Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
1542723 tn?1294447438

sharp pains in chest


Hello everybody, I am 47 year old male, 20 years smoker and got a heart attack whilst walking in the park last April. I was not overweight and have no family history of heart attacks. Both my parents are over 75 and reasonably healthy althougth have Diabetes. I, never, never expected I would be a victim of MI, in fact I refused to call the ambulance when my gut told me I was having a heart attack. It was almost an hour before I called for help and realised what a gem the NHS is.

Had emergency PCI, one stent in LAD and been on Aspirin, Clopdigrel, Ramipril 5mg, Bisoprolol 2.5 mg ( first was 5 mg ) Ormocor and 80mg Lipitor. I get pains in my chest in the heart/sternum area esp., when I wake up in the morning or Ilean to one side or twist my upper body. The pain is sharp but appears and ends abruptly lasting a few seconds.

Other then this I have done 10 mile treks, walk 3-4 miles most days, sometimes jog, walk up steephill at a brisk pace every other day. Sometimes walk up the stairs 30 times, which gets my sysyem going but don't suffer any pains. In the recent freezing temps we have had in UK I have walked and jogged in the park and had no problems.

But why do I get pains when I relax in bed or twist or stretch myself? Also when I cough I get the pain in the sternum area.Sometimes I even think I can feel the stent when I cough  ............ Am I being crazy here?
19 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
367994 tn?1304953593
Your chest pain symptoms does not conform to a heart related pain (angina).  Angina is usually chest pain when the heart doesn't receive a sufficent supply of blood/oxygen,  
and the chest pain will occur with exertion (more demand for oxygen) and subside woth rest.

Your discription of the chest pain indicates there may be a muscle soreness and/or cartilege inflammation that is associated with the sternum....costochondritis.  That condition has the hghest probability, but there can be other causes, but you can rule out a heart condition based on your self-reporting post.  

Thanks for sharing, and if you have any further questions or comments you are welcome to respond.  Take care.
Helpful - 0
1137980 tn?1281285446
Good morning i read your post as well....i think that with your history the best plan of attack is to definately contact your heart doc and tell them what is going on.  It may or may not be heart related but i definately would not take a chance w. your hx. with your heart.  There is something that is called unstable angina that occurs with the heart and can come and go at its own will but having  suffered a prior heart attack you want to make sure that the stent hasn't managed to build up plaque again if that was the issue originally.  You want to get an answer about this front a doc because our bodies and hearts send us out all sorts of warning issues before something pops up and any pain in the heart region or pressure is always suspect.  I would call the doc the first chance you get and because you are not feeling this during activity really in my opinion has nothing to do with whether or not it may or not be heart related. That is why when we have heart attacks its called a silent killer...get proactive....get the answers from your doctor because he/she really are the only ones who know your complete medical history and what the warning signs are that would apply to you.I don't think that you can take any chances here especially with a stent in place..........good luck w. this and let us know what the doc says.....
Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
QUOTE: "Sometimes walk up the stairs 30 times, which gets my sysyem going but don't suffer any pains. In the recent freezing temps we have had in UK I have walked and jogged in the park and had no problems".

But why do I get pains when I relax in bed or twist or stretch myself? Also when I cough I get the pain in the sternum area.Sometimes I even think I can feel the stent when I cough"

>>>>For clarification regarding unstable angina is chest pain that is sudden and gets increasingly worse. The chest pain: "Occurs without cause (for example, it wakes you up from sleep), lasts longer than 15 - 20 minutes, responds poorly to a medicine called nitroglycerin. May occur along with a drop in blood pressure or significant shortness of breath".

I disagree with the other poster. It doesn't make sense to say one can have ischemic angina when at rest and no ischemia with exertion!   If that were true that would indicate less demand for oxygenated blood with exertion than with rest. Exercise INCREASES demand for oygenated blood, rest REDUCES demand for oxygenated.  

Also, body movement, twists, turns, coughing,etc. does not cause angina pectoris. There is a condition called prinzemetal angina or variant agnina that occurs as a spasm of the coronary vessel and can occur at any time without a known cause.  But that can almost be ruled out as well.

Hope this helps clarify any angina issues. I may not have gone into enough detail and caused some confusion.  Alanz, the feeling the stent seems odd, do you have more information on that?  




