Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

183 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Having throbbing chest pain and feeling discomfort. Am I at any risk?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Ishfaq Habib

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 661 Questions

Posted on Sat, 5 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Hi. I am 37 yrs old and for the past 3 days I have been having throbbing chest pain in the entire chest area...all above the breast bones and from bra strap to bra strap. Yesterday I experienced some discomfort on the front side of my left shoulder, but seemed to fade away after taking 1 aspirin (325mg). Unfortunately the aspirin only helped my shoulder, not my chest. I do smoke (about 3/4 pack a day) but eat pretty healthy and am at 5'3 in height, weighing 120lbs...which I think is ideal. I am also coughing up a white-yellow phlegm a few times a day, but the pain does not worsen when I cough or take XXXXXXX breaths. With that being said, I am concerned it could be my heart and not my lungs. I've had bronchitis before but never had feeling like always hurt to cough. I am planning on calling my doctor on monday if this pain still persists, but with an upcoming weekend I am worried it could be something serious/life threatening and I need to take action immediately.
Also, I have not done any heavy lifting or any exercise that would effect this. The discomfort lasts all day long but seems worse in the evenings. I am not short of breath unless I'm carrying my 2 yr old daughter. My heart rate has not changed that I can tell. Please let me know what it possibly could be. I appreciate your help and hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you!!!
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ishfaq Habib 2 hours later
Thanks for the query

You have provided a very detailed history which is quite helpful in identifying your problem. The chest pain especially on the left side is always taken very serious because of the heart lying in the chest cavity. The most of the chest pains are often very confusing as most conditions have similar presentation like in stomach ulcers, heart attack and plueritic chest there is left sided chest pain which radiates to back also which is where confusing for the doctor to diagnose without proper history, examination and some necessary investigations.

In your case you already had history of lungs disease plus you are also a smoker and you have an age of 37 in which there should be no heart problem ideally but you do have shortness of breath on exertion as by lifting weight like your daughter and you are also responding to aspirin.

All these features are suggestive to two things which probably could be. The first thing is your lungs as you might have relapse of disease or you might have developed plueritis but still the confirmation can be made on an X-ray chest and the second is obviously the heart which causes similar pain in ischemic conditions or pericarditis but exaggerates with exertion and often very much disturbing and causes anxiety also. So, an ECG is recommended to look for the cardiac problem. Additionally Aspirin is a life saving drug in heart pains as relieves ischemia by its anticoagulant action and also relieves pain.

If you still have some query, feel free to ask

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,   ,   ,   ,  
Lab Tests

Recent questions on  Pericarditis

doctor1 MD

Hi, I have been dealing with pericarditis for over 4 months. Up until a couple days I had been finally great for 1 month. It just hit me again this past Sunday. No where near as severe as all the other times but very close to the worse which hit early this AM. I am back on ibuprofen now per the cardiologist and had been decreasing prednisone very slowly and am still on colcrys..... when will this end? I really thought it was gone until this happened.

doctor1 MD


I am a 35 yr old male and i was diagnosed with pericarditis resulting from a viral infection in aug 2009. I was then placed on an NSAID, naproxen 250mg twice daily which sorted out the problem. However, the pericarditis has re-ocurred about 7 times in the past one year and as a result, i am constantly on naproxen 500mg twice daily. I need to know if this medication is doing my body any harm and also, if i can continue exercising by playing squash. Also, i need to know if there is a permanent cure for the condition and if it can lead to more harmful situations like stroke?

doctor1 MD

Hi. My mother was diagnosed with pericarditis about 5 months back. The doctor suspected the cause due to TB and was prescribed AKT 4 for 2 months. During the course of treatment she developed tiredness, nausea/vomiting which she could withstand. A few weeks back my mother was prescribed with AKT 3 and she has now started developing lower back pain. I would like to know if this is normal.

doctor1 MD

I recently had an echo and stress test due to abnormal EKG following six months of FOLFOX chemo. I was told I have RBBB and a shadow at and behind the tip of my heart. I asked if it were a possible metastasis as I have an inherited cancer...

doctor1 MD

Sharp chest pains when i eat, drink, or lay down feels like a knife..when eating or drinking it starts down the esophagus and moves to the heart staying above the heart for 10-15 minutes. I'm 19 years old 6 feet tall 155 lbs in good shape via USMC. Family history of heart attacks, high blood pressure, heart disease, and pericarditis

doctor1 MD

I am having pain in my back and breastbone

doctor1 MD

I have anterior neck pain and upper chest (shoulders feel very tight). Started a week ago with chest pain , shortness of breath and fever . I went to the ER. At the beginning ST was elevated but Chest x-ray were normal. Cardiac enzymes normal. I...