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Constant Chest Discomfort in Certain Positions w/ Palpitations

I'm a 27 yo male who is 6' and 280.  I don't smoke or drink.  There is no known heart disease in the family.  

About 5 months ago I got a strong pain in the middle of my chest.  It felt like someone jabbing me with their thumb hard.  The pain was bad enough that it made it difficult to move.  Certain body positions made it feel better while others didn't.  That extreme pain went away in 15 mins.  A dull ache remained that wasn't necessarily painful, but noticeable.  The anxiety of it sent me to the ER the next night where they ran an EKG, X-Ray, blood tests, along with an exam.  The ER physician didn't think it was heart related and gave me a GI cocktail and prescription to Prevacid.  

Over the next 5 months, I've never had that extreme pain again.  I switched from Prevacid to Zantac.  I still get that constant ache, but not in the morning.  I can make the pain come if I lean forward too far or push my shoulders inward.  It sometimes comes if I take a very deep breath.  I do not have shortness of breath, sweating, etc, although I have noticed that I can feel my heartbeat when I'm lying down.  It has scared me into changing my diet and exercising starting 2 weeks ago. I feel great during my walks.

I'm somewhat convinced it's not heart related, but the palpitations worry me.  Zantac doesn't seem to get rid of the ache.  It's not painful, but noticeable.  Does this seem heart related or just acid?  Why am I able to make it hurt by simply changing body positions?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
The pain you are describing sounds muskuloskeletal in nature, likely from your chest wall.  It does not sound heart related at all.  Changing your position makes it worse because you are changing the position of your skeleton, thereby, bringing out the symptoms.  Simple medications such as NSAIDs will make it better.  Exercise will also improve it, especially if you also lose some weight with it.  We all get these aches from minor arthritis or pulled muscles or tendons.  Again, they usually get better with exercise, but you may have to take it easy not to aggravate them.  Make sure you stretch before you exercise.  The acid reflux related stomach discomfort will also improve with a change in your diet, with exercise and with weight loss.  Sounds like you are on the right track.  I wouldn't worry about the palpitations, we all have them, it's just that some of us feel them more so than others.   We typically don't worry to much about them unless they become very symptomatic.
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