Heart & Cardiology/Frequent chest pain

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Question
I am a 45 y.o. male about 5'10" and 215lbs.  Currently taking a statin and my numbers are good.. (BP, EKG, Heart Rate, HDL/ LDL) but have been getting frequent localized chest pains for years.  More recently I've been getting left side stabbing pain which lasts a few seconds but flares up every 2-3 minutes, mostly when sitting.  I've been told I have costocondritis by a few Dr's but am not sure if this repeated stabbing pain is that or something more sinister.  Do you have any thoughts on the cause and when to be concerned?   Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Rich

Answer
Hello Rich,

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.  Costochondritis causes pain where ribs join breastbone.  At any rate, i think you need not be concerned about stabbing chest pain.

Please write back if this note doesnít answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

Publications
Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

Education/Credentials
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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