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Pressure in chest and bilateral arm heaviness
Can someone please help me figure out what is going on with my body?  My symptoms are:
First of all, I suddenly feel a bilateral sensation in my arms of extreme heaviness (not numbness, not tingling) that starts at about mid forearm level and goes up my arms
At the same time, my chest feels like it is in a barrel and I am being squeezed completely around
These 2 symtoms last about 30-seconds to 1 minute and occur "out-of-the-blue", such as when shopping  or sitting on the couch.  It has happened at work and at home.
The last time this occured, for the first time,  I had a dull aching pain in the center of my back, between my shoulder blades, for about 5-8 minutes.  These "spells" concern me and this last one really scared me, thinking it might be a heart attack.  I chewed aspirin and tried to relax and eventually the aching pain went away.
I am a 58 year old woman with no history of heart disease except for familial history of my dad dying at 59 of heart disease.  I am only 5 pounds overweight and do not have high blood pressure or diabetes or any major illness.
Twice I have gone to the ER, thinking I'm having a heart attack.  The results are negative. I have been seen by 2 cardiologists and have had negative EKGs and stress Echos.  I do have a high CRP level  (about 5).  The cardiologists say I should check with my mental health professional since I have a history (controlled on meds) of depression.  Mentally, I feel good.
My psychiatrist says these are spontaneous panic attacks.  Then he says that I should make sure everything is okay with my heart.
One more part of my history that may be important - I have had herniated discs (C5-6-7) that have not bothered me for years.  I was in a carwreck and had MRIs.  I did physical therapy and was able to avoid surgery and relieve the pain. That was about 10 years ago.  I rarely have any neck pain now.
Does anyone have a similar experience or any ideas?  Thank you!
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49 yo woman having similar symptoms.  No female or back problems but moderate carpal tunnel issues.  Tightness starts in chest, radiates to both arms.  Tingling, weird feeling.  Sometimes I can bring it on by over stretching my chest.  I work out 3-5 days a week and thought it was muscular but not so sure.  It feels more like anxiety.  Comes out of nowhere.  Lasts only a minute or less.
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So glad to find this group. 48 year old male. Overweight with lots of back (surgically repaired with harrington rods and bone fusion) and some neck issues. First attack was today. Thought I was having a heart attack. Chest tightness with immediate weakness/heaviness in both arms at the same time. Last attack happened a few hours later and I also felt a twinge in my upper mid back just below the base of my neck. When the first one hit I was reading internet articles on my iPhone so am now thinking that maybe it was a pinched nerve in my neck. Just had an MRI and plain xrays on my low back this morning.  Some of the positions they had me in for the plain xrays were painful like I was cramping some nerves in my lumbar spine. See my neurologist Friday for a check up on my low back pain but will share these symptoms as well. SO relieved to hear it's not heart related. I will be going to a fitness camp for two weeks starting next Wednesday and was freaked out that I was having a heart attack before I even left.
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At the end of your comments, you had promised to post an update about your upcoming doctor's visit in a few days (this was back in 2009) but I did not see your update.  I'm hoping you can shed some light as I just had this episode 15 minutes ago. Thank you!
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I don't remember the first time I had these symtoms but I have started a journal to keep note of when it occurs and the duration.  A visit to the doctor, I am afraid would tell me nothing and probably have me on a medication with side effects wores than my current concerns..  Yes, I am a male 58 years old and active.  Known health issues, DVT about 2 years ago and found to be homozygous for factor V Leiden, an inherited clotting disorder.  I was on coumodin for a year but now take a daily baby aspirin and stay active and well hydrated to avoid another clot. The last two episodes, about a week apart came while I was walking my dogs, duration of maybe 20 to 30 seconds.  I raise my arms over my head or cross my arms across my chest to ease the weird feeling.  Don't know if it shortens the episode or just a natural response.  I am going to begin stretching before any physical activity to see if that helps.
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Well, It is nice I guess to see others have had these symptoms. I am a male age 50 average shape, BP is good, have had laser spine surgery on my neck. My symptoms are the same, tightness around the chest, upper arms ache slightly and feel heavy. I have had this occur randomly with months between them. This time I was sitting at my desk doing paperwork and not stressed at all. I take Diovan and Zoloft. And I really do not buy the anxiety attacks, I have had those in my past.
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your symptoms are exactly the same as mine.  Did you ever get a diagnosis?
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Me too me too, all of it right down to painful and uncooperative hands, I thought I was having a heart attack, I have so many diseases that reading your post probably saved me no end of worry and money, thank you. I have crohns, fibromyalgia and compressed discs, a history of panic attacks that felt nothing like this and that have not happened in many years; I have Chronic fatigue Immune Dysfunction, carpal tunnel, permanent nerve damage in my hand due to it, very mild stuff, does not bother me since I went out on disability and am not writing on a laptop all day, etc and so forth, I was keeping this a secret, silly and stupid I know, but the family outside of my son just do not get it and assume I should still be working and keeping the house and yard as clean and organized as I did before I got sick, so, I have to stop going to them for support... I am 58. Thank you all, for once again being treated badly but able to post about it and empower the ones that follow.
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I've read so many of these and would like to throw this out there. I suffer the same like many of you and found answers. Here's what my doctors found out after $37,000 in tests and three years of suffering.#1) I am vitamin d deficient ( I was surprised to see how bad this messes people up) Doctors will not test for this unless you ask. Check out this link for what other people are going through.http://www.medhelp.org/posts/recovery-after-vitamin-D-deficiency/Vitamin-D-deficiency--symptoms/show/1257522

