Severe ‘muscular’ type chest pain aft... - British Heart Fou...

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Severe ‘muscular’ type chest pain after stent

Deedee328 profile image

I had a stent fitted in February after having ‘muscular’ type chest pain and being a little out of breath. Gp sent me for checks more to do with my fam history. The problem is I am still suffering with intense muscular chest pain including v much on my left side and it’s getting so bad I can’t walk anywhere without an intense pain above my left breast. Im so concerned but my Dr says its anxiety and has finally sent me for physio and the cardiac team won’t do anything as my chest hurts when I move it and hurts to the touch. I feel so alone and scared to exercise now. I have severe chest, upper back and breast pain 24 hours. Has anyone experienced anything similar? I’m trying not to panic but have had anxiety as I’m 48 and it all came as a shock as I was a relatively fit person. I’m going to ring the cardiac nurse I dealt with tomorrow as I can’t live with this anymore.

40 Replies
Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star

I’m sorry you are having such a difficult time. I did see you have posted before. Was that a similar reaction and bad pain, after stent(s)?

Ah thank you. Its hard to remember pain isn’t it but yes it was similar but this is so much worse and at rest too. It still feels heavy and like a pressure. I don’t have palpitations or panic attacks anymore. Think I’ve posted out of desperation lol don’t think anyone can give me an answer really

Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star in reply to Deedee328

You never know! Someone here might recognise your description, and maybe have had similar symptoms. Sorry I can’t help more myself.But I was wondering if you had found a good way to deal with it last time?…even tho’ it wasn’t exactly the same.

Good point, exercise and relaxation techniques. I went to rehab and it gave me confidence to exercise then I lost it when the pain returned. Thank you

I had 2 stents fitted 3 weeks ago and did initially have muscular pain but a lot of the discomfort was from the drilling they had to do before fitting the stents. While I still am some discomfort and a lot of shortage of breath things are improving. You don't mention if/when you were discharged by the cardiologist, if that hasn't happened ask to see them and explain about the pain.

Hi, I was discharged back in May after rehab but they said I could ring the cardiac nurse if I needed to. We have been through it so many times. Because it feels like chest wall pain they don’t think its cardiac but haven’t done any further tests. Now I’m struggling to walk without getting it, I need to contact them again for sure. Glad you’re improving, best wishes

I had similar problems - no one had been able to explain it to me, done multiple heart & lung tests - my GP & I have concluded that it could be statin induced… please check with your doctor as some patients react badly to some statin.

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Izra

That’s a thought thank you

I too had a stent as was getting chest pain which they kept putting down to muscular eventually finding a blocked artery, this alleviated the symptoms for a bit but not long was back again. Must stress my pain is only minor compared to yours more like ac4 but random comes and goes whenever it likes can get really uncomfortable. After further investigation including a myocardial scan they have come to the conclusion that my minor blood vessels on heart are spasming so micro vascular angina mine is only as I say minor but could this be something you need to look at??? Been told to use nitrates but they give me massive migraines so just put up with it at mo

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Ancientone


"my minor blood vessels on heart are spasming so micro vascular angina mine is only as I say minor ...."

Just a thought, the small blood vessels of the heart are very important they supply most of the blood to the heart muscle.

Microvascular dysfunction and vasospastic angina are both complex conditions which raise a person's risk of having a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and can lead to major cardiac events.

I suggest you ask for your Cardiology team to carry out the appropriate tests, to determine the best treatment for your possible Microvascular dysfunction or coronary vasospasms.

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Milkfairy

I’ve looked into links you have placed on here about microvascular angina and I’m definitely going to ask them to investigate in my case too. Thank you

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Ancientone

Thank you I’m going to ask about microvascular they did mention it might be a possibility. Hope you’re able to manage it too

Hi Dee, I had a heart attack in April 2019 and have also been left with chest pain ever since . Like you I have had many scans and seen various doctors from cardiologist to rheumatologists. They are all insisting it is not heart related and more to do with muscular pains. They said it is Myofascial pain syndrome brought on by the trauma and how I have held myself tight inside . I use heat and take Tramadol which does offer some relief. I exercise doing Pilates and try to make sure I relax as mush as possible. Trust me I do understand and know how scary it is everyday. Whilst I can’t offer a cure I can try to let you know you are not alone . If I do find. Miracle cure I will let you and likewise please. Take care Sue😀

