Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Severe dull aching in shoulders and upper chest

 Rog1951 - Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:59 am

I'm a 53 y.o. male and I have started having very bad dull aching pain in my shoulders and upper chest just below my collar bones. The pain seems worse on the left side but when its at its worst it is in both shoulders and radiates down into my arms all the way to my forearms. Strange thing is this isn't brought on by activity such as excercise or movement and I have actually noticed that taking several deep breaths seems to ease the pain somewwhat. I only got about 4 hrs sleep last night due to this and the symptoms didn't start until I had gone to bed. When it did let up it would come back just as I was dosing off and would remain several minutes. It comes in waves and there is no central point of the pain. It starts mild and gets increasingly more severe, then slowly eases up. It is a radiating and as best as I can describe a sqeezing type pain. It started a couple of weeks ago ,went away a few days and has now been a daily occurance for the last 4 days. I had an acute pericarditis attack back in 1983 and was in icu for 5 days. The Doctotors at that time thought it was probably viral but unsure. Mornings and night seem to be the worst but it can happen at anytime.
Thanks for any advise on this problem.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:08 pm

User avatar Dear rog195,

You have three major risk factors for coronary disease (age, gender and smoking) in addition to a potential fourth (borderline hypertensive). Your chest pain has some atypical features to it. The probability that this pain be due to coronary disease is intermediate.

i recommend that you be seen by your doctor as soon as possible to be evaluated for this chest pain.

He/She might ask for a stress test if after hearing your story and examining you, it is thought that your pain has more typical than atypical features to it.

Other causes might be acid reflux disease, neck problems, chest wall problems and any consequence of the surgery that you had for your esophageal tumour like fibrous tissue giving you problems.

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

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us