#2) I was aggravating the situation with my smart phone. Constantly on it really affected my alignment.  I noticed I got worse after getting my first smart phone.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8811596/Mobile-phone-users-suffering-from-text-neck.html
#3) I was using extra pillows which again aggravated it even more.

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While standing bend over and grab your opposite knee with each hand. So left hand to right knee and right hand to left knee. Now hold on to those knees and slowly straighten up rolling your back as you do. Feel that stretch. Do this everyday. I swear by it.
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I too am having these symptoms... and have not yet consulted a doctor.  But an online search yielded this result: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

http://www.bodyandbalancecenter.com/pgs/s_tos1.html  

As I am a teacher/librarian who routinely carries multiple heavy bags, this could be a possibility.

Hope this proves helpful to someone.....
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I, too, have had these symptoms. Tingling down both arms and some compression in my chest. Had them periodically for about 2 years. I'm a 59 year old woman who is pretty healthy and active. But when these symptoms happen, both arms go limp and weak and tingling pain and pain down to finger tips. It last for a few minutes, probably less than 5 minutes. Had two episodes within 3 days. This concerned me cause usually they are a couple months apart. Trip to ER proved not heart related. Had MRI of neck cause I have an old injury to my neck from car accident 25 years ago. Just arthritis. Now, off for an EMG in a couple weeks. I will continue to pursue. I'm thankful for this website & will continue to keep you posted.
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I just turned 50 and have had this happen twice.  Both times I was standing up from a seated position.  Very intense pain down both arms and a feeling of heaviness in both arms and middle of my chest.  I am in good health with checkups about every 6 months.  I've had low blood pressure most of my life and am not overweight.  Recently had my thyroid checked and it is fine.  I know anxiety attacks and this is in no way related to one of those.  I'm thankful to hear that it is probably not a heart attack which crossed my mind.  As I type this my hands/arms feel a bit weak and tingly as I had one this morning.  Super scary.  I do look at my phone and tablet a lot.  I've heard this can hurt your neck, but the pinched nerve sounds reasonable.  It feels more like blood flow to me with the pressure and heaviness.  Will look up all of the terms you have been given and look forward to finding out what is happening to us.

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Male 61,  Same symptoms,  Mine started aout 4 or 5 years ago.Symtom occuring randomly once or twice a month increasing to weekly episodes. I went thru a whole battery of test,  Cardio  ,and  neurological. Doctors could not find anything that was causing these symtoms..
At the time I had been on one particular statent drug for about 4 years. My doctor changed my statent and the symtoms stopped completely.
Till about two months ago they started again. Now they are coming daily, and they are lasting longer. One recently lasted for allmost 5 min. The after affects after that one lasted days, Felt like had been hit by a bus.  Note: onne hour after the 5 min episode I had another normal 30 second episode. Really nothing normal about these episodes. This was the first time it happened more than once in a day. Next day it happened right in my doctors office, Blloood pressure normal,  sugar normal. Blood pressure was checked before and after  not during though. And sugar checked imeddiately aftter.  Of course he took me off statents totally,
This has only been one weeek now and that has made some drastic changes  in my healt in that my energy level aare through the roof, rubber legs or sluggish feeling in my legs is gone.  i thought it was old age , also constant lower back pain is gone.  However I am still having these episodes.  One last night, one again  this morning.
Glad I found this conversation, but 4 years runinng and no answers is not encouraging but nice to find some people that undersrand

      
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Wow, with so many people experiencing this, I have to believe it is lifestyle or something we all do or have in common. I think it is related to the spine and probably a result of using computers and the position we are in when we type, mush like carpel tunnel syndrome affects the hands. We are a generation of 'puter users, and it seems like the age group affected is the group who probably has and still does use laptops. Years of stooping over a computer has probably jacked our upper backs.

