Chest Pain - EKG & X-rays good

Chest pain, dyspnea (shortness of breath)

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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:18 pm
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Chest Pain - EKG & X-rays good

Postby bredna » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 pm

I have been having daily chest pain that last through the day. Sometimes it is worse than others. I went to the ER after a couple of weeks and a day that seemed to be getting worse. The EKG, blood work, and x-rays looked good. They told me my heart looked good and I didn't have any risk factors but I could follow up with my doctor and have stress test. I haven't done this as I don't have insurance and spent a TON at the ER. When I was in the ER, when the Blood Pressure cup would inflate, it caused the pain to intensify in my chest and shoulder area into the arm.

I am starting to feel a lot more pains the last couple of days. I exercise early every morning but I cannot determine if it makes it worse or not or if it brings it on each day. I recently lost 30 pounds and went from 180 to 150 where I have maintained for a couple of months. My blood pressure is good. It has always been on the low side and my ER visit showed it still low.

The pains I feel vary. I sometimes feel pressure under the breast or just throbbing in the armpit, shoulder, arm and sometimes neck. I also sometimes get similar pains on the right side. Once I had a shooting pain go down my are from my arm pit on the right side. Sometimes I only notice the pains when I think about them and other times they force me to stop and take notice.

Even though my ER visit showed a healthy heart, might there still be a problem?

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John Kenyon, CNA
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Re: Chest Pain - EKG & X-rays good

Postby John Kenyon, CNA » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:39 am

Hello -

From your description of the pains, as well as the negative findings of the ER studies, it seems very unlikely you're having heart-related symptoms. Pain below the left breast, into the armpit and otherwise as you describe are rarely heart-related, and in fact may be due to GI or orthopedic (usually rib cartilage) problems. The right-sided pains you describe don't fit the profile of heart pains even remotely, as they are sharp and traveling in the wrong direction.

The fact that the inflation of the blood pressure cuff triggered pain retrograde to toward the usual area of origin suggests a possible nerve compression problem.

Lacking risk factors and having had a good result in the workup in the ER, plus the highly atypical (for cardiac purposes) pains, I strongly suspect no heart involvement, but possible orthopedic/nerve-related pains. You might want to pursue this angle if the pains become excessively bothersome.

Best of luck to you. Please follow up with us here as needed.
John Kenyon, EMT, CCT
Non-invasive cardiology tech, Emergency and Critical Care technician, Critical Incident Stress Mgmt. specialist

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