AF Association
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Upper chest pain

Over the past 6-8months I have been experiencing slight pain and discomfort in my upper left chest area radiating into my shoulder. This pain comes and goes every hr or so. I experience regular ectopic beats with SVT. Went to A&E last week due to this pain. I was monitored for 12hrs (ecg and bp), they took 3 lots of blood tests and a chest x-ray which came back all clear. My gp then put me on anti-inflammatorys but I'm still experiencing this discomfort in my upper left chest area! Its causing an increase in my anxiety and affecting my quality of life. If its not cardiac, would it be lung related?? Or is it pain caused by the ectopic beats and SVT!! Anyone else experience similar pain/discomfort in the upper chest area and shoulder. Thanks

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Hi Nitschy, sorry to hear about your ongoing problem with chest pain. I'm not in a position to offer any advice, but it sounds as though A&E have done a pretty thorough job in attempting to eliminate rogue problem areas. I would have thought that lungs would have been checked out in the chest xray, but of course it doesn't help if you cannot find the cause. I have occasional ectopics and they can, for me, cause strange sensations in the chest area, but I have never experienced any pain.

Just a thought, and probably not connected, but could trapped wind somewhere in the upper torso be part of the problem. Maybe a glass or two of carbonated water might be worth trying on the basis of "nothing to lose", but I cannot think of any other portential problems that would not have been covered by the hospital. Not a lot of help, but I hope you soon find some answers to your problem ......also, you need to be careful with anti-inflammatories, I know they were prescribed but they are not good bedfellows with AF.

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If it is trapped wind then taking a capsule of ginger should help.

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Hi Nitschy - I have occasional pain in my left shoulder which sometimes extends to the top of chest. I believe that mine is due to neck problems, degeneration of some of the discs. I get some pain in my neck but it is worse in my shoulder. I have recently been seeing an osteopath and this has been helping a lot, she has been working on my spine as well and my mobility has improved. Just a thought it could be muscular.

Cassie

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I agree with flapjack re anti-inflammatory meds. Most EPs don't recommend them for heart rhythm probs. Re your tests; I know they came back reassuringly clear which is what most of us want to hear. But even the best caregivers and tests can miss something. And you are still symptomatic. If it were me I would pursue further medical evaluation. If everything were clear and nothing was missed your symptoms should show improvement. I'd say be seen again by a doc. Be sure they know what has already been evaluated. And if it were me I'd insist on being seen by a cardiologist, ideally an Electrophysiologist. Doesn't sound like a GP problem to me. Be persistent about receiving effective medical care. It's your right as a patient. Good luck re proper evaluations and tx and take care. irina1975

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Ok, that is good to know about the anti-inflammatory meds. I was popping them like no tomorrow!! I've recently changed gp - this new gp has a special interest in cardiology so I'm meeting with him on Tuesday. Thanks for your advise...

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Hi Nitschy. Glad to hear you're getting another doc. GP's can also be good re cardiac sx but they have to be interested .Sounds like you'vegot a good new one. And happy you're staying off the NSAID meds. Take care. Burma (irina1975)

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Hi I suffer the same it's when heart goes into AF Svt and ectopic beats I had ablation in August last year all was fine then came back out of blue January with left heart pain and shoulder. I do not have pain when in normal rythum hope this helps

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Thank you for you comment. I reckon it is heart related however it's always there even in NSR. Frustrating...

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Sounds like you need a stress test to start and depending on findings possibly an echo cardiogram and further studies including a Cath..at very least need to see a cardiologist.

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I had an echo cardiogram & MRI (Nov 2015) and a 24hr Holter Monitor (Oct 2017).... I told my cardiologist about the pain but he didn't say much just to say in 1.25mg bisoprolol a day. Have my ablation on 20th March! Can't come sooner. If successful I will be able to identify if its heart related or not. Thanks for you feedback 😊

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Like Cassie I also have pain in my upper chest sometimes, this is because I have wear and tear in my shoulder joint. I had X-rays and then had a steroid injection which settled it down for a long time. This pain comes and goes now depending on what I do, ie gardening or lifting/moving heavy things. I use ibruprufen gel occasionally as I can't take this as tablets because it upsets the stomach.

As you have had lots of tests in A&E try not to worry too much.

All the best, Jackie

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I've recently been told I have "ectopic" heartbeats and am awaiting a walking ECG in no great hurry. I told the Cardiologist I have "stiffness and some pain" across my upper chest from time to time, and my GP too - niether of them think it's anything to worry about, and I must say that from reading, and from my current circumstances, I think stress has a lot to do with it.

(The only thing I have to bear in mind is that the odd heartbeats started happening before the current crisis arose, and are marked chiefly by a weird "buzzing" sensation all around my upper torso and anywhere else it wants to go - nobody seems very concerned or even interested in that, and all blood tests and a short ECG don't show anything out of order. The Cardiologist did ask about my calcium levels, but that has been tested OK too).

But the bouts of low pain definitely started after our current family crisis started. But they are not just in the one place but can shift around my upper chest depending on what day it is, and don't always "happen" at what seems like the stressed moment. But I am a seeing a correlation.

Your A&E seems to take it more seriously and I think that may be because it comes and goes in the same location.

That's a bit rambling but I hope it sheds a bit of light.

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