AF Association
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New to AF

Hello - I'm in need of a little guidance as I've just been diagnosed with AF and I'm being told a few different things and just wanted to see if anyone else has had or is having similar symptoms. I'm sorry for the length of this post but I'm a little worried and want to get it right in my mind.

I am a 40 year old male and had been to a BBQ on may bank holiday Sunday and went to bed as normal. I woke up on the Monday morning in severe pain around the neck, shoulders and head as if I'd been doing weights or working out heavily. What I did notice was that every time I yawned or wore a seat belt in the car I got a burning stabbing pain in the centre of my chest and I thought I'd over done it in the garden or something. However - I went to GP a week later as the pain had not gone away. The GP did an examination and ECG because of the chest pain and ordered me straight to Acute Medical Unit at the hospital where I was told that following another ECG all was normal that I possibly had Costachondritis and I should go home which I did and the following morning went back to work. However the chest pain would gnaw away and come and go. So I carried on with my life as normal other than the chest pain, working, playing with kids, eating and drinking fine - all was ok until Sunday night just gone. I was in bed and just nodding off when I got a huge spasm of pain in my chest near my breast bone and it was agony so much so my wife called an ambulance . They arrived did an ECG and I was told there and then that I may be in AF but when reaching hospital around an hour later all was ok again. As luck would have it I was due to have an appointment through my health insurance to see a cardiologist on the Monday which I duly went along to and he hasn't said what it is either way just that something isn't right and that I need to see a Electro physiologist to have CT scan asap.

So I just wondered is anyone else having constant chest pain? Can you feel AF all the time?

Any help greatly appreciated


10 Replies

Sorry to hear you are having problems. Lots of people do not have chest pain with af but some do and I am one of the them. It becomes excutiating at times and causes me to go to hospital.

It's good that you are having tests and have seen someone, hope the EP app is very soon. They will get to the bottom of it for you and then devise a treatment plan. If in the meantime the chest pains are awful then go to a and e better safe than sorry. Don't hang around in that case. Tell them you are under the care of a cardiologist, seeing an EP having tests and ask to see someone in cardiology, don't be fobbed off, a and e docs as good as they are are not cardiac specialists.

Best wishes.

1 like

Hi meadfoot - thanks for the advice. I'm new to this and having never had anything more than serious than flu it's all a bit daunting.


Hi Matt,

Sorry to hear you are having pain like this.

I agree you need to have all tests done as soon as possible in order to see what is happening.

Try and remember to mention that the ambulance staff thought you might have had some AF at the point they collected you- the problem is that AF comes and goes and can be hard to capture on ECG I have bought a Kardia- hand held monitor- which does mean you can check your ECG yourself- a bit expensive but might be worth you considering.

While you are waiting for tests to be done, do go straight to A and E - ambulance- if you get this severe chest pain as it does sound heart related and you may need to be seen urgently.

Also take it easy and avoid alcohol until you know what is going on

Do let us know how you get on

AF is not, in itself life-threatening- but you need to know what is causing the pain I think


Hi Rosy - yes agreed. I'm seeing the EP today at 12:30


Good luck ! Let us know how you get on


Hi Matt,

I have had similar symptoms regarding a pain in my chest, down the sternum,across the top of my shoulders and up my neck for the last 7 years, but it started first in 1995. This is always preceded by a period of ectopic beats. The pain is an ache really, but when flexing my chest will cause a sharp pain in my sternum. I also have a tight chest at the same time.

But, I have only had 3 episodes of Paroxysmal AF/SVT's in 5 years, but ecg's are normal (once there was a mid line depression but all checked out OK).

I have this at the minute, and its been on since January. They also said it was Costochondritis once, but this hurts when you press which it does not on me, If you get an answer let me know as I haven't got one yet.


Hi Ian - I had Ccp blood test done by GP and turns out unfortunately that I have rheumatoid arthritis in the early stages hence the Costo in my chest - saw a private GP diagnostic specialist who put the whole picture together and thinks that the early RA is responsible for the whole afib thing because of the inflammation in my chest. Might be an idea to go get a CCP blood test as RA is suppressable if caught early enough. Cheers



Hi Matt, Is the CCP blood test to determine inflammation, or do you mean CRP. I have a long standing autoimmune problem, namely Crohns' Disease, but my inflammatory markers have been low for a long time, I do think that my AF is a function of some inflammation in my chest, as the Crohns pain always goes away when I have the chest problem.


Hi Ian - thanks for the response. Mine seems to be painful all the time and I thought it could be angina (or worse)!! Not really sure why I have it or what has brought all this on


I was diagnosed with AF in 2004 but think my story started in 1997 when after an evening working on my race car I woke at 4 am with an elephant sitting on my chest. My sympathetic wife told me it was indigestion and go back to sleep so in the morning I went to GP who sent me to hospital. Tests showed nothing including an angiogram a few months later but I suspect it was the start of my AF. I have only even once since then experienced pain with an AF event but I know some poor people do.

Always best to have any chest pain investigated.


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