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Poosage

Thank you, it sounds very familiar. I feel as if I’ve never been the same since I came out of hospital. Anxiety plays a huge part for me and holding myself in a certain way which I’m working on. Physio told me to try small hand weights and pulling on bands like rowing just to get more movement. All the best

I would get a second opinion... a different doctor... also see a cardiologist, your pain is intense that doesn’t seem right... if you have BUPA ring the BUPA nurse

I forgot to say with cold weather make sure you have neck scarf covering your mouth as the cold air will burn your lungs

Thanks yes Im going to be seeing someone now and will do

I've had the same. Doctors at the hospital and my GP put it down to Costochondritis or Tietze Syndrome. I was later sent to a Physio due to neck pain. While there I asked about this pain, he confirmed it was Costo and gave me some stretches for it which have helped.

I think in my case it was strictly sleeping on my left (as its supposed to be better for the heart) for over a year. This position has aggravated the rib cartilage.

Definitely got costo type pain, just trying to keep an open mind its not angina too. V painful condition isn’t it

Hi deedee

This is gonna sound weird but I'm so glad I'm not the only one experiencing this..I to am struggling with the same problem..I had a heart attack at 48 had stent fitted then I was told I needed a bypass 😥 you I've had numerous ecgs blood tests and ct scan that always come back normal, never had a cardiac mri or follow up with a cardiologist in 3 years despite requesting on numerous occasions. My gp says I'm special!!!! I've ended up in a n e on occasions because the pain is so restricted when it comes to pain medication cuz I'm intolerant to opiates 😥 waiting to see pain specialist in the hope they maybe able to help. The pain in my chest and back is there everyday and it holds me back doing things...I guess this could make the pain worse as quite often I find myself holding my left arm against my chest and unintentionally being quite tense, after 3 years I still can't lie on my left side...but whenever I try to have this conversation with any health care professional,sadly they are quite blasé about it and in my opinion (this is just my opinion) woman are treated differently, I mean we are made up completely different but the procedures and treatment are the same as men...but anatomically we are so different.

I do hope we can find some help with problem 🙂 if I find anything I will let you know..

Take care


Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Madge11

Anybody considered non obstructive coronary artery disease NOCAD?Microvascular dysfunction or coronary vasospasms.

The Lancet Women and Cardiovascular Disease Commission report published in May 2021, recognises that woman heart patients face problems.

"Despite being responsible for causing 35% of deaths in women each year, cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women remains understudied, under-recognised, under-diagnosed, and under-treated, with women under-represented in clinical trials. "

Madge11 profile image
Madge11 in reply to Milkfairy

Hi milkfairy

I've have never heard of these conditions or been made aware that there could be different causes for chest pain...despite many appointments to dicuss chest pain and feeling like I have some feeling of restriction...Best way to describe that feeling is if you've got a hose with running water going through but then pinch the hose to stop the flow of water,that's the feeling I get in left side of my chest!! But the response is always blood test ct scan are all normal so must be nerve pain!!

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Madge11

I live with coronary vasospastic angina and it took a while to be diagnosed. I have temporary, transient, constrictions in my coronary arteries and small blood vessels.

All my tests were normal except my angiogram with acetylcholine which provoked my coronary vasospasms.

Microvascular and vasospastic angina are more common in women, they are underrecognised, undiagnosed and undertreated causes of angina.

The BHF has this information

Madge11 profile image
Madge11 in reply to Milkfairy

Quick question...was this done through cardiologist? I've not seen or had follow up with a cardiologist in 3 years!! I've had a heart attack and double bypass, would it be normal to see cardiologist afterwards??

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Madge11

Since, I was first admitted to hospital with query a heart attack nearly 10 years ago, I have been seen by a Cardiologist every 6 months.I tend to be admitted to hospital with unstable angina about once a year.

I suggest you ask your GP to refer you back to see a Cardiologist to review your medication and ongoing symptoms.

