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Hi!
I've had a problem since puberty which I want to address here in hope of getting some advice in how to fix it.
PHOTOS
http://rapidshare.com/files/102545565/nr1.jpg.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/102545566/nr2.jpg.html

The left side of my chest is noticably bigger than the right side (look at the difference marked with "B" on the nr2 photo. I can recall that when I was younger, I had a small "bump" on the left side, but apart from that the chest looked flat and symmetrical. The difference grew as the years went by. Now I am 21 and as you can see on the photos I have added, the difference is starting to be fairly big.

I think I was around 16-17 when I first started to feel some stings along the area marked "A" on one of the photos. It felt like a protruding bone sticking a bit farther out (I've marked this with double line) - touching this part always felt a little bit uncomfortable (not directly painful, but a lot more sensitive).

I have no idea if this is relevant, but some nights I could wake up with a shooting pain in the heart, having it beat really hard (and kind of out of rythm). This luckily happened less and less as I got older. Now it only happens twice every six months or so. However, I have no idea if this is caused by the chest deformity or if it is because of some other reason.

I thought the difference would recede if I'd started weight training, so I started benchpressing. I was wrong. My left side grew alot faster, I gained strength alot faster on that side. And the soreness from training would always be alot more on that side. I even got a bump just beneath the chest (marked "C" what the hell is that?? - one displaced fraction of a sixpack?)
I also started feeling this weird feeling when sitting, my left arm (shoulder) would travel further forward than the right side. Really weird. So I stopped training. Real pity. So back to square one. I was still left with this uncomfortable twisted feel and prickly sensation, and asymmetrical chest.

But god, I can't take this anymore. I have to get something done. If the difference gets any bigger than this, I don't know what to do. My mind is bent on it, even if I wear loose clothes so I can't see it. It feels like my whole upper body is twisting to the right, the feeling is so hard to describe.

PLEASE HELP, WHAT CAN I DO!!!??

- And please don't tell me to see a doctor, I've seen three already.
With three different outcomes.
1st doctor: Said the problem was due to an infection in the bone, which made it swell. She gave me painkillers and told me to return in 6 months if the swelling didn't reside. I was at the time in the army stationed far from home, so I never returned.
2nd doctor: showed some concern and took some x-rays, then told me i couldn't do anything about it. He could really not explain the pain though.
3rd doctor: looked at it for 1 minute, then said this was as common as having a bigger right foot. He then totally ignored me when I said I had that stinging sensation in the left chest bone (as i have explained earlier).

What can i do... i am so depressed..

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alright i've noticed that my left chest is also bigger than my right, its about i'd say 1.5inches wider. And while immediately under my left chest my ab shows. Below the right pec there about a 1/2inch gap before the ab shows. I too believed i was doing something wrong in the gym to where my left chest grew so much bigger. After actually taking the time out to research i found that either, i have a small curvature in my back that is causing this or maybe i have pectus carinatum. That's where one side of your chest/ribcage portrudes out further than the other. It's fixable but you have to have surgery, if your an adult they also have this new method where they put a brace over the side that portrudes more.
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I have a similar problem, only my right side is noticeably larger than my left- I have never been able to palpate a discernible sternum or xiphisternum either. The left side of my chest feels sharp and angular. All in all it feels my right side developed normally whereas my left side became more and more crooked, and growth became stunted. This happened sometime maybe pre-puberty, and maybe come 14 or so it became noticeable to the school nurse. Her words? "Oh, what a deformity....you need to go for an X-ray". The X-rays showed that the lungs and heart were ok, just the ribs had developed 'abnormally' on one side. I tried to explain I sometimes had pain in my chest and back but nothing was followed up on. One doctor said that the shape of my chest may put a strain on the intercostal muscles and make it- at times- painful to breathe, but shouldn't affect me normally. I do tend to get quite tired when performing physical exercise, my stamina being only average at best.

The worst problem is more psychological. I almost never take my top off in front of people, and wear clothes that best cover up the problem- close-fitting t-shirts are out of the question. But even with loose t-shirts I can still see the deformity when walking past a mirror/shop window, making me more self-conscious.

I must admit it does seem difficult to see whether something can be done now-I am in my 30s, and do wonder whether a brace would be effective. I did wonder whether surgery would be possible, but I never chased it up.

