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What causes tightness in the chest spreading to neck,throat and back?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5165 Questions
I have just had a tightness in the chest... started lower chest, moved up toward neck, throat, and back of ear across the head. It has lasted approx. 10 mins. I was standing in kitchen preparing food, so hadn't been doing anything strenuous. The pain was similar to swallowing food too quickly and gulping in air before you get hiccups. I have had similar before but a Dr told me it was related to being crouched over for a longish period of time when out gardening. That seemed sensible. This time however it was not related to gardening, or eating.
Posted Fri, 24 Jan 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 3 hours later
Brief Answer: As per your symptoms - tightness can be cardiac. Detailed Answer: Hi, I have read your query. As per your symptoms cause of tightness can be cardiac related. I would like to ask some more detail question about your symptoms. Do you had tightness of chest more on left side or right side? Was there sweating associated with it? Do you have history of hypertension? Now there is no tightness at all? Waiting for your reply Wishing you good health. Take care.
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Follow-up: What causes tightness in the chest spreading to neck,throat and back? 1 hour later
Dr Ghandi, Thank-you for the reply. There seemed to be no difference in left or right side in the chest pain. it actually seemed to start low, move up the chest, then throat, ears & top of my head.The pain at the ears went first to the right ear, then seemed to leave and go to the left ear, where it moved across the head. It kind of left a very slight residual pain at the side temples, but that has now gone. I had a little sweating, but I think that was just a hot flash as I still get those post menopause. Anxiety tension is in my history, but I was not anxious or worried about anything. Anxiety issues have only ever affected my digestive system.There is no more tightness/ pain now. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Origin of pain can be neural. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have studied your case with diligence. According to your symptom pattern origin of pain can be neural. Due compression of nerve in cervical and thoracic region can give rise to such pain. Usually cardiac pain also present is similar way, but it is more on left side. So I will advise for clinical examination and as required MRI brain and spine screening, and cardiac investigation. If your entire test remains with in normal range then probability of anxiety can be suspected. 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 you good health. Take care.
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