PAF and pain

Does everyone who have af attacks suffer with chest pains? Until a month ago I did not know I had AF but I had severe chest pains and had to be hospitalised a few times in three years. The last attack I had was a month ago and they then told me it was PAF and stress related chest pain to which they gave me 25mg of mono something or other which I will have to take if it happens again.

23 Replies

  • You ask if everyone with AF suffer chest pains. I apparently have 'classic AF.' I have never had any chest pain at all and I have never had anything that I could describe as 'palpitations.'

  • I have had a few wronged during a bad episode but nothing that I would describe as pain.x

  • My tablet won't let me write the word I want to! I will rephrase: I have sometimes had a bit of pain but nothing bad. X

  • I've occasionally had a bit of pain, nothing severe, more discomfort. The doctor said if it got bad to go to the A&E... But it could easily be stress, I think it's hard not to find AF stressful! It's good if you've been told it's stress, it's always useful to know these things. I think always it's a case of having at the back of your mind a point where you think, now I'm right to be worried, I'll cart myself off to see a doc...

  • I get "heart ache" can't really call it pain. It's uncomfortable but I guess it's just a reaction to the AF, usually comes during or after an episode.

  • I've laid in Resus with a HR of 230, while the doctor said "I can't believe your not getting any pain". I sometimes get a bit of twinging, but I'm not convinced that that isn't my stomach. Sometimes my chest has ached afterwards, a bit like the stiffness from sleeping in a draught. I used to get the same ache after a big bike ride, so I'm tempted to think that it's my heart aching from overwork, a bit like any other muscle would.

  • Yes I get chest pain when in AF, I did not used to but as my AF has progressed I am now in a position where I am hospitalised immediately with chest pain so bad they have to give me IV morphine. The pain is excruciating I have never experienced pain like it, even A&E and Cardiology get concerned.

    First of all they thought I was having a massive heart attack or a pulmonary embolism and were surprised when tests came back negative for both. I cant describe how bad it is other than to say on a scale of 1 to 10 it is without doubt a 10.

    I do know it is not usual for pain this bad with AF and as I said in earlier days I did not experience any chest discomfort let alone pain sadly that is no longer the case for me. As the cardiologist said you may think you are dying or more likely wish you could when if gets this bad, but you wont". I live in fear of my next episode.


  • Hi Dee, I know where you are coming from the chest pains I get at tghe moment I would describe as severe indigestion where I sometimes cannot get my breath and feel as if I want to burp. It goes off and then comes back with a vengence then in the ambulance I have iv morphine. Last time the whole episode ended as I got to emergency I put it down to the driving and the bumps we went over. ut at the end of the day its scarey.

  • I just posted about this as well. I was also given morphine because the pain was so excruciating. - KeL

  • HI,

    It is four weeks tomorrow since Ablation...Since being diagnosed two years ago my PAF got increasingly more progressive and only a couple of weeks prior to Ablation I passed out in Town and with such severe chest pain could hardly breath and my legs completely buckled like cardboard...


  • I had chest pain when I went hours with rapid AF... part of it is fatigue of the heart muscle,and my increased as my cardio strength decreased with the years of increasing episodes of AF. There is also an effect on your fascia (connective tissue) surrounding the heart and on ocassion even causing pain in the shoulders etc.

    You aren't alone, mine did not cause me to go to A&E but I certainly would if I reached a level of discomfort that required morphine. TRUST your instincts above all, and never consider it "bothering them". Go if you need to, great news if they say you are ok, and if not thank goodness you went.

    Take care

  • Yes Iris, I can identify with lots of what you say and last autumn had chest pain high up on the left after a night of rapid heart rate ( I have PAF ). After three or four bad episodes, I sent for an ambulance as this was a new thing for me and frightening. They gave me angina spray as it eased it off each time and I was given an angiogram later, which thankfully was clear. The diagnosis was " chest pain caused by arrhythmia and palpitations " and it was followed up with an echocardiogram and event monitor. Since then, touch wood,I have suffered only palpitations and the odd short bout of arrhythmia.

  • When I've been having lots of 'palpitations', I get an ache on the left side of my chest, a bruised feeling. I think I can feel most if not all of anything irregular in the beating of my heart.

    When I saw my EP 2 weeks ago, he showed his consultant colleague one of my less busy Alivecor printouts where I could feel just 2 individual extra beats in a minute long recording. He mentioned that only a few people are very sensitive and can feel single extra beats and that was incredible really. It's not incredible to me, I can always feel my heart beating and could practically take my pulse from just concentrating on it.