Would you say, then, that the biggest problem is any physical discomfort or the psychological nature of the deformity? I actually find the physical discomfort easier to deal with than the psychological difficulty.
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I have the exact same thing. Like EXACT! I was looking for photos of someone on the internet that had something similar to me...Those photos are like looking at my own chest. I have brought it up to several doctors when visiting for other things, and each one has said something along the lines of "Its normal" or "Its not even noticable". I have this theory that it was brought upon by playing too much guitar. From the age of 12 to 18 (which is how old I am now by the way) I have had a guitar on my chest at almost all times in which I was sitting down. I rarely take my shirt off, which is a real shame because I use to really enjoy going to the beach, but now when I am there I feel self conscious. Its funny because I feel like it motivates me to practice guitar more, because I would have to be pretty good to back up a story in which it is implied that a guitar was pressed on my chest so much that it physically altered my body.

Like you, I tried working out because I figured if I could devolop Pectoral muscles and abs, it would be less noticable. I have come to realize that It is really a bone and probably will not go away without surgery. What do you think man, should we just accept it?

I don't know, but we are in the exact same boat and whatever you do I will most likely do as well. It is definitly nice to find someone with the same problem though.
Get back to me
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My left side is noticeable bigger than right side. I also have something sticking out on my left side of chest and realize that there is a lot more fat buildup on the right side of my body. I go to the gym often and i just thought that my left chest was a bigger muscle. Now my nipples are assymetrical in that the right side is lower than the left, significantly. I thought this was due to the weight loss (lost about 98 pounds) and I am currently turning 20 this month. I was wondering if there is anything that I can do because when I wear a shirt, I can see the difference and it disgusts me. thanks
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Hey, I have a simular problem so its best to post it in this topic,
In my early teens I got hit in the chest, I believe it was while swimming I got kicked in the chest and found trouble breathing, this apeared as a red mark and sadly didn't look any further into it. Now I am 18 and my right side of my chest is noticebly larger then my left, I have had 3 doctors look at it and Xrays but they said 'it's normal' even though I still have chest pains and sometimes problems breathing, I desperatly want to fix it for health and psycological problems, does anyone know what type of sugery will actualy be able to fix it? and the cost? as my mother believes Im too paranoid over something that doesn't matter, though it matters a great deal to me....
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couldn't find the edit button,
but I don't know if everyone has got a growth or something different
with mine the left side of the ribs are bellow the right, where I got hit
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Hey I have the same problem. You aren't gonna die from it. Several doctors have seen it. They diagnosed some bone deformity from posture. They recommended swimming. No one was concerned. Weight lifting seems to increase it. Also sitting down over a computer for too long, like I am doing now, lol. One can be really obsessed by this, but people don't notice.
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I have the same problem except my 'lump' is on the right side of my chest (like the middle of my chest where the sternum is but on the right side of the sternum like where it meets the rib cage... if I suck my stomach in it is HORRIBLE because it just looks like there's some excess bone that just like sits there even though my stomach is sucked in.. and you can still tell pretty bad from a side angle when i'm just standing 'normally'.. like you can see more of my t-shirt from one side than from the other side since my chest sticks out if you know what i mean

any body had anything done about this or do we just gotta put up with it?
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i read everyones reply...i have the same problem "lump" on my left side dead center chest...i noticed it as a kid 13..and growing older now 21..i started lifting alot..sometimes just my right side of my chest...and now i kno that its there...but my friends say its harder to tell now..and i agree to a certain extent...soo try working your chest on the opposite side with more weight than the other side...and hey look at it this way...Your special..sum chicks think its cute haha...foreal tho..you are who you are for a reason..live your life..dont worry what other people think bout you...I got a tattoo on my side that says "Only god can judge me" mostly cuz i felt like i was different for having this and people would think of me funny...i duno...so be it now..
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I'm glad I found you guys. I was just X-rayed again today. My first was about five years ago. I went in today because I had some chest pains, nothing serious, just enough to make me curious. I was 25 when I got my first, and that was because my left side had noticeably increased to the point of me being embarrassed.

I always thought it was because I broke my sternum when I was a kid. I fell off a 4-wheeler when I was twelve or so. Wasn't even going fast, but just took all of the impact to my chest. Probably not as cool as the guitar chest backup...

They x-rayed me and gave me an EKG today. No problem with the heart or X-ray apparently. I guess I'm less concerned about having an obviously abnormal chest and am pretty happy thinking that my physical health is alright.

I asked a chiropractor once about working the right side more than the left to equal things out. He told me it wouldn’t work. I don’t know, when I bench press or do a lot of push-ups my chest starts to hurt. I usually stick working my arms to try to draw attention away from my chest. Don’t really think it working though. Maybe, I’ll try what the last dude suggested.



Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one.
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I have the exact same problem which you have all described so clearly; my "bump" is on my right side, and although others hardly notice it, barely a second goes by that I dont. I too visited numerous doctors regarding the bump, it wasnt so much the discomort, its more a self-concious thing; a vanity thing to put it bluntly. The doctor's were useless, i was told it was a common problem, and that it might o away as I got older. Oh, Im 20 by the way, and i noticed it when I was about 16.

