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Question about left arm pain
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Question about left arm pain

Hi all. I posted a couple weeks ago on here giving my history recently. I started having some symptoms such as upper back pain and pain in my left arm at random places like the elbow, wrist, some of the fingers. Not constant pain, doesn't even last a couple of minutes, it's more fleeting aches I would say. They come and go, sporadically. Anyways, my doctor felt my upper back and said I have trigger points, which are basically knots in the muscle that can send referred pain to different areas of the body, including the arms. He said this was caused by muscle tension I was having due to my anxiety. Anyways, it seems that my arm pain has lessened and is happening less frequently, as well as the upper back. I am taking Flexeril for it, which is a muscle relaxer. Anyways, my question is this: If the arm pain was actually related to some underlying heart issue, do you think taking Flexeril would make a difference in the arm pain? Meaning would the pill help the arm, even though it's refferred pain from the heart. I am getting relief from the Flexeril, which is making me think the muscles are relaxing in my back so the arm pains go away for awhile due to less tension. I was just wondering what anyone thought, if the arm pain was indeed cardiac related, if a muscle relaxer would take it away, or do you think the arm pain would continue?
12 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
any thoughts?
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Avatar_m_tn
I am so glad to know that I am not alone in the left arm pain!  My heart surgeon tells me it is the brain thinking your heart valves 'can't hurt' so it sends that pain to your left arm.  I don't know if this helps at all... but it is comforting to know I am not the only one with this dumb left arm pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
To answer your question about flexeril, I don't think flexeril would make a difference with your arm pain.  So... maybe your left arm pain isn't due to your heart.  Which would be great news.  Hopefully it just has to do with the tension in your back.  Best of luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for responding. You see a heart surgeon? Do you have a history of heart problems?
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Avatar_m_tn
You're welcome.  Yes, I see two heart surgeons actually.  I had my first open-heart surgery in 2011.  I am to get another one this summer in May. (I have Rheumatic Heart Disease)  
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Avatar_f_tn
You have posted in the heart expert forum and received thoughtful advice from the doc there.  You are young, female, and you have had a number of exams that have essentially--and reasonably--excluded heart disease.  To reiterate:  Based on your report of your symptoms, your risk of cardiovascular disease is vanishingly low.  This is not something it is reasonable to be fixated on.

This is expecially true since your left arm and back symptoms are those of a musculoskeletal disorder.  You do not describe *any* symptoms that are related to heart disease.  If you are a nurse, you must be aware of that.

On the other hand, you *do* describe symptoms consistent with both extreme anxiety and panic, most prominantly an 'idee fixe' or obsession with a disorder which you do not have.  This is a psychological problem.

In posts elsewhere, you mention that you quit Celexa cold turkey.  One has to wonder why, for there was obviously a reason it was prescribed for you.  Subsequently, due to continuing psychological problems, your doctor prescribed Wellbutrin and is considering Buspar, perhaps to help you shed the obsessive thinking that has you trapped just now.

You also mention that you wish to become pregnant.  Pregnancy and birth, to say nothing of the sheer exhaustion that comes with raising an infant, can precipitate psychological disorders or greatly worsen existing ones.  I am sure that when you consider things rationally, you would only wish to bring a baby into an environment in which the mother is not preoccupied by an obsession with diseases she does not have.

You mention that you are not sure you need a therapist, but you do describe severe anxiety and panic.  In light of that, I would hope that you will make an appointment with a psychiatrist and talk openly with him about this medical problem.  With the help of a good shrink, you may find a way to shed obsessive thoughts and live more healthily in the family you envision someday.

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Avatar_f_tn
One has to wonder why I quit the Celexa-because we wanted to try and get pregnant, and you can't be on that medication if pregnant. And before all of this, if I DID have any anxiety, it wasn't noticeable to me. The anxiety I have felt did not start until these "symptoms" appeared, which was weeks after I stopped taking the Celexa. I was originally prescribed Celexa for depression, not anxiety, as I said I did not notice anxiety in myself prior to all of this or even prior to being on the Celexa, just normal nerves anyone would have for other things unrelated to health issues. So please don't make assumptions or say judgemental remarks like "one has to wonder why you took yourself off Celexa"...I had no idea this anxiety would start, it's not like I asked for it or planned it, so taking myself off the Celexa wasn't committing a crime, it was because my husband and I wanted to start a family, and POOF-I got anxiety, I didn't know this would happen. Yes I am a nurse, never worked in cardiac related fields, was not my strong point....just because I am in the medical field doesn't mean I can't have fears of having certain diseases, like anyone can. My symptoms are due to a musculoskeletal disorder which can very well be the case, but I am not familiar with "trigger points", and just looking for information. Maybe I shouldn't have posted on here, due to certain judgements and responses. One is just looking for advice of people who are more familar with certain issues, not to be criticized.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh and also, this post was posted the same time I had it in the expert forum, I didn't post here then go and repost somewhere else because I didnt like the responses. I posted in both places at once
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Avatar_f_tn
Number of exams, I've had two EKG's....didn't realize that completely excluded heart disease. I've asked my dr if I need a stress test, he said no. So it's not like I am not being proactive in this. Ohhh I got a response from a doc??? On which post, because I wasn't aware of that...
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Avatar_f_tn
One response from a doc, about the EKG results, and that is good. I wasn't specifically asking for a doc response, just anyone in particular....Oh and just to add, I wouldn't "bring a baby into an environment in which the mother is obsessed with diseases she does not have"....I have anxiety, yes, I realize that ....but that is the whole reason why I am so "preoccupied" with all of this, because I wouldn't want to get pregnant and bring a baby around with me feeling as I do....that is why I am seeking advice, and seeing my doc for all of this. Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
On Feb 6, in the Heart Disease Expert Forum, the doctor said this to you:

It is unfortunately very difficult to give an accurate interpretation of an ECG just based on a report (meaning that one would have to actually look at the ECG). However, based on just the caculated numbers reported, there are no glaring abnormalities except for your heart rate which was reported as "sinus" - meaning it is originating from the SA node (the normal pacemaker of the heart).  Premature supraventricular complexes refers to ectopic (or extra) beats that originate above the ventricle - and can represent PAC's, sinus beats, or other atrial beats.  If you are experiencing these episodes frequently (especially with a heart rate in the 120's) and are associated with symptoms, it would be worthwhile to have a complete evaluation by a physician to ensure this does not represent another type of arrhythmia (SVT) or anxiety that should be addressed with medicines. "
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Heart-Disease/ECG-understanding/show/1894612#post_8817900

He mentioned 'anxiety that should be addressed with medicines.'

You thanked him for his advice on the same day, saying: "Thanks very much for responding. "

You have received a great deal of good advice about your anxiety in the last month or so, after posting similar messages in the Heart Disease Community, the Depression Community, The Anxiety Community, and even the Neurology Community.

I hope you can accept some it.



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Avatar_f_tn
You didnt need to go to the trouble of going to my post, copying and pasting on here, if you would have read what I said above
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