Helpful - 0
1137980 tn?1281285446
No matter what ANY of our opinions are Atanz you need to bring this to the attention of your physician...as the Community Leader of the Medhelp Angina Site and with years of experience in the medical field it is for your physician only to make the decisions on what is happening to you and with he/she taking your entire medical history into account.....the issue here really isn't about angina or anything else but your well being and physical safety...please let us know how this works out for you and i sincerely wish you the best....absolutely nothing can be diagnosed on any Medhelp site nor anything ruled out ... especially with matters of the heart...best to leave that to the professionals Atanz
Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding my post.  We all can agree that infromation provided by members on this forum is to help provide insight into the medical problem to a posted question whenever possible and not be a substitue to for a doctor's evaluation.  With the CORRECT information provided the individual can better discuss their medical concern with their doctor.  If and when I make an error I would want my mistake corrected and one can learn even if they are whatever... I have been doing this type volunteer work for about 10 years, with thousands of posts...others on this forum have equal or better credentials with unique experiences as well.  We all learn from each other.

It should and I believe it is generally understood that we are not providing medical advice but providing a perspective.  I have been thinking that maybe all responses by members should end with a signature statement that we are not professionals and not a substitute for a doctor's advise rather than take it as a given that many have an understanding regarding that issue. That information as well as additional information is available by MedHelp and should be read!

I'm sorry if I hurt someone's feelings by providing corrective information regarding the subject of interest, but please don't categorize that information as a substitue for not seeing their doctor.  Relax enjoy the holidays. :)  

Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438

First of all thank you both for having taken the time to reply to my post. Yes, I do appreciate that the replies from members here is not to be take as medical advice to be acted upon or to replace the function that my GP and Cardiologist perform. My medical care begins with and ends with my GP and Cardiologist. So there is no need for Kenkeith or any others to add a signature or cavaet - ( on my account at any rate )

The National Health Service a national treasure and I owe my life to the great people working to help the sick and infirm but they don't have much time to explain whats going on and whats going to be done. Since that terrible day ( April 13, just ten days shy of my 47th birthday ) I have felt alone, not in the physical sense but more of being lost as to why, how and what was going to happen. Above all else there was this bitter feeling of "why me?". Talking to family and friends is fine but they can't relate to what has happened to you, that this has had a profound effect.

But these forums not only  help you give a perspective but you feel part of a group of people who at some level are in the same boat and such can relate to you and understand better whar your going through. I may never understand why this happened, I may never develop a bettter perspective on my condition but talking about this sure helps me to feel better. Its my way of fighting this damn thing I have.

And yes I shall be making a appointment to see my GP ASAP and will let you guys know what he said.

BTW I hope you both ( and others here ) had a great Xmas.
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438

I think I can feel the stent sometimes, I know it sounds absurd and its probably me being silly but after I brush my teeth I always brush my tongue and I am very particular about this. When I brush the tongue at the back of the mouth it triggers off stomach spasms, as if your getting sick and the wave travellars upwards and as it travels over the heart area I get this distinct pain - feeling,  I am convinced thats the stent. I get the same feeling in the same spot when I cough. I understand that there are no nerves but hell I feel what I feel, maybe like I said I am imagining things, but I still remember when the PCI was performed I felt intense pain for a few seconds at the same spot and the total relief, I believe that was the clot being removed and stent being placed at that spot.
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438

Just a quick summary of events since my MI on 12 April last. Stemi MI, emergency PCI and one stent placed in LAD some two to three hours after event began. Discharged after 5 days.

Two weeks later back in CCU after suspected ACS, Angioplasty performed to see if stent was on the way to get blocked. Angio results were positive, stent was fine, no problems detected, sent home.

Month later back in CCU, suspected ACS, released the nexty day, Cardio., suggested I relax and said there appear to be no problems and that I was giving myself anxiety attacks etc and that my vital signs were excellant. His words were "my LV function was good, my BP was well controlled" ( in fact it was on average 90 over 65 which was fine but sometimes if I relaxed and sat down it would drop down to 85 and I would start to get light headed.My Bisoprolol dosage was reduced to 2,5 mg from 5mg which led to increase in my BP to some 105 over 75 which is the present staus and I am fine by it).

My lipids profile was excellant - some 2,5 and my weight is 72 Kg with fat percentage at 20% which again is excellant.

I completed my Rehab and in the bleep test  ( with one test at start of the Rehab where I scored very good even before we began our programme ) according to the nurse who manafed the test in her 7 years there I had scored the second best. My fellow patients at the rehab would joke I had been given a "superstent" because I could keep on and on the treadmil etc without tiring.

In the last check by Cardio I was told everything was excellant and that "I would live to a grand old age"  I told him I don't know if that is true but by god I feel good. I have twin girls three years old, it would be nice to see them grow up.

