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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Sharp Needle-Like Chest Pains

 dzelensky - Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:59 pm

Hello, my name is Danny, I am a male and I am 19 years old. I do not smoke, don't do drugs, and drink seldom. I have no know family history of heart problems. I am physically active and visit the gym about 4-5 times a week. More recently in my life I have been experiencing some chest pains. At first they were a tightness feeling in my chest. I was concerned and visited a doctor. He checked me out and said that everything was fine. It was probably just a muscle spasm. He told me that the chest pains would not happen again. But they did and now they feel like a sharp needle-like pain. I cannot tie these pains to any of my activities except when I work out hard, they become more frequent. I am just curious as to if these pains are of concern and how to go about with dealing with them.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:52 pm

User avatar Hello Danny - The type of pain you describe is rarely, if ever associated with serious heart problems, although that doesn't really address your question. There are a number of less serious things that can cause this sort of discomfort, including something called costochondritis, a sometimes recurrent inflammation of the cartilege between i or more pairs of ribs. This can cause sharp, sticking type pains, and can be aggravated by certain movents, deep breathing, twisting of the torso, etc. If you can duplicate your pain by breathing or upper body movement this is almost certainly the problem. If so, something like ibuprofin (Advil or Motrin) should help.

Other non-threatening causes of sharp chest pains can be referred pain due to upper GI issues like gass or even esophogeal reflux, simple muscle irritation (as your doctor suggested, although there is no reason to say that any sort of pain would not at least possibly occur again, since whatever caused them the first time could easily be repeated later).

One benign heart condition which can also cause this sort of pain is mitral valve prolapse (MVP), which is essentially harmless but can cause any number of odd and sometimes alarming symptoms. Most people with this condition will tolerate exercise just fine, even though they may have sharp, sticking type chest pains, occasional shortness or breath, unexplained fatigue, anxiety - or none of the above.

If your pain only occurs when you are exercising vigorously it may be prudent to see the doctor again and, if it wasn't done before, at least have a 12-lead EKG done. If that were to show up anything even slightly suspicious, then an echocardiogramn would be the next step. However, it is likely that the whole question could be settled with an EKG. It sounds like a benign and non-cardiac-related problem, especially if you find it responds to something like Advil.

Good luck to you and please do stay in touch.
 johnruben - Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:19 pm


I am currently having Sharp Needle Piercing Pain in my right chest, i am not addicted to any alcohols, drugs or smoking. the pain stays for 2-3 seconds or sometimes 5-7seconds and i keep burping and the pain reduces, my stomach is hard suddenly this pain radiates in my right shoulder and backwards and also sometimes i feel my entire chest is like someone's holding them tightly. could this be any issues related to heart problems ?

I have undergone 3 major surgeries, in 2006 met with a accident and broken my spine and i have 8screws and 2 rods in my back, which i quickly recovered in 2 months and i am normal, but in 2007 i underwent appendicitis and in 2009 i had stones in my gall bladder which they removed my gall bladder. my last surgery was only couple of months back, can this pain be because of this last surgery?

also I had gastric problems, but not major like ulcer, just small inflammation and i used to keep burping most of the time since i don't have food in time due to my work timings, so i want to know can gastric cause chest pain (mild as well as sharp), becauase i never had chest pain before ?

i am so confused and after 3 major surgeries i am so afraid to goto hospital, please help me, thanks in advance

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