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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Unusual chest pain & pain with breathing

 prettycakes - Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:45 pm

Okay, where to begin....For starters I was diagnosed with MVP in 1998 through and ECG after an episode of a rapid heartbeat (about 200 bpm over 12 hours). I don't think that's related to my current problem, but I thought you should know.

My problem started last April or May, several weeks after giving birth to my son. Pain would begin in my lower chest area (perhaps around my diaphragm?) and would intensify greatly as it spread around to my back, and upward, and around to the sides of my chest. It REALLY hurt to breathe. The pain would get so bad that I was doubled over in tears. This has happened many times since and it has lasts anywhere from five minutes to a half hour each time. The strange thing is that when the pain stops, it stops immediately and completely--almost like a muscle cramp.

I've been to my general practitioner twice for this and they don't seem very concerned. They've said that maybe it is a cramp and I should just try stretching (which I have and it hasn't helped) or maybe it's reflux (which I've taken medicine for and it hasn't helped).

Do you have any clue as to what this might be? It is very disconcerting, and it just doesn't seem normal!
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:21 pm

User avatar Dear Prettycakes,

You don't have any risk factor for coronary disease and the pain characteristic is atypical as compared to that of pain of coronary origin. So, the probability of this pain being of coronary origin is very low.

The pain that gets worse by breathing is usually caused by inflammation of the membranes surrounding the lung or the heart but the pain is usually continuous and not intermittent like the ones that you have. i recommend that you try anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as aleve, advil and the like to see if it will help. i would also recommend that you have an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart).

From the place of the pain, causes can be abdominal in origin and not cardiac related. So, esophageal causes such as esophageal spasms can be the cause behind this chest pain. They are usually sudden and very intense and go away fast. There are medications that can be helpful and they are smooth muscle relaxants and actually some of them are used in treatment of high blood pressure.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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