Just my opinion..:-)
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I like all of you have experienced these same symptoms.  I am almost 65.  I have exercised all my life and am fit for my age.  Like all of you, I am not overweight.  I started about 1 1/2 years ago after a pilates class.  After the second episode I went to the hospital, thinking women "present" heart attack differently than men and maybe that was the issue.  NOT!  I am wondering if it has to do with compression of the wrists?? I know it sounds silly but I added road biking back into a rather rigorous schedule of pilates, yoga etc.  all have wrist compression.  So, what do you think?
The other thing that I'm more alarmed at is the length of time it takes me to get my energy back.  I have always felt very powerful physically.  IN the last month I've had at least 5 episodes and am feeling tired much of the time.  I even thought of lime disease as I've been hiking a number of times at high elevation.  Also would like everyone involved here to know how grateful I was to find you.  SKS
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Hi, just another victim with similar experience to you all. I can be totally relaxed, sitting, standing, walking, and for no reason...BOOM.... heaviness and weakness feeling in both arms....building pressure in my sternum followed by massive adrenaline shooting through my system as a result of the anxiety and panic. Has anyone also get a tightness or lump in the throat. Because it all started for me and my PCP at that time said it was LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux) anyway blah blah... 4 er trips later, cardiac workup negative....I have noticed that it has been happening more because it is on my mind more. Started in January .14. I am glad others have shared their stories. My family thinks I am crazy
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I am 54 year old woman and have just had my second episode.  First one was last year, and thought it was heart, so had a every test possible,and heart is fine.  Today, I had been outside raking all day (can't remember what I had done last time previous to episode), both times it happened in the shower- suddenly extreme heaviness in both upper arms/shoulders (similar to how one lady said like blood pressure cuffs suddenly were way too tight). Lower arms felt weak and were very shaky - only lasted a minute if that.  Very scary, but after reading all of these posts, I bet it is associated with spine/neck and hunching over computer as someone above suggested - I have been doing computer work for almost 30 years...I will have my spine/neck checked out.  Thanks everyone for sharing!  I felt much better just seeing I wasn't the only one.  I will also do the stretching someone above recommended for my shoulders.  
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Came across your post and noticed you didn't come back and discuss what your outcome was. I'm having the same issues and was very curious what you found out with your findings.
I hope this message gets to you.

