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Chest discomfort, pain between shoulder blades, jaw and arm pain. Have bone spur in neck. Heart or nerve related problem?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 961 Questions
Having discomfort pain in middle to left chest area. Some pain in back between shoulder blades more towards left side for about three weeks. Started having pain in my left jaw and aching in left arm a couple of days ago. The pain is when I'm sitting or lying down. I do ten miles a day breaking a good sweat on a stationary bike with no shortness of breath or any pain at all. When I work in the yard, mowing etc. I have no problems. I do have a small bone spur in my neck, but have never had any issues. Could this be heart related, or a nerve problem. Thanks
Posted Mon, 10 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 30 minutes later
A well asked query indeed!
We could be dealing with a heart problem here . At the age of 52, having high cholesterol and typical anginal chest and left arm pain is highly suggestive of an angina/ cardiac coronary problem. ( a heart blood supply-demand mismatch called ischemia.)
I would like to know if you get sweating, nausea/ vomiting/ giddiness along with the pain?

I would suggest that you visit the ER and get an ECG (EKG) done ASAP.
If you get pain again, have no stomach ulcer / bleed or allergy to aspirin, please take one chewable aspirin (disprin) 150 and chew it. Also, you would need a sorbitrate ( a nitrate) tablet under the tongue to chew and call for help.

Keep a family member's company and do not exert with walking/ running etc. till you are advised so.'
Please take rest and care and inform me about your progress. You can upload your EKG, reports here with the upload facility of the website.

Less commonly , it may not be the heart, but gastritis, or other conditions mimicking heart attack. But we don’t want to miss ischemia just because we didn’t do an EKG.
I will eagerly await your progress. Good luck.
Good Luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Chest discomfort, pain between shoulder blades, jaw and arm pain. Have bone spur in neck. Heart or nerve related problem? 4 hours later

To answer your queston. I am not getting sweaty,nausea, or vomiting. In fact as I stated when I exercise or exert myself there is no pain at all. thanks.
Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 3 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
Although angina would typically occur with exertion, we have a variant which is not related to exertion at all. Further, with an increase in age, it can lead to the most unusual symptoms as well. Since an EKG is a simple, non invasive test, its better to be safe than sorry.

A nerve root pain due to spinal / bony compression is usually in the arm and neck , but can never be in the middle of the chest. it is usually electric shooting-like , tingling/ numbness type, sharp pain down the extremity/ arm.

Yes, nerve root compression or myelopathy will be second differential , but then what would give the chest and jaw pain?

I would also like to know if you've had a complete cardiac evaluation off late?

Take care and revert with any more queries , if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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