Anyway about a year ago I decided enough was enough, I didnt like my body, and I realised it was time to do something about it.

I started training at the gym, and became a complete gym rat, training once or twice a day, and like you I started to notice that the bump got more noticible as my right pec developed faster than the left.

However, I kept at it, and eventually my pecs started to even out, (I started to work my pecs seperatly, always trying to get a few extra reps on my left side. I stick to dumbells when it comes to chest, and when i do use the bar, I am always concious of using my left side more.

Anyway, it evened out the muscles but the problem of the bump remained, it was however less noticible due to the fact that I now had pecs.

But, I wasn't happy, I'm a perfectionist, and I don't like to loose, so I started researching the "bump", basically, it stems from 1 of 3 problems. The most likely one is sciliosis of the spine, a slight bend in your spine causing your rib cage to twist. (in my case my spine was slightly twisted at the pelvis, and this caused a twist in the opposite direction at the top of the spine causing my ribs to twist anticlockwise, and causing the dreded "bump". The other two causes are pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum, just with a disticnt asymmetry.

Anyway's, determined to succeed I decided I was going to cover all bases, I visited an oesteopath to try and straighten my spine, I also took up yoga (in the confinds of my home). I should probably mention that working my back at the gym did wonders for my posture and that helped loads. I also bought myself a vaccuum bell - I recomend you visit here, it will give you a lott of info about the vaccum bell) to suck out my sternum. I used it for an hour before bed, it hurts when you use it for a week, and then after that it's not even uncomftorble. I also bought a rib cage brace (just a elastic material one - just like a strong bandage) and wore that under my shirt during the day (i used to put a pad over the lump so that it would focus the pressure there.

I was to always be conscious that i needed to untwist my rib cage, I used my left hand more especially for reaching for things to the right of me, I just used my left hand more all round. I also always used to make sure shoulders were back, but then with a little bit more effort into moving my right shoulder more round and trying to tilt my ribs to the right.

Anyway's I have been doing all these things for about 6 months, and I am glad to say that it has definatley helped alott, I can definatley notice the difference, and I am still going. Basically, the front of you rib cage bar your sternum is cartilidge, which means its plastic and can be molded with constant pressure. As long as you address the cause (bad posture - mild sciliosis) then you can fix it or at least reduce it significantly. It now bothers me a lott less, I am still trying to improve it, but Im a perfectionist and wont stop till it stops working.

I carn't really say which thing was more effective, but if I was to pick one, I would go with the constant twisting against the bump, and things related to the posture, I think fixing the cause was the biggest thing. Oh one last thing which I did to improve it, which thinking about it could have helped a lott, was to try and expand my chest; with weights (e.g. pull over) and by trying to increase my lung capacity, by cardio, swimming, various breathing exercises and a thing called power breathe. Working your obliques (side abs) also helps expand you rib cage.

So basically, my message is this, it can be improved, I dont think you can ever get it perfect, but I dont think anyone actually has a perfectly straight chest; everyone has a minimal asymmetry. But It can definatly be improved, but it isn't easy, it takes a long time and you just have to keep at it. BUT you by no means have to accept it if you are unhappy with it.

I hope this help's! let me know if anyone else has any other methods which have worked or which they think might work.

Apology's for spelling and grammar, but It turns out that I have written an essay, and I carnt be bothered to check it..... :-D
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Hey guys, I've had the same issue since for as long as I can remember, I am 34 now and finally decided to do something about it. Check out articles on pectus excavatum. Look into the "Nuss" procedure. Go and see a thoracic surgeon who performs this procedure. Wikipedia has a good article on it as well. We don't have the most extreme cases, however, we do all have cases that can be treated. I hope this helps, I am going for it and looking forward to the change since I am and have always been so big into bodybuilding.
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I have the same problem like you guys, and I'm going to the gym for a month (trying to fix it).
Some guy, recommended me to do dips .
And I can't say that I made progress, but just by reading this thread, you've encouraged me too keep trying.
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I have the same condition. The left side is larger than the right and also over the years have had chest pain. The pain is like a pinching band across the the ribs. I finally realize that I was forcing my diaphram or stomach to far up into my chest cavity by simply trying to hold in my gut. I did this unknowingly to compensate for my asymetrical chest. Solution: Stick out your gut and force everything down. The pain was from my mis-postioned stomach or diaphram. I quickly corrected itself and the pain went away. Also it you want a even your chest out only lift weights on the side you are trying to fill in. I have been lifting like this for years and now my uneven chest is very unoticable!
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