Hoping you can provide some insight to my problem. About 8 years ago when I was 37, I started having pain in my upper back, left side only, which would radiate down my arm and into my hand - sometimes into my jaw as well. I would feel kind of dizzy at some points and "not quite right". No typical chest pain. This would come during stress or even at times of rest. I went to the ER on numerous occasions where they did the routine heart tests. Said it wasnt heart related. Went to family doctor and insisted on seeing a cardiologist. He felt it wasnt heart related but sent me for a chest x-ray and echo which all came back normal. My family doctor felt it was muscle related and sent me to a physiatrist who said it was the same thing and provided me with stretches to do as well as visit a masseuse. This really didnt help.
My job requires most of my day on the computer for 8 hours and then I go home and work a second job in the evening which can be another 2 hours or so on the computer.
Over the past little while, I've noticed this pain coming on more often and more severe. Now out of the blue I get these sharp jabs of pain in my chest, which is followed by the pain in my left shoulder blade, neck and jaw and then down my left arm to my hand. It comes at times of rest and with stressful incidents. I woke up one morning after a bad dream with my heart pounding, then the pain started again in my shoulder blade and down my arm.
I find it all so weird, especially now with the sharp pains in my chest. Do you think this can be heart related or muscle like was diagnosed years ago due to my computer work? I am frightened that it is something more serious now. I am 45, a little overweight, female, had a physical a year ago, all normal, blood pressure is great, good cholesterol a little low but nothing too out of the ordinary. We do have a family history of heart disease on my father's side. Doctor finally sent me for a stress test at my insistence about 3 months ago and they said I had the heart of a teenager. However, sometimes when I climb a flight of stairs or do some strenuous exercise I get these pains. Doctors keep insisting that this has been going on for so long that if it was my heart I'd be a goner be now.
I am also a migraine sufferer since I was 14 years old. My migraine symptoms have changed over the past few years - I dont get the severe headaches anymore just the aura. Could these symptoms - ache in neck, back, down arm etc. be migraine related?
What you are describing sounds more muscular to me, but then I am not trained to make any diagnosis. Just going by my own experiences. The problem with your fingernails could be a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Simple blood tests can give you a better idea, but taking a multi vitamin with some supplements could take care of that. I would listen to the doctors and be grateful your heart is healthy. If only I could be that blessed. Take care and I hope you get some relief soon. Ally
So last night I'm on my computer and I get the horrible pains again in my shoulder blade and upper back - they radiate down the inside of my arm and into my wrist and thumb. The pain was horrible! I even felt a little nauseous this time. I was close to going to emergency but kept reminding myself that I've had this pain before. I was awake off and on all night. It's not quite as bad this morning but it's still present. I have no limitation on movement but my hand does feel a bit cold at times. Advil, heat, nothing seems to help. Again I felt like I was having a heart attack. I feel like I'm getting angina pain regularly now too - if I walk up a flight of stairs, walk a distance or have emotional distress I get these sharp pains that go down my arm. None of this makes any sense. Help????
Grendslori is correct that sharp pains are not usually associated with the heart. However, pericarditis is the exception and there can be sharp chest pain or a dull constant pain often develops. The pain may be located in the center of the chest and sometimes extends over the left shoulder. Deep breathing, lying down, or swallowing may make the pain worse. Sitting up and leaning forward may improve it.
The type of chest pain that occurs with pericarditis differs from angina, which usually becomes worse with exertion but does not change with deep breathing. If that condition can be ruled out, it is highly probable the symptoms are not related to the heart.
You are having what I have had for years. I have a diagnosis. I went for years being told that it was not my heart. I passed all tests including having chest pain and a normal EKG. It is my heart and I have sharp pains with various radiating directions.The good news is that this can be managed. Read my journal here at 'joanincarolina'.Please keep in mind when you read it that I am severe and that there are varying degrees to this cardiac microvascular dysfunction. I'll be happy to answer your questions. Joan.
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