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    What causes pain in upper chest and left arm?

Posted on Fri, 3 Jun 2016 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: Hi.

I am having pain uper chest area, its a slight pain which come for 3 to 5 seconds and then goes away and this is happeing sometimes ,attached is the pic of the area where i feel pain exactly. It is a heart pain or chest pain and i feel slight left arm pain and i ecg 2 weeks back it was normal.

Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Your symptoms do not seem to be cardiac related:

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for asking on HCM!

Regarding your concern, I would like to have some more information on the characteristics of this pain:

- Is it a dull pain, shock like or pinching?
- Do you experience other symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath during these episodes?
- Is this pain triggered by certain body positions or respiration?
- Is it related to eating?

I would explain that slight pain with this short duration is not typical of any cardiac disorders.

Besides, your performed ECG has resulted normal.

If this pain is exacerbated by any body position or breathing, it could indicate a musulo-skeletal pain, probably inflammation.

The fact that you experience left arm pain too, could indicate possible backbone disorder (possible cervico-thoracic column disk protrusion which could cause radicular pain in this region).

Gastro-esophageal reflux could also mimic such symptoms in this region, especially if this pain occurs after eating or in lying down position or bending forward.

I would recommend performing some tests to investigate for the possible cause:

- a chest X ray study to examine your lungs
- blood lab tests (complete blood coun, PCR and sedimentation rate for possible inflammation).

A gastro-esophageal endoscopy may be needed if suspicions of possible gastro-esophageal reflux are raised.

Another way, besides tests, would be trying some OTC drugs, which you can take without prescription:

1-I would recommend trying ibuprofen with is an anti-inflammatory drug, helpful in musculo-skeletal pain. If your symptoms are relieved by this drug, it would indicate possible musculo-skeletal pain.

2- I would also advise trying an antiacid or a PPI (omeprazole, pantoprazole, etc.). If your symptoms are relieved by these drugs, it would be very indicative for gastro-esophageal reflux or gastritis.

Anyway, you have nothing to worry about!

No one from the above mentioned disorders, is a serious cause of chest pain.

So relax!

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Best wishes,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 46 minutes later
Hi. Related to eating i dont know but its a dull pain and little shock like as well but its happens in anyvposition and breathig is fine, idid my cbc 2week back that was fine and urine and stool test that was fine as well .
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

The tests that you have performed can exclude possible infection but not inflammation.

Even though your symptoms are not related to body movements, musculo-skeletal pain and inflammation can not be excluded.

A backbone disorder can not be excluded too, because radicular pain can be shock like (it is electric shock pain as nerves have some sort of electricity).

I would recommend you performing the other above mentioned tests and try taking the drugs above mentioned.

You should consider anxiety too as a possible trigger of this symptomatology.

Anyway, I would exclude any possible cardiac causes related to your symptomatology.

Hope to have been helpful!


Dr. Iliri

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 13 minutes later

Thanks for the mind satisfying asnwer, would ask you one more question , how would i know if aomething is going wrong and its heart related, by the was i have heart beat skip issue usually happeing after i eat but dr consdoer this as normal. I have taken omeprazole many times and even dompydrone.
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 16 minutes later
Brief Answer:
My answer as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

I would explain that during anxiety, physical activity and even after eating, some ectopic heart beats are quite normal.

The fact that you have palpitations or skipped heart beats after eating could be related to over-distension of the stomach, thus imposing pressure to the diaphragm, transmitting the pressure to the heart layers, causing possible ectopic heart beats.

Another explanation would be the hormonal response to the food intake (hormones regulate our physiological needs and help keeping our body balances), thus leading to changes in the heart rhythm.

Another explanation would be the fact that there is a redirection of blood after eating, because our bowel needs some "fuel" to work. That is why changes in circulation are made by our body, cause vessel dilation in our gastro-intestinal tract and vessel constriction in the skin and some other organs. These changes could cause changes in the heart work, leading to skipped heart beats.

But all these are just physiological changes. They are not indicative of any cardiac disorders.

If you have a normal hear structure and function (in cardiac ultrasound, resting ECG or Holter monitoring) there is nothing to worry about!

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


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