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Minor recurrent chest pain: What could it be?
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Minor recurrent chest pain: What could it be?

Hello,

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I am a 25 year old male, and for the past several years I have experienced minor recurring chest pain, always on the left side. It often shows up on the left side of my back as well. I saw a cardiologist about it and did a battery of tests, all of which came back negative. I can't remember the names of all the tests, and it would be foolish of me to try to guess, but I definitely had a couple EKG's and a stress test, along with a couple others. The cardiologist told me not to worry about it, but would not speculate on the cause since nothing came up in the tests. I find this hard to swallow. The pain still recurs often throughout most days, and though it is very minor, it is still worrying. I'd describe it as a sharp twinge, or a slight searing feeling. It definitely seems more prominent when I am under stress, but it can show up at any time. I have never noticed it while exercising. I have noticed that often when the pain occurs, my pulse is stronger, and it goes back to normal the second the pain disappears.

I understand that there are many possible causes for this pain, but I am convinced it is cardiac in nature. From researching online, my only guess would be mitral valve prolapse syndrome, but I just don't know. What do you think these symptoms could mean? I've read that conditions like mitral valve prolapse can cause this type of pain and that the syndrome is benign in nature, but how can any condition that causes heart pain be benign, especially in the long term?

Thanks much for your time.


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592969_tn?1248329005
Sounds to me like angina pain.  Angina pain is usually located on the left side.  Chest pain that is related to plugged arteries or heart attack usually is in the center of the chest and radiates out.  The chest pain can cause lightheadedness and can be bad enough that the person is unable to move.  Mild pains could be related to the ribs which may be out of alignment. You may want to see a chiropractor to make sure that it not the problem.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Angina pain IS usually related to plugged arteries. The exceptions are angina due to artery spasm (and even then, the spasming artery is often blocked) and dysfunction of the smaller vessels feeding the myocardium. Anyway, if the pain is sharp, and well-localised, it's probably not angina. The fact that you've had a stress test tends to weigh against angina also, though how strongly depends on whether it was just a stress EKG or a nuclear test or a stress echocardiogram. The fact that you're 25 and have had it for several years also weighs against angina.

I have mild MVP with trivial regurgitation and have suffered with on and off chest pain most of my life. Most cases are benign, as you say. MVP Syndrome can be of greater or lesser severity and doesn't necessarily correlate with the degree of prolapse. In fact most specialists consider it a form of autonomic dysfunction that is often seen in people with prolapsed valves, but the connection isn't well understood. The chest pain isn't well understood either, and it isn't clear whether it really does come from the heart. Be assured that people can live long lives with it, and only a few have significant valve disease that ever requires surgery.

An echocardiogram is usually the test that is ordered to rule out MVP, though false negatives often happen too. In some people (including me) the prolapse is sometimes visible and sometimes not.

And then again, twinges of chest pain that come and go can come from the muscles of the chest wall. Are you sure that the stronger pulse that you feel when you get the pain isn't due to anxiety brought on by the pain?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 24 year old female and I've been experiencing similar chest pain for the last few years. I've never gone to my doctor about it or had any tests and it doesnt really affect my day to day life. the pain is always just above my left breast towards the center of my chest. It can last for seconds or for minutes and is worse if I lift something or bend down. I do drink in excess and smoke a lot and thats mainly why I havent gone to a doctor. I assumed it was my lung or something because sometimes the pain will strike while I'm smoking. Either way, good luck getting a diagnosis. Nothings scarier then chest pain.
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