Heart & Cardiology/Chest Pain


I'm a 31 year old female. 219 pounds. 5'5. My mom has coronary artery disease with 4 stents placed at 49. She was a smoker and diabetic. I am not. For the last 4 weeks, I have been having pain in my left shoulder blade, neck, left chest occasional, but mostly in the crease of my left chest and arm. Could this be heart related? I've had an EKG that was fine. My Dr thinks its muscle, but said he couldn't rule out heart because of my mom. He's my moms family dr.

Hello Lisa

Chest pain in a young person is usually cramping of muscles in the chest wall and neck.  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.   Your pain is almost certainly chest wall and not heart.

Please write back if this note 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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