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30 Nov 2005

Feels like muscle pain in the chest
A bit more than a year ago I was very stressed and at work I bent down and when I came back up, it felt like I was having a heart attack. All the muscles in my chest was aching and I couldn't use my left arm. I went to the doctor and he did an ECG and he said everything was fine and sent me to the physio. I went everyday for about 2 wks without much results. I then went to a chiro and it seemed to work and eventually that pain went away (I did get about 2 of those attacks again in the next 3 weeks but not as severe). Now more than a year later I still get a pain in the chest (mostly on the left side just above on the right side of my left breast). It's never gone away completely, and it feels like everytime I stress about something, I get the pain. But now with the training i feel it more often (everyday). It feels like the muscle is tearing from the bone (like chin splints but in the chest) That's the only way I can describe it. I've been hoping it will go away, but it makes me afraid and I'm constantly afraid of getting that bad attack again. I play hard squash about 4 times a week and gym almost everyday, but I'm not sure what to do to let this pain go away. I'm 28yrs old and it doesn't affect me when i do sport at all. It's when I stress and after an upperbody work out when I get stiff then I also feels those pains a lot, but it's not like your normal chest stiffness. please help.
Answer 429 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lizel,

This could still be a muscle problem, as it occurs after your upper body workout. It does not sound cardiac at all.

You need specialist advice in two areas here. For your upper body muscles, the best person to approach would be an orthopaedic surgeon, or a medically qualified sports trainer. To exclude heart problems, the person to see would be a cardiologist. Please note that I have specially not included GP’s or chiropractors or physiotherapists, for a reason. Their training is not focused on the sort of diagnostic expertise you need. Besides, you have already tried them with little success. So I suggest that you get specialist advice here.

However, you do seem to be involved in excessive physical activities. Remember, that even a small injury can cause extreme discomfort if it is not allowed to heal. By constant , and hard exercise, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Try slowing down for a few days, and see if the situation improves.

The connection with “stress” could be spasm of the oesophagus, which can occur by itself, or can be in response to the reflux of acid up the oesophagus. During period of stress, the stomach can produce too much acid, some of which travels back up the oesophagus, causing irritation and spasm, and this can cause pain in the chest area.

Try to get to a specialist. Good luck.

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