thanks!
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Have you had your thyroid checked?  I had similar symptoms (and many other seemingly unrelated symptoms) that went away once I started taking Natural Dessicated Thryoid (NOT Syntroid or Levothyroxine).  I was probably undiagnosed for years because most docs only run the TSH test.  I have Hashimoto's which is an autoimmune disorder that causes hypothyroid. Check out www.************************* for more helpful info.  Look at the long list of symptoms for undiagnosed and poorly treated hypothyroid. This site will tell you which tests to have the doctor run.  Both of the antibodies tests for me were in the 800s and they are supposed to be below 30, but my TSH was fine.
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Have you had your thyroid checked?  I had similar symptoms (and many other seemingly unrelated symptoms) that went away once I started taking Natural Dessicated Thryoid (NOT Syntroid or Levothyroxine).  I was probably undiagnosed for years because most docs only run the TSH test.  I have Hashimoto's which is an autoimmune disorder that causes hypothyroid. Check out www.************************* for more helpful info.  Look at the long list of symptoms for undiagnosed and poorly treated hypothyroid. This site will tell you which tests to have the doctor run.  Both of the antibodies tests for me were in the 800s and they are supposed to be below 30, but my TSH was fine.
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I see they took the website out.  Do a google search for Stop the Thyroid Madness and you will find the site.
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I have the exact symptoms, arm pain with weakness and chest pain. Does anyone here have raynaud's syndrome or very poor circulation to hand or feet?
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I started having some of the same symptoms mentioned here just prior to turning 50 this October. I began to research and self-diagnose in hopes of avoiding costly tests that often result in no answer. Two friends of mine who had similar symptoms were advised to have their gallbladder removed. After the surgery, their symptoms went away. I don't want to have surgery if it can be avoided, so I began to focus on my diet in order to deal with a possible gallbladder issue. There are multiple websites with good information on diet changes to affect better liver/gallbladder function.
However, what I found to be an immediate help to alleviate the symptoms was GINGER ROOT. This herb is well known for its relieving of nausea, but it also seems to have a healing affect on the entire digestive system. I eat raw organic ginger root on salads, chew on a small piece when symptoms appear to be coming on, and grate some into herbal teas (I especially like roasted dandelion root tea, grated ginger root, and maple syrup. I drink this two to three times a day and it has helped tremendously). I also add ginger root to my home made kombucha. Of course, I've also made some good changes to my diet overall by staying away from processed foods and focusing on eating more uncooked vegetables and fruits (as well as naturally fermented foods). My symptoms have all but gone away, but completely healing my digestive system will likely take time.
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Wow, happy to find this thread.  Same exact thing happens to me and it is scary.  I am a 47 yr old woman, just started menopause and have stenosis of the spine, bulging disk at L4 and L5.  Went to ER the 2nd time I had it, got hooked up to an EKG and was normal - of course it wasn't happening then.  From what I am reading it seems either back problem related or hormonal?? I am going for a physical soon and will let you all know if I get an answer.  Going to try the stretches.
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I've been having similar symptoms to what you all have been describing.  Has anyone gotten diagnosed?
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Did you ever get a diagnosis?
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Im a 62 yr old MALE, so I don't think this is a 'woman' issue.
I experience the very same things, the numbness or what ever it is completely deletes all mussels from working in my arms, for about 10 to 30 seconds, and it travels up to my neck. It is painful, I can't even pick up a piece of paper.
What I have noticed is it always happens when I'm in a recliner.

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Everyone in this thread please find out if you have thoracic outlet syndrome, it may be the answer to all of your problems.I do not have the chest heaviness but definitely a spasm happens in the neck area and extends down through both arms into the hands, The spasms week in my arms for a couple minutes at a time. I was diagnosed a year ago with the Thoracic outlet syndrome. It is sinister and does affect blood flow. The cramping and spasms are real and the muscle tightness causes all sorts of weird sensations. My chiropractor thinks people who experience the cramping and spasms might also panic, maybe causing a slight drop in blood pressure that affects us all. I highly encourage you to get a referral to a physical therapist, they can diagnose this quickly and give you exercises to help loosen the muscles. The muscles can wreak havoc on your body giving us the sensations that everyone in this thread has described.
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Thoracic outlet syndrome sounds like an interesting possibility.  I had these episodes a few years ago and had cardiac investigation which of course was normal. A neurologist thought that I was possibly having silent migraines. I was supposed to have an MRI but the episodes disappeared so I cancelled it. They have come back recently and follow the same pattern. I get this "feeling" or an aura that something is going to happen, then I get the chest tightness and my arms go numb. It never lasts more than a minute. I am a 52 year old female.
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So glad I'm not alone.  Today I was finishing washing dishes and a pressure welled up in my body like a tightness, then shortly afterward moved to both arms and felt like someone had my elbows in a vice.  It lasted about 15-20 seconds with no lasting weakness that I can see, but of course now I'm worried about heart attacks.  Seems like everyone has experienced something similar, so I feel a bit better.  Thanks for letting me share, Dawn
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Hi, have you had any more episodes and if so, have you had any diagnosis?
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HI
I'm a 59 year old male. Active, I do work out. Try and watch what I eat. More so now. But notice more so when I'm in the heaver part of my work out,that my chest fell like presser is on it, and my lower arms feel very heavy. This has happen any where from 1 to 2 times a day for the last two weeks.
I have instantly taken my blood presser. Its fine  around 125/85---heart rate 92.    
I do watch what I eat. I try not to eat any process foods.

Thank-You for all the post here. I see I'm not the only one!!
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I am just reading this now but please don't feel this is limited to only women.  I am a pretty healthy male age 55 and I am getting the same symptoms. Random episodes of tightness in chest, bilateral arm heaviness, hands useless, goes away in a few minutes or earlier if I happen to burp.  It comes on when sitting down or after a shower or while brushing teeth or shaving.  Leads me to believe it is GERD, as another woman posted.  Causes of the GERD include fatty/fried food, coffee and chocolate and eating late at night.  
I had a stress test at the ER last year and it was perfectly normal.  Physical this year was done and that too was fine.
good luck to you all!
    
