Heart & Cardiology/heart pain or not


hi 36 male
in 12/2007 i was diagnosed with sinus tachy and given 50 mg of atenenol per day . i have always had days with chest pain off and on, and i am always told its anxiety, take advil take tylenol and asprin and it will be ok. then this past OCTOBER i was hospitalized for my heart going to afib with no underlying cause, i was converted back with IV medication. and a follow up to the cardiologist put me on more atenenol now i take 75mg a day. latley i have been aware of my heart beat scared ill go back into afib and i wake up with chest pain , sort of a dull center chest pain. is this something to do with my heart ? im just a worry wart and dont want anything to happen to me. IN octobert before the afib about 1 week prior i had a stress test, echo and ekg all was well. I also saw a neurologist for un related numbness and he is know asking for me to be seen again at cardioloist to check for PFO . but i think any good cardiologist would have looked for that in the last 5 years of tests? i just dont know what to do .

Hello Matt,

The echo would have shown a PFO, probably.  If the technician knew to look for one.  Better get another echo specifically  looking for PFO.

Chest pain in a young person is usually cramping of muscles in the chest wall.  If pushing on the painful area modifies the pain (makes it better or worse), or if the pain is relieved by bending the body away from the painful area, that proves the pain is from chest  wall.  Even if these maneuvers donít affect the pain, itís still probably chest wall.  Pain caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart is extremely rare below age 40. Chest wall pain is no threat to life or health, just a big nuisance.  Safest management is just to ignore the pain, though Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofren usually help.

Please write back if this doesnít answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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