Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Convinced something is wrong with my heart. ( 17yr. old female )
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Convinced something is wrong with my heart. ( 17yr. old female )

Hi, I'm Jenna. I'm a 17 yr. old female. Not overweight, no diabetes, I don't use any kind of drugs, etc.
However, for the past 6 months or so I've been having fairly bad chest pain and have been constantly brushed off by doctors and cardiologists.
It's a little hard to explain the pain, but it usually starts with a quick sharp pain in my jaw ( on the RIGHT side ) moves onward to underneath my right ribcage, back, and ends up back in my jaw with a dull achy feeling. The best way to describe it is almost like a spasm? It moves around ALOT. Typically these lasts no longer than 20 minutes and the first one is always pretty light ( almost like a warning ) second is a little stronger, and third one is AWFUL. They always come in 3's and I get one, maybe once a month. Very predictable, always on the right side, and never with exertion.
I had an EKG ran at the hospital with a chest xray, then I was referred to a good heart specialist who ran another one and all came back just fine. My cardiologist told me not to worry and that it wasn't my heart but I can't help it? It's really terrifying when they happen and I'm constantly thinking I'm going to like, drop dead of a heart attack.
Is it likely it's my heart? something else? I'm just frustrated and out of answers! ):
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Dear Jenna,

Without getting more of a history and examination, I cannot say for sure what the cause of your chest pain is.  However, it is quite likely that your chest pain is due to a musculoskeletal cause.  We do see chest wall pain quite frequently in teenagers, but the history can vary, so it’s important to make sure that a good history is obtained.  Briefly, sharp pain in adolescents is common, is only a nuisance, and needs no medications.  It is often brief, worse with inspiration, and not severe.  The bottom line here, though, is that often knowing that this is not a heart attack is reassuring enough that the pain can be ignored till it disappears.
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