Every few weeks I go on ten trek. Every day I jog - Walk minimum of 3 miles, sometimes 5 miles, I jog/walk in the localpark which has 1.2 mile track which has ups and downs. Last week it was minus 5 and I was scared of getting the cold would trigger angina so was wearing thermals and four layers of clothing. After doing mile of walking jogging despite the cold I was sweating so had to take off all three layers of clothes and jogged with just the thermals on with rest of my clothes wrapped around my arm. Should have seen the look of some people, if ony they had known I had got a MI few months before :)

But these pains I get now have me worried.
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438
I do have Ectopic heartbeat but Cardio says thats nothing to be worried about, I have never had angina attack and never needed the use of that Nitro spary they gave me. In fact Don't bother carrying it around now.

I have had pains before just below the breastbone but my GP prescribed some medicine for Ulcers brought on by the Aspirin.

BTW before I got the MI I never had any warning, any pain or anything that might have suggested I would get MI. I thought I was fit for my age and never needed the services of the NHS and never expected to need the NHS at least till my later years. Then bang !!!.

Thats why I ask myself why? GP says the smoking did it. I have given smoking up now.
Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
I had had a silent heart attack as well 7 years ago, I know the feeling as I never thought I would have a heart condtion...no family history, no symptoms, felt well, etc. But medication has normalized heart size and the heart pumps normally.

Regarding the feeling of a stent when brushing, that could be what is called "referred sensation".  It may not be unlike the pain an amputee feels to an amputed foot that is no longer existing...the nerves remain and can be activated from another source.  Just a thought!

Take care and I wish you well going forward.
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Do you get a discomfort in your throat when the pains start?
Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
Just curious.  What do you have in mind if there is discomfort in the throat and pain starts?
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438
No, I don,t or at least I don,t think I  get any discomfort in the throat - I will pay more attention to this because when I do get the pains I tend to get stressed out and get consumed by whats happpening in the chest area.

And Kenkeith its nice to hear your doing fine after going a through a difficult patch.

Regards ... Take care
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
"Just curious.  What do you have in mind if there is discomfort in the throat and pain starts?"

I will come back to this on tuesday after my appointment with my cardiologist. Very interesting though and even more so that the poster is also in the UK.
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438
thank you for taking your time
regards....take care
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
" it was minus 5 and I was scared of getting the cold would trigger angina so was wearing thermals"

Just a word of caution, it isn't usually the cold on the skin which triggers angina, it's breathing the cold air into your lungs which seems to trigger it. Two years ago I wrapped up like an eskimo, sweated indoors for a few minutes then went out into the cold. As soon as I inhaled that cold air into my lungs, I had to go back indoors.
Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
The winters are quite severe in North Dakota, and I shovel snow (increase heart workload) and snow blower in below zero weather without any problems, and I have known occluded vessels.  It is my understanding it is the cold weather on one's body proper that increases the risk.  That, I am told, is due to the vessels close to the outer perimeter constrict to provide more blood to the vital organs...the colder the more constriction.  To double the risk eat a large meal and go out into the cold weather.  Eating a large meal requires a significant blood supply to digest.

Just researched as I never had the problem: "Skin cooling seems to be far more important in its effect on heart load and the working capacity in patients with effort angina than inhalation of moderately cold air; inhalation of very cold air, however, does cause changes in working capacity similar to those of exposure to a cold environment. Increase in heart work during exercise is likely to cause the decrease in working capacity observed both with skin cooling and cold air inhalation". Pub-Med.


Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Just read this one....


"In a randomised order, 12 men with stable angina, whose medication had been stopped, underwent two separate symptom limited treadmill exercise tests. At one visit the patients exercised while breathing room air and at the other visit they exercised while breathing cold air from a specially adapted freezer. Serial peripheral venous blood samples were taken for ET-1 and AT-II estimations during each visit."

"CONCLUSIONS: Cold air inhalation in patients with stable angina results in an earlier onset of angina and a reduction in exercise capacity. Both peripheral and central reflex mechanisms appear to contribute to the phenomenon of cold intolerance.

Helpful - 0
367994 tn?1304953593
Yup!  That is consistant with what I have read on PubMed. But working in very cold weather without proper clothing can cause cardiac arrest, chest pains not with standing. Read about it every year.

Other causes can be exposure to hot weather temperature and eating a large meal as well. You state you were heavily dressed and sweating inside a warm room...that can trigger an event as well. Just the effort of moving around with a lot of clothing on can cause angina and top that off with sweating can be can cause a heart attack.  You should shed your clothing and cool down especially if you are experiencing angina...
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Community

Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538180937
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506080564
Netherlands
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.