Angina symptoms?

Hi all, Id appreciate a bit of feedback as to whether anyone's experienced the pains Ive developed on exertion, and if so, whether they turned out to be angina. For context, I have severe copd (fev1 = 32%) and use ambulatory O2 when necessary.

I was strimming the grass a few days ago and got a weird pain in my chest, sort of pressure pain which went up into my neck/throat and jaw and down the right inner arm. I stopped strimming and it took a while to get back to normal (no pain). Ive seen my GP, had a totally normal ECG and my blood pressure which is always very good (usually around 117/75) was fine. From what Ive told her, she doesn't think it's angina but has referred me on anyway just in case. She asked me to note whether using O2 made it better but I just tested it out, with and without, while biking and the pain was the same.

I can do my PR exercises, including lifting quite heavy weights for 3 minutes without any pain, played table tennis yesterday with a minimum of pain, and have had the pain but less severe, mostly just down my inner right arm and my neck, at various times the last few days. But Ive just now been out on my bike and the pain was as bad as the original pain. So it seems to be aerobic exertion which causes it.

Ive read that angina can be caused by stress (the cortisol released by the adrenal glands can cause narrowing arteries), polycethemia which I have (raised red blood cell count, a copd complication) as well as by hardened arteries. Can't discount the hardened arteries but I have no family history of cardio problems, and I exercise and eat well. But of course it still could be angina.

Ive been referred to the GP specialist in angina/cardio, who I'll see around the end of the month. In the meantime, any feedback on whether you've had pains like that, and what they have been diagnosed as would be most welcome.

Many thanks and hope you're all having a good weekend :)

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16 Replies

  • Sorry can't give any help re this but I hope someone else can give you some insight. All best wishes.

  • Thanks Dedalus, good wishes to you too.

  • Pete sometimes has angina pain as he had a heart attack in 2007 but his symtoms are unlike.yours.

    It will be good to get a.professional opinion and be properly checked out. Take things easy O2 until the appointment. Xxx

  • Thanks sassy. Im sorry Pete had a heart attack, as if he doesn't have enough to deal with. Im trying to slow down a bit and it is helping. All best to both of you xxx

  • Best wishes to you too O2. Take care. Xxx

  • Dear 02, I have had in the recent past a pain sort of similar to that that you describe on exertion. The main pain was in my shoulder /neck and arm. I spoke to my friend who is an osteopath and she looked at my neck, and said that the veins in my neck were huge, they had grown and had become thicker, she put it down to my 'struggling' for breath on exertion, and she told me to look in the mirror when I was walking ( I have a treadmill) and see if they 'stand out' more when I am exercising and when I feel the pain start. She was right, I could see the veins 'stand out' she said this was what was causing the pain. She told me to slow down the speed I was walking at, to take the exercise more gently, I must admit I do try to 'push myself' a little when actually exercising, but I did as she said, slowed down took things more gently, and sure enough the pain lessened . I do hope its something like this for you too, as its easily sorted . This pain still happens to me especially if I am in a hurry and rushing ( as much as we can 'rush' in our conditions :) :) ) but once I stop for awhile and then carry on SLOWLY I am OK. I did worry it could have been my heart at the time, but now I do think its just pressure on my veins in my neck/shoulder/arm.

    I also do get a similar pain if I have a weight on my shoulder for anytime ( bag) I try as much as possible to not have the weight all over one shoulder now. How do you carry your oxygen? is it on one shoulder or knapsack type bag

    Hope you get this sorted out soon

    Lots of love Sohara

  • Oh Sohara, you're always my heroine when I have problems :) :) I hope it's just what you're saying. Im glad you found the answer to yours.

    I carry my O2 in a knapsack on my back, never over one shoulder and they are paediatric cylinders so not too heavy. I know my veins stand out - they have for many years but this is a new pain - in general Ive been very lucky in remaining pain free til now, no arthritis etc. I will check if they stand out more when exercising.

    Thanks so much for your helpful reply Sohara. How are you doing yourself? I was thinking about you the other day and wondering. Take care and big love to you :) :)

  • Its annoying to have to stop exercising, and slow down, but that 'may' be all that's needed for you too. Its like we put a strain on our veins, muscles etc when not able to get enough oxygen to them while exercising, but the MAIN thing about exercising is just to be able to do some, ie we don't have to walk up hills, just a walk on the flat is still good for us, we don't have to go at a fast pace , just an easy pace is OK as long as we are moving, . I am so glad you are going to have your heart checked out properly, you are a very dear friend and we cannot let anything bad happen to you * BIG HUG*

    Lots of love Sohara

  • That's so lovely - big thank you Sohara and hugs to you to my dear :)

  • Hi O2, that's a great reply from Sohara. Whatever someone comes up with there's nearly always someone else who's got the answer!

    Angina pain normally goes down the left arm, to the left middle finger, not down the right arm. Good to be checked out. Look after yourself. Sue x

  • Thanks Sue, I hope you're right - it says "normally" re left arm on the sites I've looked at, but can apparently sometimes be the right too. Thanks for your reply xx

  • If ecg was ok i would try paracetamol ya might have strain injury.

    I had bad pain in chest arms yesterday and paracetomol sorted it

  • Maybe you're right Jeff - it did come on when I was struggling with the demon strimmer. Thanks for that :)

  • Is easy done and did ya say something about a bike :)

    Braver then me i give up bikes in me 30's

    Yer paracetomal do ya no harm

    Anyway hope ya start feeling better

  • As an angina sufferer as well as everything else I get into trouble because I do not use my nitrate as much as I should. But I do get confused whether it is my lungs or my heart. But as a rule if it gets to my throat which feels as if my muscle is in spasm then it is usually Angina. However if my O2 is low it can give a similar symptom?

    When I was taken into A&E with a raging temperature and poor breathing I was told to take my nitrate as I had a chest and back pain too. The pain went and it also cured my back pain from my compression fractures? Some times if you put a hot water bottle on the chest and it feels better it is a good indicator of angina plus a non chemical fix. But the summer is not the ideal time to do this is it as people think you are going mad getting a hot water bottle ready?

    Cardiologist is the best one to speak to about the condition.

    Be Well

  • Thanks so much Offcut, I'll give the hot water bottle a try. All best :)

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