Persistent AF & Chest Pain: I have persistent... - AF Association

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Persistent AF & Chest Pain

I have persistent AF and was told by my cariologist that I have no other heart issues, so I think they call that Lone AF.

I tend to get chest pains which come and go, although and was wondering if this is a common side effect of AF. I have ended up in A&E twice, since being diagnosed, because my GP told me to I had to go if I experienced any chest pain. Both of these times I was there for about 8 hours and nothing (other then AF) was wrong.

I have been a long time sufferer of anxiety so stress related chest pains are no stranger to me.

I'm not particulary worried about the pains as they have been coming and going long enough for me to know that I'm not about to keel over. But I'm wondering if chest pain is a common symptom of AF or if it's purely down to my stress?

15 Replies

We are all different in the way we experience AF but I understand that some people so experience pain during events. I am sure that your worry is as much to blame as anything else and urge you to seek out ways to deal with this. CBT or hypnosis have both had good press here.


1 like

I think A and E do like to see you if you have chest pain and if it stops you worrying to be checked out then it's best to do it- better safe than sorry`!


Hi joebob as Bob says we are all different but I don't think it is common, I certainly never experienced pain but very occasionaly, after a long episode I did have what I can only call heart ache. A bit like when you have muscle fatigue but never a sharp pain. I do know someone who does though and had all the checks, several angiograms etc and everything has always come back clear apart from the arrythmias so it is inexplicable as far as the medics are concerned so you are not although it may not be common, neither are you unique.

Best wishes


Hi joebob

I too am persistent, but no I do not suffer anything but the very occasional chest pain, and then usually it's an ache rather than sharp.

We are all different with our AF it's a very "original" condition in all of us, but from the sound of it, with a history of anxiety related chest pains, you may have inadvertently found your AF "trigger"

So I am wondering if you can find anything to treat the anxiety, talk to your GP of course drugs may help, but also consider some counselling or even hypnotherapy, my personal experience is that both helped me in the past.

Don't ignore chest pains however, they are your body's signal to you, so you will need to understand at what point to seek medical help, and that will differ for all of us.

Be well



When I had Afib, I had discomfort in my chest, not pain


Personally I get an 'ache' as other people have described - I think if it became real pain I'd start bothering A&E but if you're sure it's stress related then possibly CBT or hypnosis might help, as others have said...


I too experience the ache and was going to mention this the next time I saw my EP, but I can take heart (Pardon the pun), knowing it isn't just me and I'm in good company. It's not pain like CDreamer explained it, it's like a muscle fatigue.


I am paroxymal and sometimes get an ache usually after AF.


I too have PAF, and have been quite worried with some unusual chest aches and pains. I'm always wary of spending hours in A&E for no good reason, I usually. Follow some advice given by a Cardionurse, if the pain is still there after 15 minutes, and it doesn't go away by changing position, then off to the hospital! When this happens, I reason that it seems to be triggered by a meal too late at night, or unsuitable food, ie too much fat content.....or wind !!!


I sometimes get a dull, sickening ache high in my back, but it only lasts for a few minutes.


Depends a bit what you mean by chest pain. I get an intense squeezing sensation high up near the base of my throat if my heart is beating too fast, very irregularly or if I stress it too much and that includes anxiety. I don't have any problems with clogged up arteries so I don't need to worry about a heart attack but I still need to take notice of the pain to prevent further damage to my heart.

Advice given earlier seems good but maybe it would help if you kept a diary for a week or two to look for a pattern? That would give you a clue about the cause/s if not obvious already.


Thanks for all your replies, I am currently having CBT but over the telephone as I am unable to attend the surgery during their usual opening hours! I don't think it's helping much though and to be honest I think I almost had my anxiety sorted before the onset of AF - I know what it is and know I will get through it.

I have read, on several websites, that some chest discomfort can be a side effect of AF. So that was my reason for posting.


Have you tried any of the Mindfulness courses of meditation? My GP suggested that I look it up. The meditation techniques in one particular bookhave helped me deal with stress. You lie or sit for a short time, no odd yoga contortions or anything. I think the house rules don't allow me to give the authors' names, but if you go to Amazon it'll be the first hit mentioned.


Hi! I have had AF for years without pain. I also have lone AF and I have always known when I was having an AF episode. It has only been this year that I have experienced any pain with AF. It was concerning to me as the pain was very severe and new for me. I still don't know what caused it, but I have had episodes of AF since that were not painful at all. My guess is that something other than AF or anything Heart related caused it. Not sure what, lol. I will say that every so often my chest will feel achy from AF, but I wouldn't say it is painful. Best wishes! - KeL :)


I always get awful pain in my throat, jaw and even ears when I get episode of fast AF. It can be very uncomfortable but I assume this is normal for me.


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