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How is shoulder pain and shortness of breath treated ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Husband is 54 years old, takes meds for high BP and has a history of pulmonary embollisms which have him also on Warfarin. He woke up yesterday morning with shortness of breath lasting about 3 hours and ER visit did x-ray and blood work that came back good. This morning, he woke up with pain in both shoulders all the way down to his arms and hands. His BPM was 88. Is this cause for concern?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Considering your husband’s age, history of high blood pressure and pulmonary embolism; ischemic heart disease and/or cervical spondolysis of the spine need to be ruled out.

The characteristic features of heart disease are pain in the chest, shortness of breath and pain in the back, neck, jaw, upper belly, or one or both shoulders or arm.

Cervical spondolysis is caused by compression of the spinal cord at the cervical level which causes pain in one or both shoulders radiating to the arms and hands. The other possibility is of muscle strain leading to spasm and compression of nerves. Diagnosis can be confirmed by x-ray neck or MRI spine.

Evaluation that include electrocardiogram, blood tests (cardiac markers), cardiac stress testing, stress ECHO and an x-ray and MRI cervical spine are entailed. It would be better if he consult a physician and gets the fore mentioned tests done as soon a possible.

You have reported that X XXXXXXX and blood test were normal. It would be better, if I can know the details of the test done. It might help me in understanding his condition better and giving additional information if any.

Hope this answers your query.

If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing your husband a good health.


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