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Pain Management

Chest Pains

11/12/2008

Question:

Hi, I'm 17 years old, and I experience mild to severe chest pains regularly. Back in probably late November or early December of 2007 I was asked to shovel snow for my mother, and it was wet and heavy snow, so I did, and I come in the house, and got very severe chest pains and I could look down at my chest(left side) and see it twitching, and I feared I was having a heart attack, I went to the emergency room and they told me I had ripped a pectoral(something) muscle. sorry I don't remember the name it was a long time ago, and I didn't believe them and i was sure it was my heart, so I persisted and got EKG`s, bloodwork, Ultra Sounds, X-Rays. Just about everything i could do to see what it is, and no matter how hard I tried nothing came up. Its been about a year now, and I still feel pains in my chest, and twitching, but they never seem to happen until late in the afternoon/night. The pain isn't as bad as at first, but it is still very inconvenient and scary. When the pains come on it also seems like a tightness in my chest, and I can't really explain it that well, but it feels like my (left) arm, its not a pain, but it feels like its weak, and sometime like an effort to use it (harder than usual). I have not done any strenuous lifting or work since the incident. I was wondering if this was normal to still feel pain? Or if you think it may be something else? I'm sorry it was so long, I bet you have a bunch of these to go through, but I just wanted to give you enough information to make an educated decision. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely Yours Concerned

Answer:

It seems that you are concerned about a cardiac cause of the pain, and in that case, it would be best to see a cardiologist to rule out a serious cause. If there is no cardiac condition, then the question is there a chest wall (muscle) cause or nerve cause for the pain. An evaluation by a neurologist or a physiatrist may be helpful at that time.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University