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Question

06 Oct 2006

pressure on chest
Hi Doc,
I get a feeling of pressure on my chest, I also get a slight dull pain in my left shoulder. When I lift both my arms above my head my chest hurts slightly. Could you be of any help.

Thanks and regards
Answer 295 views
Expert
HeartDoc

01 Jan 0001


Dear Gerald,

As with every other enquiry on the forum, I can suggest what it might be, but cannot make a diagnosis. For this, you need to be examined to elicit the clinical signs used to actually make the diagnosis. Also, I know nothing about your age, gender, relevant history etc. – all of these factors could make a huge difference in interpreting your symptoms.

Having said that, there are a few possibilities to consider. The most important one to consider is that of heart problems, which can often present as just a feeling of pressure in the chest. Usually, though, this is associated with physical effort, anxiety or stress, and is relieved by rest and calming down. Cardiac pain is usually referred to the arm or jaw, but can occasionally be felt in other areas like the shoulder. The way to sort this out is to be examined by your doctor, who will probably need to do an ECG and a chest x-ray.

Another possibility is muscular pain, which would fit with the pain being made worse when you lift your arms.

A third possibility is that of a lung problem, especially if you are a smoker. Here again, the only way to really reach a diagnosis is to have your lungs examined, and here a chest x-ray would be mandatory to search for lung pathology.

Gerald, from your description, it does not sound like a severe pain, or an urgent problem. However, if the problem persists, please see a competent doctor, because there could be a simple explanation and treatment to be had. The converse is also true – there could be a serious problem, just starting now, which could be easily treated/cured now, but may prove refractory if neglected.

Good luck.

Heartdoc
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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