicular injury – this is an injury to the joint where the clavicle meets the sternum. Traumatic injuries to this joint can be caused by high energy impacts, such as contact sports and motor vehicle accidents. There's also a traumatic sternoclavicular joint injury, which occurs when there is no outside force or cause but the sternum still gets injured, inflamed, or irritated.
  • Collarbone injury – your sternum can also get hurt by collarbone injuries that happen near it. If you have an injured collarbone and it didn’t heal properly, it can cause pain to your joint.
  • Intercostal nerve inflammation - this happens when you strain a muscle in between your ribs. This strain can cause pain in your sternum and the nerves that control the intercostal muscles can also become inflamed. This is called intercostal neuralgia.
  • Rib joint infection - this rare condition occurs when the sternocostal joints get infected by the staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. It usually happens to intravenous drug abusers, people with diabetes mellitus, those with rheumatoid arthritis, and those with immune system disorders. This bacterial infection inflames the joints and causes pain. Surgery is usually required for treatment.
  • Tumor - tumors can form on the bones in your sternum, although this rarely happens. If you have developed a sternum tumor, it can grow into a mass in the center of your chest. You will experience pain radiating from the mass and the tissue can swell. Your intercostal muscles may become weak and begin to atrophy, which results in pain as well.

Sternum Pain And Breast Augmentation

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If you’ve recently had breast augmentation or got a breast implant, it’s natural to have pain in the sterna area, especially after a submuscular augment. It occurs when the medial pectoral fibers are attached in the sterna area and stretched. 

Also, most surgeons will disrupt some of the attachments of your pectoralis major muscle to the lower portion of your sternum while putting the implants under the muscle. The pocket beneath the chest muscle is usually enlarged to make room for the implant by detaching some of the insertions of the pectoralis muscle.

This will leave the area sore for a while after plastic surgery and discomfort in the sternum can last around 10 to 14 days. This should be resolved within the first month after the procedure. Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss this with you during your initial consultation for breast surgery.

You may also experience spasms due to the stretching of the muscles and nerves. These should all go away after some time, so there’s really no need to worry. You can take anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to treat the discomfort after about a week after surgery.

Sternum Pain and Breast Cancer

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Many women experience lasting pain or discomfort in the chest or breast area after undergoing breast cancer surgery. The condition is called post mastectomy reconstruction syndrome (PMRS) and a natural effect from having mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of the breast and underlying tissue. PRMS can also occur after having other breast cancer treatments apart from breast reconstruction, such as lymph node biopsy, radiation, chemotherapy, and reconstruction.

Symptoms include tightness or pain in the shoulder, muscle spasms or pain, and muscle loss in the chest wall. Women who have PMRS can also experience swelling and sensitivity of the chest wall, restricted range of motion, and axillary web syndrome or cording (formation of ropelike tissue structures form under the skin of the arms).

The pain, whether it’s the usual level expected or severe postoperative pain, is managed after surgery. Treatments for PMRS range from medication to physical therapy. Doctors may recommend getting botulinum toxin or Botox injections to reduce or eliminate painful spasms.

CoolSculpting and Sternum Pain

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CoolSculpting, also known as Cryolipolysis, is a fat reduction procedure designed to eliminate the stubborn pockets of fat in the subcutaneous layer that cling to certain parts of the body and can’t be resolved by diet and exercise. It involves the use of an applicator to freeze the fat cells and destroy them while leaving the non-fatty tissue intact, thus keeping them safe from destruction.

After the freezing process, the applicator is removed and your doctor will massage the treated area to stimulate the dispersion of the destroyed cells. These cells will be flushed out of your body naturally through your lymphatic system. After the session, you can safely resume your normal activities since the downtime is minimal to none.

The results of your CoolSculpting procedure will be gradual, so don’t expect dramatic transformations right after your treatment. Depending on the area treated, results will take weeks or sometimes months to fully show. This is because your body needs time to flush out the destroyed fat cells out of your system. Your new contours will slowly reveal itself while you wait for the full results to become visible. For some patients, CoolSculpting can have a skin tightening effect as well.

So where does sternum pain come in? A CoolSculpting procedure comes with its own set of side effects, which are normal and should recede after days or weeks. Some of the expected effects are swelling and bruising. Now if you have had CoolSculpting work done on areas near your chest, it can result in pain or discomfort after the treatment and you may feel the effects between your breast bone, thus the sternum pain.

Is CoolSculpting Good For You?

CoolSculpting is a safe and effective non-invasive procedure approved by the FDA to use for several parts of the body, such as the chin, neck, arms, upper and lower abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. The ideal patient for the stubborn fat treatment is someone who is already close to her ideal weight and preferably not more than 25 pounds above it. You should have enough fat to fill the CoolSculpting applicator.

If you are on the obese side or weight 25 pounds more than your ideal weight, your doctor will likely recommend that you lose the extra pounds first before you can get cleared for CoolSculpting treatment. It should be emphasized that CoolSculpting is a body contouring procedure designed for fat reduction and not a weight loss solution. It’s ideal for those who are down to their last few pockets of unwanted fat that diet and exercise can’t remove anymore.

Why Choose CoolSculpting Over Liposuction

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Liposuction is definitely effective when it comes to fat removal. However, it’s a surgical procedure and not all people are keen to undergo cosmetic surgery. CoolSculpting is a great alternative for these people since the treatment doesn’t require incisions, general anesthesia, and long recovery time.

CoolSculpting may multiple sessions to get the results you really want and ideal only for people who are already close to their ideal weight. You also need to wait considerably to see the full effects of the treatment. If you’re someone who couldn’t lose the extra pounds and would prefer to have dramatic results quickly, maybe liposuction is the better option for you. This should be discussed with your doctor or plastic surgeon in order to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Sculpt Your Body Without the Surgery at NJ Center for CoolSculpting

Are you looking for a mommy makeover or do you simply want a better-looking body? At NJ Center for CoolSculpting, you can get the sculpted body you’ve always dreamed of without the need to undergo tummy tuck, liposuction, and other cosmetic surgery procedures.

You get nothing less than the safest, most effective customized cosmetic procedure that utilizes the latest advances in non-invasive cosmetic treatments and technologies. The center's team of experts can address all types of cosmetic issues such as facial wrinkles, excess skin, and excess fat in various parts of the body. Call now and make an appointment for your CoolSculpting treatment.

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Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!


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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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