Is pain in the right arm suggestive of heart attack?

Posted on Mon, 12 Jun 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: My right arm hurts just like when I had a heart attack. Can't walk more than 2 minutes before it hurts. Have to hold arm over head n lay down. Also goes dead right after eating. Everyone says it's not a heart attract because it's the wrong arm but the last time both arms and armpits went dead n hurt
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would recommend as follows:

Detailed Answer:

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

Your symptoms are not typical of a cardiac disorder (including myocardial ischemia).

A cervical spine disorder (discal herniation) or a nerve compression can mimic this clinical symptomatology. It can cause irradiating radicular pain in one or both arms.

Do you have neck pain?

Anyway, considering your actual therapy (antihypertensive drugs, anti-platelet agents and diuretics) a cardiac disease can not be excluded either.

I would recommend consulting with your attending physician for a careful physical exam and some tests:

- a cervical spine X ray study
- a nerve conduction study to examine the nerves in your arms
- a chest X ray study
- a resting ECG and cardiac ultrasound to examine your heart function and structure.

A cardiac stress test may be needed if the nerve conduction study is normal.

But, in case of abnormal nerve conduction study or physical exam (suspicion of cervical disk herniation is raised), another test to consider would be a cervical spine MRI study.

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 7137 Questions


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