Heart, shoulder and arm pain…



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit


This is a relatively common complaint. And it can be deadly.

The nerve supply for structures in the chest and the arms comes from the neck. As a result, there is some degree of cross communication.

For instance, the pain and pressure of a heart attack is often felt in the left shoulder, arm, and sometimes even the face.

This kind of pain will often, but not always, be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sweating, and feeling “lousy.”

Another example is pain from lung diseases which may be felt in the shoulders. Examples would be pneumonia, pleuritis, and malignancy.

By the same mechanism, disorders of the neck can cause pain in the shoulder, arm, and chest region. It’s not uncommon for somebody who has a cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck) to complain of aching in the shoulder or pain running down

the arm. Even chest pain can occur.

Patients with shoulder bursitis often have pain that radiates into the outside part of the arm. When these patients also have arthritis in the joint that joins the collarbone to the breast bone they may also have chest pain.

Patients with myofascial pain can sometimes have disturbing pain in the chest, shoulder, and arm. Myofascial pain syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion... meaning it’s important to rule out all the other more serious types of reasons for pain before settling on this as the diagnosis. Myofascial pain and fibromyalgia are sometimes used interchangeably when describing soft tissue forms of arthritis. Semantics aside, soft tissue disorders should be considered as a possible cause of this complex of symptoms.


Get more information about heart, shoulder and arm pain and related conditions as well as...


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