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Avatar universal

Different pains. Please help

I'm a 37 year old 115 pound non smoking female.
For about 2 weeks now I've been having intermittent chest, left arm, shoulder,neck and jaw pain. I definitely have health anxiety. I went a week ago to the Urgent Care and they did an EKG and chest x-ray both of which were normal. The doctor said she believed it was a muscular issue. The pain is probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10. My jaw is tender when pressed on as is my arm and chest in a few places.
So, how reassuring is a normal EKG and x-ray? I would appreciate any help or advice!!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Because of the way our nervous systems are wired during development, here is the rule:

If you have chest pain, and you can touch the pain or influence it, that is, increase it, decrease it, or change it in any way by pressing on it or altering your body position, it is NOT heart pain.  It is what is called 'somatic pain' (which you can google).  Take it to the bank.

Heart pain 'talks' via another branch of the nervous system, and is called 'visceral pain.'  That can be googled, too.

Unless you've studied anatomy, you probably couldn't have known about this difference, but you do know now.

Since you are aware you have health anxiety, I strongly suggest getting that treated.  A good shrink (sometimes even a family counselor) can help incredibly.  You will enjoy life a lot more if you don't feel compelled to listen to every little bit of bodily 'noise' and feel your life is in danger because of it.
Thanks! That's very helpful! So, is that to say that pain in the jaw, arm and shoulder that's coming from the heart will not hurt to press on or move?
Avatar universal
Thanks! That's very helpful! So, is that to say also that pain in the jaw, arm or shoulder that's coming from the heart will not hurt when pressed or moved?
Yes.  Any pain which which you can physically *touch* or alter is NOT coming from the heart.

But worry is a problem that can be treated.
Avatar universal
Nevertheless, pain in those particular areas are classic symptoms of heart attack.  You have to differentiate it from muscle, skeletal, and nerve pain. Like achillea said, if it hurts when you touch it, or when you're in a certain position, it's probably not heart pain. But if the symptoms continue, I would definitely go back for another EKG and err on the side of caution. When I had my heart attack, the pain in my chest was a 1 or 2 on the pain scale. I worked out, never had high blood pressure, or, cholesterol over 170. I actually walked up to the hospital, so you don't have to have severe symptoms to be having pain from an occluded artery.
Were you having the pains for weeks and weeks? All of the places that hurt get worse when pressed in places.
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