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Anemia,blood transfusion,chest pain,pain above heart and left arm

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Posted on Sat, 26 May 2012
Question: i have been experiencing minor chest pains, i think. If i apply pressure under my left armpit it lessens. I am 28 yrs old, 5'5", and 140 lbs. I have anemia and take an iron prescription daily. I had a blood transfusion when I was 22 due to the oxygen level in my blood dropping too low. I had chest pains then and went to the er and the oxygen level was the cause but I have since gotten my iron levels under control. About a year ago I was diagnosed with mayofacial syndrome in my left shoulder and it also causes pains in the chest muscles. Usually that pain will go away after a day or so of applying pressure to strategic trigger points, which I have tried but had no lessening in the pain. Its almost like a pinching/burning feeling that radiates from directly above my heart to under my left arm. The pain is not accompanied by any other symptoms and I can go about my day as usual with slight discomfort in my left arm. My husband is getting worried but I am reluctant to rush to the dr. Just looking for an outside opinion
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (2 hours later)
Hello and thank you for your query.

I understand your hesitation in rushing to the doctor. Often a complaint of chest pain will trigger a workup consisting of chest xray, EKG, and sometimes a CAT scan. Assuming you have already had a similar workup in the past and that right now you are not acutely short of breath I don't see a real benefit in rushing to the doctor right now. What you have seems to be more musculoskeletal in nature - a conclusion that is certainly supported by your comment about relieving the discomfort by applying pressure under the arm.

I would suggest you consider making an appointment with either an accupuncturist or a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist or even both. These two types of doctors are highly skilled in physical exam and optimizing the musculoskeletal system to achieve better harmony and fewer bothersome symptoms.

I am also assuming that you are at an optimal weight for your height and that you exercise at least 4 times per week. Exercise will serve to boost your body's abillity to deal with and heal from inflammation. Finally, some physical therapy may even be of benefit as well. If you have an issue with mobility, tense muscles or tight ligaments - this may really provide some relief.

It is difficult to make recommendations in the absence of being able to lay hands on you and do a full exam but these are some thoughts to go on from my perspective. I thank you again for submitting your question and I am here for you if you have any additional concerns.

Sincerely,

Dr. Galamaga
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Dr. Robert Galamaga

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Practicing since :2002

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Anemia,blood transfusion,chest pain,pain above heart and left arm

Hello and thank you for your query.

I understand your hesitation in rushing to the doctor. Often a complaint of chest pain will trigger a workup consisting of chest xray, EKG, and sometimes a CAT scan. Assuming you have already had a similar workup in the past and that right now you are not acutely short of breath I don't see a real benefit in rushing to the doctor right now. What you have seems to be more musculoskeletal in nature - a conclusion that is certainly supported by your comment about relieving the discomfort by applying pressure under the arm.

I would suggest you consider making an appointment with either an accupuncturist or a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist or even both. These two types of doctors are highly skilled in physical exam and optimizing the musculoskeletal system to achieve better harmony and fewer bothersome symptoms.

I am also assuming that you are at an optimal weight for your height and that you exercise at least 4 times per week. Exercise will serve to boost your body's abillity to deal with and heal from inflammation. Finally, some physical therapy may even be of benefit as well. If you have an issue with mobility, tense muscles or tight ligaments - this may really provide some relief.

It is difficult to make recommendations in the absence of being able to lay hands on you and do a full exam but these are some thoughts to go on from my perspective. I thank you again for submitting your question and I am here for you if you have any additional concerns.

Sincerely,

Dr. Galamaga