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Has anyone here had these symptoms and do not own a smart phone?  Just trying to eliminate that has a potential cause as I know I started getting these symptoms around the time I got my first smart phone...  

I am a 57 year old male, excellent health, low thyroids, have had L1 - L6 and T1 fused back in 1987 and two back operations with the second one 1990.   Walk at least a mile a day, exercise daily (back exercises and other routines including some yoga and breathing).   These have been very sporadic as for their occurrence, sometimes a few times in one day and other times months before I have one and they started occurring in 2011/2012 and have had a couple of EKG's that have come back normal and rarely does it happen after exercising or exerting myself!

I know it seems a little weird that this could be a cause, but I did want rule it out as a potential cause.  Specifically since my intuition has placed mistrust in some of our new technology as if it is causing my spiritual and physical persona to become unstable or out of balance at times....  The funny part is I am a computer geek and work with new technologies....  go figure!
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I am a 57 y/o female.  I've had these symptoms on and off for about 4 years.  Sometimes several times in a week, sometimes I can go months without them.  Almost always while at rest (reading a book, watching TV, sitting at a stop light, etc.)  

I've had all the cardiology workups (echo, stress, contract MRI/Cscan, etc)  We've boiled it down to PRECORDIAL CATCH SYNDROME or VARIANT ANGINA (also known an Prinzmetals.  Neither is serious or life-threatening and there is no cure; you just have to live with it.  It is basically spasming of the arteries not caused by disease.  

I have just learned to "breathe through" them and not panic.
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I am a 57 year old woman with all the same symptoms. I have been having them now and again for about 5 years. It seems to me to be related to computer use, though it can happen to me at any time. I can recognize that it's coming on now. Today was a little weirder in that I had a tingle on the top of my head along with the bilateral heaiviness in my arms and then the weakness in my hands. I have never spoken to my doctor about it because it is so on and off with years in between. I do have some feeling of being less mentally sharp after it.
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I'm a 39 year old male. I just left the emergency room after experiencing all the issues described by you all. According to the doc I'm very healthy. Did anyone ever get a real diagnosis
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I am  52 yr. old female. Menopause symptoms also.I have had 2 episodes in the last 2 weeks, both at work( desk job). Heavy arms, heavy chest ,sweaty palms,shaky feeling & weak, tired feeling afterwards. I went to ER after 2nd time.EKG,XRAY/LABWORK all good.The only concern was my Pulse was 48-50 .
The following week  had only heavy chest , weak and unable to breath properly. I was already scheduled for Cardiologist the next morning. He did a Ultrasound of my heart, EKG,Stress test , all were normal. I did wear a Holter Monitor overnight, still waiting for results.
Now i am waiting for CT scan of chest & MRI of neck.

I will come back and share results. Scary feeling, good to know my heart is okay.
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Hello, everyone, I'll try to help.

I'm not saying everyone here has the same thing, but a few things to consider:

- arm heaviness, numbness, tingliness, etc. is associated with muscular tension and nerve impingement. Nerve impigement does not cause pain, it causes numbness, tingling and heaviness, while tension does causes pain and heaviness.

- chest pain might come from both tigh muscles from the chest and/or tigh muscles from the dorsum of the scapula (rotator cuff group), that makes pressure under the armpit, which might feel that comes from the chest.

- so, just because the pain is happening somewhere, doesn't mean that is the place to look (or at leat, not the only place)

- it is not necessary to have a pinched nerve or a herniated disc to present the symptoms people are complaining about here. Muscle imbalance (some muscles are really tight, others are really weak) might cause some muscles to over-work to compensate this imbalance.

You end up with heavy arms, for instance, because your rhomboids and mid and lower traps are weak, so the rotator cuff over compensates for them, getting really tigh, making your triceps work harder with every movement, giving you heavy arms. And it scalates. You start to breath more and more with your chest, because of the consequential bad posture, and this puts pressure on the scalenes (neck), which have a direct effect on the medial, ulnar and radial nerves that goes through your arms, intensifying the feeling.

