Does anyone have relief for chest pain?

Posted , 18 users are following.

Hey, Everyone. I’m new here and I’m looking for help. I was diagnosed with achalasia very young. I had the Heller Myotomy when I was 12 years old and I’m now 26. My esophagus has since tightened back up and eating is very difficult, but it is nothing compared to the chest pain I get. I’ve been experiencing this pain off and on for as long as I can remember. The first time I experienced it, I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain will sometimes radiate through my chest, into my jaw and down my arms. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to agonizing HOURS. I’ve tried tracking the food I eat or the activities I do to see if there’s some sort of pattern or connection in hopes of finding out what causes it, but I can’t seem to put the pieces together. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It can happen in the middle of the day while I’m at work, or it will sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night. I can go weeks without having it and then all of the sudden have it every day. It’s almost paralyzing, and I’m not being dramatic. I’ve been to my doctor dozens of times and nothing we’ve tried seems to work. Does anyone experience something similar? If so, is there anything that helps you relieve the pain? I’m desperate and any help would be greatly appreciated. 

0 likes, 35 replies

35 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, awe you poor thing having this dreadful condition for a young person is heartbreaking, I thought I was young at 18yrs. I too suffer from these inscuciating chest pains and, like yourself it travels down my arms and, even my teeth. Unfortunately I have yet to find anything that helps. You will find some good advice on here. I find going for a walk or, doing an activity to try and, take my mind off it until it passes. At the moment it is occurring on a daily basis. I drink ice cold milkshake that eases it a little. I wish I had the answer for you but, unfortunately I can’t advise you of any sure remedy. I’m not too familiar with any of the new procedures that are available today. But, I can say this forum has helped me a great deal and, I hope you can take some comfort in that you are not alone with this. I would definitely arrange to see your gastroenterologist again that’s for sure. Good luck and, hopefully they will be able to help you. Don’t just put up with it as I know how debilitating it can be when you have a full life to enjoy and, sleepless nights when you have to go to work must be draining you which probably isn’t helping if you are feeling a little anxious x
  • Posted

    Sorry you’ve had to deal with this at such an early age. There are many things that one can take to lessen your pain, but First you have to get your Dr. to understand what’s causing it. I personally take nitroglycerin tabs for my esophageal spasms. Good luck. 


  • Posted

    Aciphex (a type of PPI) helped ease my spasms enormously. None of the other PPIs I tried worked, and I don't understand how or why a PPI can help with esophageal spasm related pain but am grateful it did. I am now on the generic drug, Rabeprazole, which is also helping. Aciphex is very expensive so perhaps trying the generic first may be best.

    I know how bad the spasms can be and am glad you are feeling better!

  • Posted

    OMG! Yes, I experience the same problem. No rhyme or reason. I guess I am used to it, but when it happens it seems to scare those around me. Its embarrassing st work. I don't know about you, but I end up feeling the need to throw up, but yet I can't due to my esophagus not working! My previous GI doctor prescribed Nitroglycerin under the tongue which does seem to help me if I catch it right when the pain starts. I have heard drinking milk or warm water helps also, but have yet to try either. I don't understand why this has happened. I recently found out I now have gastroparesis. I feel like the disease is moving down. I wish you well and would love any advice too!

    • Posted

      I completely understand! It’s so embarrassing! I’m a hairdresser and when it happens at work there’s really nothing I can do. This disease is SO frustrating and as awful as it sounds, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone. I’m so sorry to hear of your gastroparesis. That is awful and I wish you the all the best. Definitely read through the comments! There are some really great tips. The banana trick worked for me the other day when I felt the chest pain coming on and I definitely think the magnesium is helping. My pain is not completely gone, but I think it’s definitely helped. I’m not having them as frequently as I used to. 

      I wish you the best, Sarah! Keep your chin up!! 

    • Posted

      Hi Sarah, I have had the most awful abdominal distension that is pushing all my organs up inside and, putting pressure on my lungs. This started around 12 weeks ago, it’s incredibly painful and, although I’m losing my weight I can’t fit into my clothes due to the distension. I attended an appointment to see one of my surgeons by way of a follow up after having the tests done and, to further discuss an oesopegetomy. However when he saw me he was astonished to say the least. An urgent CT scan was arranged as both he and my gastroenterologist suspected a tumour. Thankfully it isn’t but, they don’t know what is causing the distension, they are totally stuck. Results have shown that I am not compacted or, in anyway constipated. I feel as you say that the Achalasia has traveled but, he said it is nothing to do with the Achalasia?? although I have been told by the person that did the last manametry that it can travel throughout the digestive system as my anal sphincter dosnt relax now as well. A condition they call Anismus. They want to arrange one final dilation in the hopes that this will help but, they are doubtful and, I’m certain it won’t work as my oesophagus is in very bad shape, baggy and, not sitting in its rightful position. I’m on a liquid diet now which is helping with my stomach, as soon as any amount of mushy food hit my stomach the pain was and, is incredible lasting from 15-30 minutes before subsiding. And, as for the chest pains which seem to be occurring more often since the manametry test last December I have been unable to do or, find anything that helps. I just wait for it to burn itself out. There is some great advice on here that works for others but, I can’t find anything. I have asked whether others suffer from a abdominal distension but, I havnt heard from anybody that has. It hasn’t gone away in 12 weeks and, as soon as I’m up and, about throughout the day it just gets bigger and, bigger causing me backache and, if I am sat in an upright position I become even more breathless even just talking.

