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What causes painful cramps in the chest during physical activity?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Jul 2016
Question: I ran a 4K race this morning and when I was breathing heavier I had a cramp-like pain under the area of the xyphoid process. The pain would come and go when I had my breathing under control. It felt better to hold the area when running. I was going at a much faster pace than my training. The pain dissipated after I recovered and breathing returned to a normal rate.

I have had EKGs done, abdominal ultrasound, and a stress echo due to pain in this area. I also have had an endoscope which found mild irritation in the esophagus and stomach. I also have had pains along the lower ribs on each side, but mostly on the left. Is this something to follow up on (again) with my doctor?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka (28 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome to HCM!

I carefully passed through your question and would explain that your symptoms seem to be related to musculoskeletal pain and inflammation.

In my opinion there is nothing to be concerned about!

All the pain characteristic that you describe are typical of musculoskeletal pain.

I would exclude any possible cardiac disorders related to your symptomatology.

There is no need to perform further tests for this issue.

I would recommend avoiding straining physical activity and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain ( ibuprofen may exacerbate your gastro-esophageal problems and thus should be used rarely).

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka (4 hours later)
Thank you for your response. One other question I had was the possibility of a abdominal aortic aneurysm. I am thin and have a strong pulse in the spot where the soreness is located. I did have a complete abdominal ultrasound done last month and it said the aorta was clear. Can I rule out that concern? Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Opinion as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

An abdominal aortic aneurysm may be quite easily detected by abdominal ultrasound exam.

In fact abdominal ultrasound has a high sensibility (>96%) and specificity (100%) for detecting an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

So, my answer is YES!

You should relax, as you have resulted clear by abdominal ultrasound test. There is no presence of AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm).

In case of any further uncertainties, feel free to ask me again.

Regards,

Dr. Iliri


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

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 4714 Questions

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What causes painful cramps in the chest during physical activity?

Brief Answer: I would explain as follows: Detailed Answer: Hello! Welcome to HCM! I carefully passed through your question and would explain that your symptoms seem to be related to musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. In my opinion there is nothing to be concerned about! All the pain characteristic that you describe are typical of musculoskeletal pain. I would exclude any possible cardiac disorders related to your symptomatology. There is no need to perform further tests for this issue. I would recommend avoiding straining physical activity and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain ( ibuprofen may exacerbate your gastro-esophageal problems and thus should be used rarely). Hope you will find this answer helpful! Kind regards, Dr. Iliri