This is just an example. There are a lot of scenarios - bad posture makes some muscles work harder to compensate other weak ones. Thoracic outlet syndrome is also common.

My point is: with all those people going to the doctor and getting clear from heart problems and other physiological maladies, and also getting misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel and other orthopedic conditions, perhaps the problem is not one that will appear on a blood or imaging test.

That's the bad news. The good news is that muscle, fascial, postural, nerve problems are treatable.

I'd reccomend you to make an appointment to a chiropractor to treat fascia and bones. He/she will be able to determine which muscles need working, and which ones need releasing - and give you the right exercises and stretches. And if you can, a yoga class to help with posture, anxiety and flexibility. Pilates is also great. Meditation is a good thing to help with muscle relaxation; massage as well. And after the chiropractor says you're good to go, exercise and stretching.

One thing is certain: this will not worsten your condition, no matter what this might be, and it might just cure it.
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I am a 51 yr old female and I too have been having heaviness bilaterally in my arms then to my chest and down my legs.  I am a firefighter/paramedic and have put off getting it checked.  They started about a yr ago but the episodes come and go.  I could go months without any episodes.  Over the past 6 wks the episodes have increased in frequency and intensity which I actually went out for about 15 to 20 seconds.  I was at work watching tv when I went out with one of the episodes so I had to be transported to the hospital.  I had all the tests done, EKG, EEG, echo cardiogram, MRI, CT scan and all tests were neg. Tomorrow I am having a tilt test done and an angiogram.  As I have been looking for answers the only thing I have found is called variant angina ( spasm of the coronary artery)  I don't have the chest pain which is normally a symptom but as I have looked into it not all patients have that.  Hopefully I can find an answer because this is putting my career in jeopardy.  I have never had an episode while excersizing every episodes has been either sitting, driving or laying down a couple while just standing.  Hopefully we'll find an answer soon!    
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Hi Everyone,  I have had very similar symptoms.  I am a 58 year old male, 6 feet tall and 150 lbs.  I am very fit and exercise daily.  My symptoms start in my upper back and then I get this pressure around my entire chest and then both arms just get crazy weak.  The whole thing lasts only 1-3 minutes and this happened twice last week within 24 hours and it happened again today.  I have well controlled hypertension.  I have had two fusions in my lower back and a previous MRI has shown some bulging cervical discs.  I do not have any significant neck pain and my low back feels great since my last surgery 2+ years ago.  I'm a little worried that this is CAD so I'm gonna contact my PCP tomorrow.  Will post again if I learn anything.  Thanks to all for sharing.
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Yes same symptoms for me too only I got to eating too much pushy and got bad posture from it and also a huge herniated dig. Now I got clamchowda coming out intead of urine. Whaddayagonna do, ya know?
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All - same symptoms to a tee except I have undergone full cardiac, neurology and stroke tests - all negative.  Blood work good except for a spell I was anemic and - oddly - have much too much Vit D (I don't take supplements or spend too much time in the sun so they  cannot determine why).  I have Hashimotos Hypothyroidism but it's well under control.  I am 46, very fit, and eat well with no prior spinal injuries.

Although the fact that it isn't crystal clear as to why this is happening- I have to admit I am feeling LESS stress about it knowing how many others experience this routinely like me and at least no one seems to be told that it is something life threatening. ;)

My biggest concern is that the majority of my episodes occur while I am sleeping...it literally wakes me up.  I have a temperpedic bed, special pillow and sleep on my back.  So not really in a situation that lends itself to spinal movement or pinching as cause.

