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what kind of chest pain?


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cynthiaG Find out more about cynthiaG
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  • what kind of chest pain?

    when some of you mention that you experience chest pain, exactly what does it feel like?
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: what kind of chest pain?

    Cynthia, sometimes its like a pressure and then at times its like stabbing pain in the left side of the ribs right where the ribs meet and at times travels a bit further to the side. I have tightness when I lay down at night so I sleep proped up but I have not ben diagnosed with CHF as of yet. Im hoping that it was caught in time and that wont be in my future for a while. My biggest complaint is the pvcs.


    • #3
      Re: what kind of chest pain?

      My chest pain is more like wearing a girdle around my rib cage. I also get pains in the heart area, sometimes moderately sharp, and it often involves my left arm to the elbow. I just ease back and do very little until it goes away.

      I don’t know if this is HCM related or COPD related – they have to wait their turns. Anyway, I will get all this checked up on real soon. I do carry nitro in case of an emergency, and I go on living.


      • #4
        Re: what kind of chest pain?

        I also feel like the chest pains are like a sharp stabbing feeling on the left side and lately I have been getting alot of pressure too, lots with stress. I remeber when I was a teen, the doctors all said i was having growing pains, go figure.


        • #5
          Re: what kind of chest pain?

          I was told the same when I was a teenager. Maybe we were seeing the same doctor....lol


          • #6
            Re: what kind of chest pain?

            This is an interesting question and one that I have wondered about as well. For me there are at least three different kinds of pain depending on the situation, so I wonder if that is true for others as well.

            The one that seems to me to be the most scary is a squeezing pain that can radiate from my chest or back and eventually down my arm or to my throat. That one is clearly linked in my experience to shortness of breath and to feeling faint and occurs with exercise. The good news is that that one seems much less frequent since I started getting paced to reduce the gradient this summer. It gives me hope for getting along without major surgery.

            The second pain is a much duller pain that occurs right over my heart. It is sort of like the heart muscle is sore. It also occurs with exercise and has gotten more and more common over the past couple of years, but has been there for a long time. It does not spread from the one area as far as I can tell. In other words, it does not seem to be directly related to the first pain. I feel sure it occurs when the heart muscle is short of oxygen because last week it occurred on the two shorter hops as we ascended. These were small jets and probably less well oxygenated. The frequency of this pain has actually continued to increase since the pacing started, or maybe more realistically, it is just that because the other, more severe pain is less, this one is more obvious.

            The third pain is one that I have questioned as to whether it comes from my heart at all, but it does occur when I am tired, and at least my GP is absolutely convinced it is my heart. It is a fairly severe pain below my heart, even below my breast. This pain caused my first diagnosis of heart problems several years before the HCM diagnosis. It is incredibly frequent at this point, occuring virtually every day. It is a banner day when it is absent! In fact it is really bothering me right now, so I'll go to bed, since it is night here and we are trying to readjust to the time change.

            I'd love to hear whether any or all of these fit other people's experiences.


            • #7
              Re: what kind of chest pain?

              I have 3 types -
              1. - Upper back between shoulder blade - sometimes it moves into my neck and jaw. - lasts 15mins to 2 days (dont like this one!)

              2. Stabbing pain Left side - last a few minutes

              3. Pressure on the chest starts on left side moves into my neck sometimes last 1min to 1 hour.

              They seem to come in waves - I will get one type for a while - then it changes

              Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
              YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

              Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
              lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
              Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
              Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
              Currently not obstructed
              Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


              • #8
                Re: what kind of chest pain?


                I'm glad i'm not loosing my mind here....I feel much better now that i here all the different people complaining of the same pains

                Diagnosed 2003
                Myectomy 2-23-2004
                Husband: Ken
                Son: John diagnosed 2004
                Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

                Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9


                • #9
                  Re: what kind of chest pain?

