Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I feel chest heat and pain and arm numbness?"
Hi, I have been feeling a burning pain in my chest for a couple of months now it stopped for some weeks but now its back, I visited the ER and the doctors said I'm okay but now the pain is back, my left arm also feels numb and the pain is moving up my neck to my face. What could this problem be?
I am sorry to hear about your symptoms, but am glad that you have been seen in the emergency room. I would recommend that you continue to work with your primary care physician or cardiologist for further evaluation. Chest pain can come from several places, including the heart, the lungs, the stomach/esophagus, and the muscles/bones. A burning pain in the chest that is associated with food and an acid taste in the mouth is most likely from acid reflux. If you have cough, shortness or breath, and/or a fever, chest pain could be caused by pneumonia or blood clots in the lung. If the pain gets worse when you press on your chest, the pain is most likely from the muscles or bones. The heart is often the most worrisome source of chest pain. It is usually made worse with exertion and is classically described as a "crushing" or "pressure-like" pain. Cardiac chest pain can be associated with nausea, vomiting, and sweating, and can also cause numbness/tingling or pain that extends to the left arm, neck, and/or jaw. The description of your symptoms is potentially worrisome for cardiac chest pain, and you should be evaluated further. In the emergency room the physicians likely ran some tests including an EKG and perhaps some blood work. If you were not having active chest pain at the time of the EKG, it may not have captured a potential problem with the arteries that feed the heart. The best way to ensure your heart and its arteries are healthy is to undergo a cardiac stress test. Your primary care physician or cardiologist should be able to arrange this, and I would recommend that you schedule an appointment to discuss this as well as some of the other possibilities for your pain as detailed above. Importantly, if your chest pain is getting worse, associated with shortness of breath, or is otherwise more concerning than usual, it is always a good idea to return to the emergency room. I hope that you feel better soon!
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