      Take care

    • Posted

      Wow! I am so sorry to hear of the abdominal distention! I too am having that issue, maybe not to your severity though. I am told it's due to the Gastroparesis. I feel huge most of the time and so uncomfortable. I often feel out of breath and have been getting dizzy. I am wondering now if it's due to the fact that I may not be getting enough oxygen?? Does this happen to anybody else? 

      How are you now? Any answers to the abdominal distention?

  • Posted

    Hello, oh the dreadful chest pain. I suffer and, have suffered with it since 1991, the pain radiates down my arms even my teeth ache. I personally have not found anything that has helped me and, they can last from an hour to two days without warning. I can not relate it to any part of my diet, no matter what I eat it does not make a difference with me personally. There are a lot of people that say ice cold water, bananas help. And, of course there are the PPi’s out there but, I have yet to find the magic cure. However in my case I find a little bit of milk chocolate helps a little, crazy I know and, probably just a placebo effect but, I find it helps. The worse thing you can do is not eat or, drink anything whilst having an episode, even at its worst try to eat something light like some soup or, porridge. I find if I don’t push myself on to drink something ie milkshake or, hot chocolate whatever I can get down at the time the pain lasts longer.  But, this is just my own personal experience. You maybe sick which is never favourable but, for me I just have to wait for that fire to burn itself out. There is a wealth of advice on here and, I hope you find something that gives you some relief. You just have to fight that pain and, hard as it is you have to keep yourself moving. Take care x
  • Posted

    i am suffering from long time . i get badly chest plain. At that time I drink sprite cold drink ans some times I drink cold water. After that my pain subsides slowly .
  • Posted

    Hi K,

    You are obviously well informed re Achalasia treatment etc, but one lesser known  thing that helps me  is High Strength Magnesium and Vitamin B. I also take a Calcium Channel Blocker on prescription. These help with both spasm pain  and muscle relaxation. 

    I rarerly get spasm pain now, but if I do a gulp of ice cold water can stop it instantly... (weirdly warm water for some). Above all keep those stress levels down!:0 so easy to say lolsmile 

    Wishing you healthy karma,


    • Posted

      Hi again,

      I forgot to say, its important to try and work out if your pain is muscular spasm or acid reflux related. For those that have had surgical treatment, there is always a chance that what feels like an A muscular spasm might be acid. Obviously acid can be controlled as per GERD advice etc; especially eating less/healthy often... Spasms are a bit trickier, but I hope my first advice helps... 

  • Posted

    I know exactly what you're going through........also like I was listening to myself tell someone about these attacks. You cannot explain this to anyone who hasn't gone through it, including some doctors. I had a H. Myotomy around 2006 after not being able to eat much of anything for 10 months. Even water wasn't going down many times. My chest pain actually began in 2004 while working in a restaurant before the surgery. I thought I was having a heart attack and sat in the back room. I was losing 25# per month for a total of 140#, and thought I was going to die. My diet consisted of water, hard candies, Lipton powered cups of soup with some PB & J swirled in for some calories, and certain cream soups would sometimes go down amazingly. I've been able to eat and swallow food since the surgery but I have been getting those chest pain attacks periodically ever since. What a nuisance, and very painful! The chief of surgery at Mass General hospital, who performed my H.M. in 2006 when I was about 34 yrs. old, said there was nothing that could be done about it. What I found, was that I had much less of these attacks when my diet was cleaner and more healthy. Poor food choices seem to make it worse. The ONLY thing that works for me, but takes some time to ride it out, is sipping water repeatedly while I lay on my back almost flat with my head propped up on 2 pillows..... or in my car with the seat back . I drink the equivalent of between 3-4 bottles of water, and even more for bad ones. It's room temp, but I'll drink it at any temp when the pain comes. After the 3rd bottle, I usually feel what I think is trapped gas, starting to break up and move around in my chest. Sometimes gas does exit and I feel better. It takes on avg. about 45 minutes to an hr. for the pain to subside. I've had it last several hrs also. There's other symptoms like retching, gagging, nausea, cold sweats, coughing, spitting up some foam along with the severe chest pain that shoot around my upper body. Its a burning pain sensation along with acute sharp chest pain in the center. I'm now turning 47 next month. I still deal with these highly unwelcome painful attacks. I'm going to try bananas to see if helps me. Thanks for sharing that by the way. I hope that by now you and others have found some comfort or something that helps. I just figured I'd share what works for me with hopes that it'll help you or someone else out. Not an easy thing to deal with, but I always remember there are people in much worse situations.

  • Posted

    I have had the same chest pains for 7 yrs. They come on out of nowhere. My longest was 6 hrs. I will tell you that my blood pressure would go up to 210/115 while having a attack which led me even more to think it was a heart attack. My drs put me on a blood pressure medication and now I still get the attacks but the pain is less and my pressure has gone down to 160/90. I also use to think it was food related, or gas. The attacks got worse after I had my gall bladder removed. Last thing is, ask your dr for some .5mg Ativan. When I feel one coming one I take one or if a bad attack I htake 2 tabs. It relaxes me which helps all round. When I remember to use the ativan the attacks usually only last about 30min. Good luck. You are not alone. I ve had Achalashia Type 3 for 8 yrs.

  • Posted

    my husband manages the disease with the following

    taking magnesium tablets,

    avoiding dairy and desserts after 6pm

    one can of coke a day with dinner

    having an expresso after dinner

    when pain n in chest comes... he eats s banana.

    hope this helps

    NB also stopped taking his anti acid medication as it was making him very phlemmy

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