                  I sometimes feel like someone is sitting on my chest . This normally happens when I have been running around chasing my son or cleaning up the mess he and his father make in my house. I also tend to notice that if I get really upset or angry I begin to feel pressure in my chest and upper back.
                  2.6 Septal Measurement
                  ICD Aug 2010 (pushed into it over 6 abnormal beats...hate it!!!)
                  "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special"
                  ~Steel Magnolia's~


                  • #10
                    Re: what kind of chest pain?

                    I think we can all agree there is variability of these types of chest pain in occurence of timing, location and intensity in the obstructed or non obstructed Hcm heart.
                    What I used to think was all related to the obstruction is not since my myectomy last October. I am able to see the difference and that we who are not obstructed any more experience a lot of similarities whether we had surgery or not. It is interesting ,but not comforting to note that the thickened ventricle which has stiffened in some is the culprit for some very intense discomfort at times.
                    I share that I have 2 kinds majorly . One is a stiff , rigid ,aching, tender, area in my left chest that radiates to my back on the left side often resulting in shortness of breath, dizziness and irregular beating of my heart. The other is left arm, shoulder and often jaw pain that varies in intensity and travels down towards my wrist. I HATE THEM BOTH. I wish we all shared the same eye color instead!
                    Take it slow . Pam
                    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


                    • #11
                      Re: what kind of chest pain?

                      Hi Guys,
                      I’m sorry to be jumping in again, but I forgot a couple of things. On occasion I also get a short sharp pain, like being stabbed in the heart. It only lasts a second or so, but when it occurs it forces you to stop walking, or whatever else you were doing. I believe someone else mentioned that they get this type of pain occasionally also.

                      The second is more a sequence of events then anything else. As soon as I try to do anything, I get SOB. If I continue my chest gets very tight and I get angina. I am so short of breath I can only gasp out one or two words at a time, and my legs get very wobbly and I also get light headed. (Actually that’s a misnomer, my head feels heavy and I get dizzy.)

                      X-rays have shown that I have degenerative arthritis in my upper back along with some bone spurs, but I seldom have any discomfort from that area. I just had my lower back x-rayed because I do have considerable pain from there – along with my tail bone, but I doubt this is HCM related.


                      • #12
                        Re: what kind of chest pain?

                        boy, I guess we have a variety of pain! I don't get any pressure pain or pain in my throat, arm shoulder. It is just a sharp pain that lasts for anywhere from 2 seconds to a minute...it would only hurt when I breathed in. A doctor told me once that sometimes a muscle spasm can feel that way...my husband gets the same type of pain and he doesn't have a heart problem. All I know now, is I am sick of these constant premature beats!! Doctor has increased my verapamil...240 mg. in thne a.m. and 120 in the p.m. It's been a couple of days and do not notice a difference..anyone had any luck with any other med???
                        \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

                        Ralph Waldo Emerson


                        • #13
                          Re: what kind of chest pain?

                          My chest pain was always a great burning sensation in the center of my chest...

                          " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "


                          • #14
                            Re: what kind of chest pain?


                            For me the pain has always been on the left side of my chest, radiating into my shoulder and down my arm, and on the left side of my neck especially. I've never had the crushing, tightness or burning sensation in my chest that many others do.

                            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


                            • #15
                              Re: what kind of chest pain?

                              Hi Cynthia!
                              My chest pain beginns with a mild but very annoying painful tingle that runs down both arms to my thumbs. As the pain progresses, it begins to feel as if some demon has placed a belt around my chest, just under the armpits. When the pain is mild, he holds the belt just tight enough that I can feel it is there when I start to inhale and expand my lungs. As it gets worse, the demon yanks the belt tighter and tighter. As he pulls, he also builds a little fire in the left side of the chest. He doesn't let up on the belt, but when the fire gets hot enough, I forget about the belt.

                              The sequence can stop at anytime. I have only gotten to the burning fire phase a few times. The thumb pain comes much more frequently. Most frequently it goes no farther than a good yank on the belt and lasts for about 15 minutes.