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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: TIGHT HEAVY CHEST PAIN WHEN I WAKE UP:(


 lovelylatina - Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:13 am

IM 23 YEARS OLD AND FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS NOW IVE BEEN WAKING UP TO A HEAVY CHEST PAIN ON THE LEFT SIDE OF MY BREAST AND ON TOP OF IT. IT FEELS LIKE A 100 POUND WEIGHT ON THERE. I PRESS AGAINST IT TIGHTLY AND MASSAGE IT TO MAKE IT GO AWAY BUT NOPE IT DOESNT. I SOMETIMES EVEN HIT MY CHEST RIGHT THERE NOT TO HARD THOUGH TO MAKE IT GO AWAY BECAUSE IT BOTHERS. I'M GETTING WORRIED BECAUSE I don't KNOW WHAT TO DO. I HAVE NO INSURANCE EITHER. I ALSO HAVE NO TROUBLE BREATHING I EXCERCISE ABOUT 3 DAYS OUT OF THE WEEK AT LEAST. I COULD BE STRESSED BUT I don't KNOW WHAT TO THINK. IN JANUARY I HAD A KGG DONE AND THEY SAID IT WAS THE MOST PEFECT ONE. SO WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:18 pm

User avatar Hi there -- There are several options right off the bat, and it really doesn't sound cardiac related at all. Since it is present when you wake up it may well be musculoskeletal, and may even be costochondritis, since when we lie flat and relatively still our ribcage will sometimes stiffen up where the connective tissue (cartilege) is, between the ribs. This can sometimes feel like a weight in the morning (called morning stiffness) and is often due to inflamation that can be managed with over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofin (Advil) or naproxyn (Aleve). One of these would be worth a trial to see if it helps.

The symptom is also often seen in anxious people for some reason, perhaps because of muscle tensing in the area and the belief the heart is located there (which it's not, it's located mostly beneath the breast bone). You've had heart problems ruled out by a really good-looking EKG and you tolerate aerobic exercise well, so my suspicion is either costochondritis (also known sometimes as Tietz's syndrome), anxiety, or a muscle that's being chronically overused. First try taking a single dose of one of the NSAIDs before bedtime (with nonfat milk or a light snack, to prevent stomach irritation) and see if that doesn't help keep this from happening. Also test yourself to see if by twisting your upper body in various directions you can reproduce the discomfort. If so it is definitely musculoskeletal and sometimes stretching exercises will help this as well.

Good luck to you and pleas follow up with us here as needed.

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