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Hi all, I have been having these symptoms too and it is scary to say the least. I went to my doctor who says it may be menopause (see we are all more or less the same age) he has put me on hormones , started yesterday so holding thumbs will let you know if they do the trick as my ECG also showed no heart problems
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I'm a 62 year old male; on the night of March 30, after going to bed, I started having symptoms as commonly described by others: tightness in the chest, bilateral pain in the biceps, feeling of being flushed.  The feelings came in ‘waves’, lasting around a minute.  They were coming every 15 to 20 minutes.  I right away suspected a heart attack, as the men in my family have a long history (my father at 70, his first cousin at 49, my grandfather at 58, my brother at 60).  Ambulance to the ER, lots of cardiac testing,  which were all fine.  I was still having these waves in the ambulance and in the ER.  So, like everyone else, I’m still in the dark as to answers.  I had an episode this morning, which prompted me to find this  message board.  Both times this has happened, I had been laying down, which makes me think it could be related to my reflux.  BTW, I have not had back or disc problems, I do not have a smart phone, I do not regularly sit at a computer, and I’m pretty sure I’m not menopausal!  I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year ago, but since no  one else has mentioned this, I’m sure it’s  unrelated to these episodes.  It’s a little discouraging that, in the 7 years this thread has been going,  that no one has gotten a specific answer.
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I found this excellent website with clear descriptions of a whole range of possible causes.    http://www.ehealthstar.com/arm-pain.php
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Has anyone had these symptoms start after they have had a blood pressure cuff done in the hospital this is when mine started....those auto BP cuffs felt like they were cutting into my arms and now I get these same symptoms....
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18534681 tn?1465655902
I believe I found the cure.  I have had these very same symptoms.  It started at about age 51 and I am now 53.  I have episodes of chest pain sometimes radiating into my back and bilateral heaviness in the forearms radiating weakness down to  my fingertips with numbness and tingling at times. This happened every week and sometimes as much as 4 times in a day.  I had every heart test possible and everything came back fine (still paying off one of the 4-day stay hospital bills). I changed my diet, my exercise, and nothing helped. I read all of your comments and went to my OB-GYN.  I told him there are thousands of women my age describing the exact same symptoms and pleading for help.  I asked him for hormone therapy or whatever he thought may help.  He was skeptical but agreed to place me on a low dose birth control pill.  After 4 days the episodes stopped.  I have only been on this therapy for two months and have zero symptoms  I believe these episodes are menopause related and instead of a "hotflash" it manifests with the symptoms all of us are describing. I also have begun taking a Flintstones's Vitamin with Iron :-)   I wish you all the best.  Hugs to all!
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I have been experiencing the same symptoms expressed by the majority of people posting here.

My research has shown a likely candidate:  T4 syndrome. As there is some disagreement in the medical community as to whether it's "real" (sort of like fibromyalgia went through), I can well imagine many doctors wouldn't consider it or test for it.

What we have is a bilateral neuropathy. T4 syndrome is a relatively uncommon condition in which spinal injury at the T4 vertebra causes a set of symptoms including diffuse arm pain and pins and needles or numbness in the upper arm. That "injury" can be inflammation/irritation from aggressive massage therapy, overuse from bad posture/sitting/keyboarding or even a sudden turn of the neck to look over the shoulder.

All these can cause a partially inflammed area to be further pinched and cause the symptoms described.

My approach for the next few months will be the following. I will see if I have symptom relief and/or decrease in occurrences (since I can't completely stop sitting/keyboarding, etc.)

- take over the counter anti inflammatory
- cut down drastically on wheat (bread, crackers, cereal, pastries) [early research shows it contributes to inflammation in the body, so why not]
- ice/heat for 5 minutes between my shoulder blades in the morning and evening
- take a break every hour from sitting (regardless if at work/dining/home)
- gentle stretching-style yoga
- no massages

I will be keeping a log to see if there are any changes in severity/frequency of my symptoms. Then I will talk to my GP, armed with specific info.

Doctors never want to suspect a cause that they can't immediately offer a cure for - the harder they have to think about what is causing the problem the less likely you will get the best approach to curing it.

Good luck and I hope this may help someone!!


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Wow, I didnt realize so many people have experienced the same thing I just experienced. It happened just a short time ago. I was standing at my kitchen counter and all of a sudden I got this heavines in my upper torso and extreme weakness in both arms. No tingling or numbness. It scared me. I went and sat down to calm myself then it went away as fast as the onset. After a short while, I burped up a little sour stuff and thought maybe this was related to what I had experienced. I am a 75 year old female, in pretty good health. I have been dianosed with small gall stones (which I have opted to leave alone until they give me trouble) and I also experience esophogeal spasms occasionally (I never know when they are going to hit) which my gastronologist believes is caused because of my gurd. When I first began this new experience I thought it was going to be an esophogeal spasm but it was different. During a spasm episode I experience real pain radiating in center chest, through my back and up the right side of my neck into my right ear. Very painful and scary. Feels just like what I believe a heart attack would feel like. This spasm can last anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. I've learned that if I take Rolaids or Mylanta immediately, it shortens the episode. I'm wondering if gurd has anything to do with this new problem.
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Sorry for misspelling "gerd" and for the symbols instead od a word. I don't know where those came from.
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