Hi I am 36 yrs old. and been a construction worker for most of my life. For the past 9 months I have had chest pains on my left side that feels like someone is poking me very hard with a broom stick on my heart. It started out as a burning dull pain right where my heart is and i also get sharp pains in my back below my shoulder blade. Also I get pains under my left arm. These pains come and go out of nowhere and last for seconds to minutes off and on every day. Mostly where my heart is. I run and go to the gym. Been to the E.R. twice and they could not find anything. Been to the cardiologist for an echo, treadmill stress test, 24 hr. holter and 2 chest x rays and blood work at the E.R. All came back negative and my Dr. says its stress. I never used to get these pains when exercising(running), but now i do. I run for about 20 min. and about half way through I get a dull pain that lasts for a few minutes and goes away. I thought o.k. its stress so i stopped thinking about them, but I still get them even when I am happy, and now I get them in my sleep as well as when i am runnning. Anyone have chest pains for yrs. and it be nothing or end up going away? Could the dr's be wrong?
Chest pain or pressure that occurs with exertion is always concerning for underlying heart disease. This becomes more concerning if associated with shortness of breath, nausea, and/or sweating. Risk factors for having underlying heart disease include age > 45 for a male, 55 for a female, a history of smoking, high blood pressure (diagnosed as > 120/80 on 2 separate occasions at least 2-weeks apart), hyperlipidemia, diabetes, or having a family history for heart disease (mother or father having a heart attack 85% maximal heart rate) is often a very good test to decide whether more invasive testing such as a left heart catheterization is indicated to look for blockages in the coronary arteries. Stress and anxiety can also cause chest discomfort that is not caused by the heart. However, if you have a lot of risk factors for heart disease, are having more frequent episodes that are worsening, and having them now starting to occur with exercise, you should speak with your regular doctor about your symptoms. He/she may need to re-evaluate your symptoms and decide if further testing is needed. Additionally, there may be another cause for your symptoms that can be dealt with (i.e. acid reflux, etc).
Thanks for the reply. My primary dr. thinks it is stress because at the time I took all my tests I would never get these pains when exercising. He made it seem like I was wasting his time thinking it was my heart. The cardiologist says it is 1000 percent not my heart from the tests they did. I do sometimes feel like my chest is tight and I cant breathe. When I run I feel like there is a pain wanting to happen and sometimes it does happen and sometimes it doesnt. I used to smoke marijuana but stopped when these started happening 9 months ago. I eat healthy and look physically fit. I am 185 and muscular. That is why I think the dr. feels it is stress. Before this happened I would only exercise about ten to fifteen min. a day now I exercise regulary about 1 to 1.5 hrs. every other day. I just dont see how it can be stress because I get these pains in my sleep and sometimes running. I def. will make another dr. appt. to talk to him about this. Also an rbbb showed up on the treadmill stress test but the cardiologist says it is nothing to worry about . I also always feel like there is phlem in my throat but never get heartburn or stomach aches. I dont know. I am starting to give up hope and hoping my body will eventually heal itself. Thank you again.
It seems as you've been well examined. I would not bother if pain is only lasting a few seconds or if you have muscular pain on direct palpation. However, I would have liked to know your blood pressure. If BP had been high for some time I would definitely recommend a cardiac CT to examine both the coronary artery and the great aorta. If CT is normal, I would try to live with it or consider other reasons e.g. gastritis
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