Chest Pain

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I am a 29 year old male, in reasonable health; I have been having chest pain for a number of years since I was about 15.

For a few years it was put down to growing pains, then G.E.R.D, this was ruled out a number of years ago when I had a camera down my throat and everything was opening and closing fine.

The chest pains start in the centre of my chest normally with pain towards the left side of my chest bone; I also get pain in the middle of my back. I sweat and I sometimes get pins and needles.

I have ended up at A&E with these pains on 10+ occasions, I have ECG’s, blood tests and the doctors check me over and I always get the same response that apart from slightly high blood pressure they can find nothing wrong with me.

The pains normally happen on the occasions I will list, every time I have been abroad, I do not like flying, I have ended up in hospital / medical centre. Normally the following evening after drinking not heavily these pains began no pain while drinking. These used to be the 2 main times it would happen.

But lately the chest pains begin when I get to work, I work late normally 16:00 – midnight. I am fine during the day when I am at home, I sit down then I can feel the pain.

I have been cycling 15 miles a day for the last year without the chest pains. And the whole time I’m active and doing something I am fine, it just seems to start when I am relaxing.

Could anyone help or give me any indication of what you think it may be?

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  • Posted

    Hi Pompey84, Argyle71 here!

    I know exactly what you're talking about and Im sorry to hear of your news. I too have been going through something similar in the last couple of months and have been leaving no stone unturned. My problems started with nasty chest pains towards the left central side of my chest (and eventually ribs) approx 8 weeks ago and I got rushed into A&E as a precaution. As you did I underwent ECG's, xrays, echo's, bloods etc and there was no problem found - in fact they told me I was pretty healthy.

    I decided to take a private referral with both a cardiologist and also a respiratory expert, and to my amazement they diagnosed my problem as likely chest ligament damaged brought on by trauma (possibly a really bad cold). This is known as a neural myalgia or possibly costochondritis - there seems many variations and names depending on the exact damage and location of nerves / ligaments and the prognosis is good so long as you rest well and take appropriate pain killers (note chest bone and ligaments take may months to mend due to there location on the torso, there are some medications that can aid the recovery such as TENS machines, accupuncture etc).

    During my diagnosis however I've been having ongoing bouts of nausea, light headedness, panic attacks waking in the night, cold sweats (I blame NHS direct rushing me off to A&E in an ambulance) and generally just feeling really low. Anyway I honestly believe that my body has been creating lots of excess adrenaline to count act the fear Ive been having of there being something more wrong with my body (we have a family history of cardiac issues). My GP always refers to a "Fight or Flight" syndrome - maybe this is what happens when you're doing something stressful, and then this aggrevates your own particular problem.

    If you've discounted all the cardiac possibilities it might be a good idea to try and see a Neurologist (nerves) or a Rheumatologist (bones) as they may be able to give you a better idea of what issue is being flared up

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  • Posted

    Hi Argyle71

    Costochondritis has been discussed in the past, but every time this has happen whenever a GP or doctor at A&E has applied pressure to the areas the pain should be with costochondritis there has not been any. So this is as far as its gone.

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  • Posted

    Yes my chest pains are similar, the pressure points arent as sore as what other people report but remember that not all ligament damage will react in the same way, and other course everybody's levels of sensitivity differs.

    I'm not medically training by any sense (cant spell half the words that get thrown at me) but the symptoms you mention (ie sweats and tingling sensation) are associated with anxiety so could that be happening as a result of worry about the chest pain? I'd say look into buying one of those TENS machines (£20 on Amazon) and if that soothes your pressure points then maybe look into taking it further with a neurologist or rheumatologist

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  • Posted

    I have been to work for 6 hours tonight as soon as I sat down at work the pain started as soon as I saw sight of my house on the way home I'm sat here fine!! Which is making me think maybe it is some sort of anxiety.

    I got an appointment at the doctors in 10 days, anxiety has been brought up in the past and the only time the pain has gone away was in America when the doctors prescribed me anti anxiety pills. But when mentioned to a GP over here I was told I was properly high as it was a very strong dose, that's what made me forget I was in pain.