  • In all honesty, I had never experience pain before when I had episodes of AF in the past. It has always been more of a discomfort or at most a feeling of cramping. But, a couple of months ago, I had extreme pain (like nothing I had ever felt before) that persisted during an AF episode. I didn't know what was wrong, and after nearly 30 minutes of trying to "breathe" through it, I went to hospital. The cause of the pain was never determined, but of course pulmonary embolism needed to be ruled out in addition to a heart attack. For whatever reason, the pain seemed to be a bit more tolerable if I put pressure on my chest and leaned forward. Not sure why? All I know is that I surely hope nothing like that ever happens again! Best wishes - KeL

  • Hello everyone, I do have very severe chest pains with AF, I spoke to a Dr, not my own as he was on holiday, and he diagnosed Angina and gave me a spray. I had an ECG and saw yet another Dr who had the ECG readings and she told me if I get the pain again to use the spray, if the pain did not go away, spray again and if this did not work to call an ambulance. Personally, I am not convinced it is Angina as I know a lot of people get pain with AF and I tend to take to my bed and sleep. Anyway, because I am having so many 2/3 day long episodes of AF, the Dr is asking my EP to see me as soon as possible. I try not to worry too much as I have been assured that our condition is "not life threatening" by my Dr! I tend to read this forum all the time and take notice of what is being said here than my Dr who I am training to understand this condition!

    Has anyone else been told that their AF pain is Angina?

    Stay heart calm everyone, angel blessings.


  • Hello Di thanks for the feedback from my post. When this first happened I did not know I had AF and they thought it was heartattack, no, then angina, no. So they sent me home. After the third attack which was a year or so in between they decided it was angina again so so angiogram done and nothing. Then they gave stress cardiogram and boy did this scare me as they pain came back with vengence. So they decided it was Af and stuck me on warafrin. I have two attacks so far, and tgis caused by stress, losing hubby, moving to new property etc. Had bad bleed in arm hospialised for a week. Had another one when I moved in here in March and they gave me a spray but when used the ambulance crew got a bit worried as it sent my blood pressure to 50/80, thought I was joining my hubby. So now I have a tab monolol something cant even spell it. Hopefully I wont have to use it as I will call amdulance anyway as i 72 now and not taking any chances.


  • Hi Dot, you poor soul, what a lot of stress you have had, my prayers are with you. I am 78' have had AF for 12 years, had a pacemaker fitted 30th April as I have Bradycardia so it keeps my heart rate at 60 bpm but it does not stop the AF. I have just come back from a week's holiday in Salou, hotel was brilliant, weather sunny but I spent 4 days in bed with the dreaded AF! Poor hubby was worried sick! But I am used to it now and find if I go to bed and sleep, I can manage the episodes better.

    It is a worry, I am on one of the new anticoagulants, Rivaroxaban, as Warfarin did not agree with me. I am also on Bisoprolol to lower my heart rate but I still get AF! Next step for me is an ablation!

    Take care and stay positive, take each day as it comes and do what you can, while you can, that's my mantra.


  • I was first told that my chest pain was angina caused by an artery spasm as my arteries were clear. Then after my last bad attack there were signs of muscle damage but my arteries were still clear! And my cholesterol levels are very low too. I looked up 'variant angina' which is what they call angina not caused by clogged up arteries. It seems it is a bit of a mystery but it is intensely painful. I get more of a 'boa constrictor' sensation so I guess my pain is down to having a weak heart which can't cope with speeding up.

  • I can get bouts of Angina because of lack of O2 to the heart I have a nitrate spray for that. get's it down but I then get a shocking headache! Better of the 2 evils though.

    Be Well

  • Thank you all so much for all the feed back on this post and I feel that i am not the only person in the world anymore. thankyou all


  • Hello All, I am new to this community. I am 71. After having persistent a-fib for a year I had an ablation two years ago. It worked great and I have been exercising regularly and feeling good most of the time until a few days ago when the persistent a-fib came back with a vengeance. Persistent a-fib doesn't let up. I don't go back to sinus rhythm at all. I saw an electrophysiologist the day my a-fib started. He put me on digoxin and Eloquis and scheduled me for a number of tests before he can recommend further treatment. I can only spend a few minutes on my feet without chest pressure and neck pressure and being totally out of breath. I am so hoping there will be a solution. I live in Henderson, Nevada. Blessings to all, Shirley

  • Hi Shirley, I think you need to repost this as a new post instead of a reply so everyone will see it.

    Anyway, welcome! You'll get lots of advice and support here and a few laughs as well. Best wishes.

  • I've had no chest pain at all but I have had oesophageal spasm that can also be excruitating chest pain..

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