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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: left ring finger/pinky pain and more, heart related?


 NewV - Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:06 pm

Hello, I am a 22 year old man otherwise healthy. for the past two weeks i have been experiencing pain in my left pinky and ring finger when my hand is open, random mild pains around my left arm near biceps, triceps, wrist that comes and goes (the arm pain, the ring finger/pinky pain is constant). I have also been experiencing mild pain on the left side of my neck when i move it around, and mild heartburn that comes and goes. Can this be heart related? I think its worth it to mention i have a heart murmur, and that on october 17th 08 i was in the emergency room for taking a high dosage of crystal methamphetamine which caused mild dehydration and shortness of breath and lack of sleep for three nights which prompted me to go to emergency. There they took blood, urine test, and checked my heart with a machine. Is that sufficient testing to make sure my heart is completely ok? This was my third time smoking meth, the first two were 5 years ago.
needless to say it was my last time, although I am worried it may have cause some permanent damage which is causing the ring finger/pinky pain and etc.

Also if t matters, i have two bottom wisdom teeth that grew sideways under my gums, ive had them for about 1 year without removing them yet.

Thank you
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:00 pm

User avatar Hello -

While the pain pathway you describe is often cited as part of the route of radiated or atypical cardiac pain (an you may know this, as you have described it so expertly), it doesn't sound like that's what's happening in your case. Also, since the neck pain can be duplicated by movement that not only disqualifies it as heart-related pain, but leaves open the possibility of ulnar nerve pain due to something going on with the cervical spine, which you may want to look into at your leisure.

You've had a reasonably thorough rule out of heart-related problems also, because of your ER visit and EKG, which took place during a time of more than ordinary stress on your heart (you state you'd been smoking meth at the time, so if you had any heart problems they would have been very likely to show up during that time). Needless to say, meth can damage the heart over time, and it would seem you've come to the good conclusion that it's not a good idea. If not, I'll help you with that. It's a really bad idea. I only reiterate this for you because it can cause serious health problems, with heart being at the top of the list. I don't moralize to people or judge them, but I do try to keep them healthy, and as I'm sure you realize, meth abuse is extremely unhealthy. 'Nuf said.

I think your heart is fine, and hope you will do your part to keep it that way. I also think the pain you describe is probably related to the neck pain/stiffness, and may be due to pressure on the ulnar nerve at the cervical outlet, which is at C7 - T1, just for future reference. It so happens that heart pain travels the ulnar pathway, so many people become concerned when they experience pain along this route. However, any irritation of the ulnar nerve can cause similar pain, as well as tingling and frank numbness in that part of the hand.

I hope this is helpful to you. Best of luck to you, and please follow up with us as necessary.

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