    I will bring this up again with my new GP as well as the costochondritis. Hopefully start getting somewhere.

    Thanks for the reply!!

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  • Posted

    Ask the GP to run a test for hypertension, then depending on what he says you may want to talk about possible ways of improving it (remember you've had it for a long time so your body has been tuned to behave in a certain way). I'd also recommended taking your bone/ligament damage further afield than the GP - I think it's probably a more specific field. Ask if you can get access to a neurologist or a rheumatologist. You may be able to do this through the NHS, if not try and get a private referral (a typical consultancy appt might cost £250 but check this out first). Good luck and let us know how you get on,

    Ps. Hope pompey stay up this year, being an argyle fan we've been through something similar to your decline (nothing like pain on pain!!)

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  • Posted

    Ps. You might want to use the more generic term of myalgia (MY-AL-G-A) rather than costocondritis. I think it may even be something like Intercostal Neuralgia (I've tried to post a link above) - as this is the nerves by the area rib where joins the sternum (ie the central chest area)
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies! I have made a note of what you have said and will bring it up with my GP.

    1 question with your costochondritis was it constant pain? As I have no pain when I am active, at home or out with friends or family. I only get the chest pain when I am at work! It’s strange! Did 25 miles on my bike today was fine! Got to work chest pain!!

    I don’t know if it’s got to the stage now where I am waiting for the pain to happen and it’s all in my head!!?

    I think we will be fine now we have got rid of Richie Barker I have never seen such an awful manager then him down here! Got Plymouth last game of the season at home, could be the team to send us down cheesygrin !

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  • Posted

    Evening mate. Only had it two months so far but I noticed it far more at the start than I do now. In started in the dip between the two breast areas on the boney part and then moved into other parts of the chest, down my ribs on my side and then up towards the shoulder area. I now only noticed the symptoms only whether I over exert myself (trying cutting the lawn last weekend and it killed me) or when I get stressed about something. That's why it's interesting that yours comes on when you're doing things that you dont particular enjoy and then forget them when you're out exercising / enjoying yourself. Does sound like a combo of stress and some sort of musclar-skeletal issue (get a get out with neurolagist or try one of those TENS machines out - might given some relief)

    Ps. Dont think we're capable of sending anyone down just now! We never believed we'd go down so never give up hope....

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  • Posted

    One last thought before I head off, but have you had anything like an ECG stress test done my anybody? Again I'm not an expert but it tries to stress you heart, rate, pulse under physical conditions to ensure that there arent any irregularities. See if you can get one of those (I havent done this bit yet but am planning on chatting up my GP at my next visit for another referral!)
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  • Posted

    Ps. Just read your post again, perhaps when you completed your bicycle ride you started breathing differently (more rapid) than when cycling? Perhaps that then hurts the nerves / ligaments. You should see a ligament specialist me thinks
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  • Posted

    Thanks Simon! Lots to bring up with the GP! I might just get her to read this! I will give 1 of them Tens machines a go, see if it helps!

    Thanks for your replys

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  • Posted

    Hi guys my names Jack, I am 23 years old and have been experiencing these exact symptoms since my second child was born in August. She was born with a rare condition called bladder exstrophy name will require a series of operations. I get stressed easy and worry a lot, I've put the pain down to anxiety for a while now and I need a release because it really takes its toll on me. I'm a young, healthy male I think I may have damaged my ribs during an anxiety attack would anyone know what I can do? Thanks
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    • Posted

      In the same boat as you mate around 2 months now, worst thing iv ever come across! I would recommend No physical activity obviously or alcohol, the reason I say alcohol is mines disappeared for a week or so and went out on the lash on Xmas eve and iv been bed ridden ever since sad The other guys comments above are useful
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    • Posted

      Yeah alcohol is no help. At the time I'm fine but the day after I feel restless, depressed and in pain thanks mate
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