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localized headaches, arm/leg pain

I'm 22 years old. 2 years ago I visited the hospital several times complaining about chest pain on my left side around my heart, but they never found anything, even after scan, etc.  I had an EKG, came out normal, got a monitor for a month, again no findings. Also felt pains in my arm, going down to my hand, sometimes down to my leg. Since then the chest pain has never completely stopped, though in the past year the occurrences of it have slowed down significantly. In August, 2009, I started feeling chronic headaches on the left side, usually localized to a spot about 2 1/2 inches above my ear, pain would radiate from there. Lasted about a month or so then went away.  It came back several times during the year, for similar spans of time. Since then I've also had a blur in my left eye, very brief, probably from tearing because as soon as I gave a good blink it would go away and was gone.  It ‘s back as of this August and continues. Usually starts within a half hour of waking up and continues on/off during the day, localized to that spot on the left side, usually branches off from there, rarely travels to the right side of my head. The arm and leg pains are back. The leg pain has been bothering me the most over the last few days, localized to the ankle area at the top of the left foot and travels across the top of my left foot down to my second toe. Moving the foot doesn't trigger pain, when it hurts I can move it as much as I want without intensifying it, remains a static pain.  My forearm/hand pain is the same deal, travels into the base of my middle finger. I also occasionally feel pain for a short while inside my left (and right, less often) ear, this does not happen every day. I had a complete set of blood tests 2 weeks ago, all came back normal. I do not experience nausea or dissyness , no change in gait, speech, personality. No weakness, does not interfere with everyday life. They are very rarely painful, more dull and full feeling.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.


Anatomically, it is difficult to localize one source for your symptoms. I would suggest that you have a brain MRI in the future to characterize the headache further especially if you are not a person that normally had headaches.

Headaches can be of two sorts: primary (such as a migraine, cluster headache, or tension type headache, etc) or secondary (such as from a venous clot, tumor, etc). Primary headache disorders are much more common than secondary ones. Migraines are a pulsating throbbing one-sided pain with nausea and discomfort in bright lights that lasts several hours. It may be associated with blurriness of vision or another sensation (aka aura). Another type of primary headache is a cluster headache, which is a sharp pain that occurs around and behind the eye often at night and is associated with tearing of the eye and running of the nose. Another condition is called a stabbing headache, which is a sharp or jabbing pain in the head, either as a single stab or a series of brief repeated volleys of pain. Primary stabbing headache often occurs in people with migraine. The pain itself generally lasts a fraction of a second but can last for up to one minute in some people. Another type of stabbing headache is called paroxysmal hemicrania. This is marked by episodes of stabbing or sharp pains that occur on one side of the head and may be associated with eye tearing or runny nose. Episodes may occur several times and last 30 seconds to a minute. Yet another type of stabbing headache is abbreviated SUNCT; 100s of stabbing pains lasting seconds occur and are associated with red eye and tearing.

As you can tell, headache diagnosis is complex and each has certain treatment options.

I cannot comment on chest pain since that is a cardiac issue that would be best answered by a cardiologist, but I would mention that there are many causes of “chest pain” that may not be related to the heart. The lining of the lungs and the lungs, the chest wall, the GI tract, etc. can all cause “chest pain”.

Lastly, a condition called fibromyalgia can lead to whole body pains. This condition is treatable with physical therapy and medications such as gabapentin or pregabalin.

I highly recommend that you continue working with your physician. I would suggest that you have imaging of your brain if you have not had this done.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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