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Madge11

Yes being tense is definitely one of my problems and I do believe I have Costochondritis. My physio says the severity of the pain may not be related to whats going on but more to do with my brain being hyper aware to the chest pain after what I’d been through. It does make sense but I long for the day I don’t have chest pain and I’m going to try and tackle it at every angle. I joined a Costo group on fb and if nothing else I realised severe chest wall pain is a thing 😁 without it being anything to worry about as such. I just don’t want it to mask angina and seeing as I have pain when walking I’m finally doing something about it and got in touch with cardiac nurse. Hope you get on ok at pain clinic

Had the same chronic pain soon after heart attack this April sounds like costochondritis I too got this soon after stent fitted confused all for a while

Definitely confusing, has been from the start

I’ve been lurking on this forum for the last 12 months and have often found people’s accounts helpful to steady the nerves. So thank you.I can’t offer any advice, but it’s quite reassuring to see other people have similar issues. I had 3 stents a year ago after a mild heart attack and have been paranoid ever since about varying levels of chest pain ( which if I’m honest feels muscular) . I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m holding myself tight which is causing the tightening and spasms. Worse in the evening and at night, when there’s time to think, but draw comfort that after 12 months I still wake up in the morning and everything is fine. Following on from what many people have said, I tend to think it just takes time to ‘relax’ into your new world. Whilst I wait for that to happen, I’ll continue to scan these daily emails for clues and comfort. 👍Having said all that, don’t ignore symptoms, as I’m sure that’s what got many of us, including myself, into this situation in the first place.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Jifwally

Just a thought.....Coronary vasospasms usually occur at rest in the evenings and during the night.

Any chest pain especially at rest should always be investigated appropriately.

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to Jifwally

Wise words indeed. Something I tell myself but you never listen to yourself do you 😁 suppose its the balance of trying to be calm whilst keeping aware of other possibilities

When you say Dr do you mean GP? I would contact your consultant and the cardiac nurse.Anxiety is one thing but intense pain is another. If you feel like that again call 999 at least they will give you an ECG and bloods then if it comes back normal then they can say it's anxiety. That's what I did in the early days I went to A&E twice. Maybe you need another angiogram to see if the stent is OK? I'm no doctor mind just giving an opinion.

Hope is sorts itself out soon lovely.

Deedee328 profile image
Deedee328 in reply to ocnnll

Thank you, I’ve just been ignoring it as I’ve been certain just muscular. Ive finally got in touch and have a cardio appointment now

I'm sorry you are going through this. I had a MINOCA in July this year, and I can honestly say I had the same symptoms you are describing for weeks after. I went back to the A&E 3 more times because of the pain.It hasn't entirely gone away, but mine has eased somewhat. I think my whole chest area was battered and bruised following the HA . I'm glad you are getting some reassurance here, and I hope the cardiac nurse can help you as well. Keep us posted x

Thank you and glad things have eased for you

Hi deedee, I experienced this severe chest pain after H.A and stent in March 2020, In June 2021 the pain was so severe,almost worse than H.A that I went to AnE. I was kept in overnight ,usual cardiac and blood tests done,eventually I was told that I had muscloskeletal chest wall pain and told to rest and take painkillers when these episodes flare up. I never had pain like this,before H.A and stent,I dont know how or why it happens,but according to the cardiologist this can happen...I know if I over do it re.housework,stretching,lifting I will suffer for afew days with this excruitating pain.. I do have angina and do use GTN spray when needed,but I now know the difference with the muscle pain... Learning to know and read your body,differently since H.A is important,although it was an extremely scary experience for me and triggered up the fear of another H.A, being aware of this new symptom ,knowing my limits and carrying my GTN spray and painkillers are to some extent abit of comfort for me, always best to get checked out when health concerns arise..good luck and take care 👍

Thank you and yes its knowing your own body isn’t it and Im still convinced its muscular only. Ive been put on nitrates today just in case and lying here with such severe pain that anyone would ring an ambulance for but Ive had it so often now and for so long

Hi, I had two stents fitted in Dec 20 in LAD, after pain in chest.Since then I have had random pains all over the chest and returned to hospital three times.

On each occasion that could not find any heart related problems, and said it was probably muscular around the rib cage and maybe because I have lost weight. approx 1 stone.

I still have chest pains but I now find deep breathing helps to calm things and maybe it's caused by me worrying about myself.

Hope this helps and you feel better soon.

Thank you and yes deep breathing helped me in the early days. I really wish I kept it up. Im determined to bloomin well try and help myself by doing what I know works and do relaxation techniques again

Thanks for all the replies, all thought provoking and makes you realise you’re not alone. I rang my cardiac nurse and she said for up to 12 months after I can see them again without being referred by my gp. So I’m awaiting an appointment with senior cardiac nurse and in the meantime have been put on tardisc to help with any possible angina. She said I nay need another angiogram. It opens it all up again but Ive realised I can’t go on ignoring things in the wish that I just want to get on with my life, I’ve got to face it and after all it may still just be chest wall psin.

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