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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: acute chest, shoulder, neck/jaw pain - ongoing

 always_ask_why - Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:45 pm

I'm a 24y/o female. I have never smoked, I drink 12-20oz of wine daily, I eat a very balanced (mostly vegetarian) diet, I am of average weight, I exercise at least 40 minutes daily, practice tai chi, and have a reasonably stress-free life. I take birth control, have a heart murmur, and my blood carries the kel antigen.

For the past 6 months, I have had various upper torso problems. My symptoms had been pain in my center ribcage area, just bellow the heart, and curious bowl movements(no blood, but frequent yellow discharge w/mucous-y stool) . A GP ran blood tests and did a gallbladder ultrasound. Everything came back normal and it was suggested if those symptoms persist, I should speak with a specialist. This was in September.

Shortly after, the pain stopped near the lower-center ribcage, and moved to my upper left shoulder/neck area and has recently begun to include my (left) chest. It lasts all day and is mostly dull, but burns in the chest a little, tingles in my neck and jaw (left side only), feels like I have a knot in my shoulder, and randomly makes my left arm tingle - all the way to my finger-tips. It waxes and wanes in severity, though it is never shockingly severe. Since it is now almost always there and I'm getting the random arm-tingling, I am very concerned. Also, my heart will feel like it flip-flops or misses a couple of beats - especially while exercising and walking (not casual walking; 3mpr w/15 extra lbs-walking). I still occasionally have similar curious bowel problems, but I can't be sure they are related.

I should note - not getting enough water or calories seems to up the severity. However, drinking wine and taking a multivitamin makes it less noticeable.

I imagine I will be directed to speak with a cardiologist.... but I want to make sure there are no other suggestions from educated sources.

Thanks in advance,
 Dr. A. Madia - Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:49 am

User avatar Hi,

Pain in the chest/rib cage area has several causes, most of them benign at your age. The most common is musculo-skeletal pain, originating from the ribs or muscles. This one is aggravated on breathing.

The other is Plurisy but this will most often have associated features like fever, weight loss, etc.

It could also be due to some dyspepsia or excess gas formation in your intestines/stomach.

The pain which you describe as moving to neck and shoulder could have its origin in the spinal vertebra of the neck region.

A proper examination with your primary c are physician is required and she will advice you on the necesary tests or specialist opinion.


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