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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: 22 Year Old Chest and Arm Pain

 htx08 - Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:55 am

I am 22 Year Old Male 5' 10" 140 lbs. In pretty good shape. For 3 months now I am having pain in the middle to left side of my chest in the same spot but it comes and goes like a stabbing or pinching pain. I also have pain in the left side of my neck, shoulder, bicep, forearm and hand but the pain moves spots all the time in my left shoulder/arm, and my left arm was actually getting tired after typing, carrying something moving it a lot etc. I had 3 EKG's, 1 Stress test, all the blood work, and 3 chest x-rays and everything came back normal. Except one Dr. took an EKG and goes interesting and says you are not having a heart attack but I would like you to see a cardiologist. I saw the cardiologist they did the stress test and the tech who gave me the test said hmmm there is something interesting but the Dr. looked at it and said it is normal and I shouldn't worry about anything. I had one more EKG after that, that came out to be normal.

This pain has brought on Anxiety/Panic Attacks. I was put on .25mg of twice a day. I got it down to half that twice a day and I see a psychologist. The last ED visit the Dr. said maybe it is a pinched nerve so he put me on medrol and darvocet. The Medrol did not seem to do much but the darvocet did reduce the pain. I have been seeing a chiropractor now for 4 weeks and he says he sees compression in my left shoulder were he took the x-ray and believes it is a pinched nerve. The pain comes and goes some days it hurts a lot some days it doesn't and it even makes my left hand go numb sometimes.

Overall the arm pain is getting a little better but the pinching chest pain comes and goes all the time. The pain starts at the inside of the left pectoral and is localized there but sometimes I can feel it surrounding my left pectoral muscle into my shoulder. I have been to the ED 3 times saw 3 different Physicians, 1 Cardiologist, and a chiropractor. If I can solve the pain and know for sure where it is coming from I can stop these panic attacks. The problem is once I tell a Dr. I have panic attacks they think that's why I have the chest pain but it is the chest pain the makes the panic attack happen, if I didn't have the pain I wouldn't have the attack and this pain and the attacks are taking my life away from me and I really need some advice.

 Dr. A. Madia - Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:36 am

User avatar Hi HTX,

Chest pain is an annoying and frightening symptom. I fully understand your anxiety about it. However there are some facts about chest pain that I would like to highlight.

At 22, a chest pain from a heart attack or angina, though not unknown, is extermely rare. Heart pain usually is produced by some activity and subsides on resting. Besides a heart attack pain does not keep recurring like in your case, it is soon diagnised and resolved by treatment.

At your age pain from muscles , bones, nerves [yes pinched nerve too] is more likely. Also, some unusual presentation of a dyspepsia and gas formation can present itself as a chest discomfort.

Many young healthy individuals have some typical EKG patterns which at first sight in less experienced hands like technicians may be mistaken for an abnormality. Even Stress EKGs are known to be mis interpreted. But go by what your cardiologist says and try to divert your mind to some more fruitful activities.

 htx08 - Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:20 pm

I just want to say thank you very much for your information it makes me feel a lot better and you explained everything very well.

Thanks again,


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