Thursday, July 31, 2008 Ambra, Community Member, asks

Q: Chest pains?

Does anyone have problems with chest pain when they are experiencing a flare up? I've mentioned to my Rheumy but she didn't seem concerned. I was wondering if it's a common symptom

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Answers (12)
AmyAria, Community Member
8/ 1/08 10:26am

Holy Schmoly!  THANK YOU!!!!   I have had this off an on for YEARS!!  Complete with the occasional, expensive and ultimately unproductive trips to the emergency room!  I thought I had this chalked up to asthma, which I also have, but it still never sat totally square with me.  Allergist kept saying the pain must feel like "heaviness when you inhale".  I'm finally like, well no but ok cuz that's the closest thing I've found to an explanation.  But really?  Really truly?  It's a total sharp pain like something grabs you out of nowhere and it completely stops you in your tracks.  It's like you don't even want to move or breath cuz it hurts so bad.  Is that what you guys experience?  It even makes me holler out sometimes, scaring the crap out of the cats not to mention the kids.  I've had same response from Rheumy too. He's like, "Really?  Huh." Then moves on.  It's just frustrating cuz it HAS to be something.  I'm not making it up!

supermom, Community Member
1/12/14 10:51am

I have had the same chest pains as you for years. They could never find anything wrong with my heart. The ER doctor would just tell me to get there sooner the next time if happen. Well that is what I did this week. I told the doctor I was tired of getting the same answer of 'I don't know'. He believes it is rheumatoid arthritis. I know that isn't good news but I just want an answer to what it is.

Thriving Woman, Community Member
5/ 1/14 8:15am

I so hope that you get this. Yes, I have had this same thing. E/R rooms start to think that I have a drug problem after a while  because they never find anything. It feels just like a heart attack right in the middle of my chest. I better go now. I am stressing it out typing. Just had an attack yesterday but was relieved  with some anti anxiety meds and pain pills and chocolate...(lol)/ Bless you friend. See you here again.

Jules, Community Member
7/31/08 11:52pm

Yes, it is common in RA and Fibromyalgia.  It is called Costochondritis and is TERRIBLE.  I have it too, and it can sometimes be more painful than any of my RA and other Fibro symptoms.  It is inflamation in the tissue of your rib cage by your heart.  It is not dangerous and it is just "superficial" pain.  I have found that a warm heating pad on my chest helps as well as a hot bath.

Hope you feel better soon.Smile

Rachelemma, Community Member
8/ 7/08 12:46pm

You say chest pain? But is it near the breast bone? If so....Ive had this for yrs to, The doctors thought id started suffering with panic attacks, Which isnt me at all....So ive learnt to live with this symptom for around four yrs now....Im wondering wether its medication related?


Rachel xxx

Jack, Community Member
1/11/09 5:42am

YES, and it is agony.  I had extended pain from several crushed discs in my spine due to an accident, and there are times when this chest pain is almost that intense.  Heat alleviates the pain to some degree for me, taking 600 mg. of Ibuprofen in addition to my Arthrotec 75 helps, as does taking Paramecetol.  (These are not recommendations to follow without asking your doctor!)  I have found this helps, often considerably, but, of course, it doesn't prevent the pain from returning.  The symptom is one of the more extreme manifestions of RA, and, fortunately, many RA sufferers do not get it.


Your doctor, like mine, has heard this all before and it is part of the big picuture of RA.  Remember, regardless of New Age silliness, no ones feel your pain but you - no one lives in your body but you.  If your doctor fails to focus on the quality of your life, I would - and I have - look for another physician. 

thesuninherhead, Community Member
6/14/09 5:44am

I know this is an old thread so I'm not sure if anyone will read, but:

I too have been experiencing hideous chest pains. Sometimes it will be short (as in, a few minutes short) and more recently, I've had two separate instances of prolonged pain over a week. The first was on my right side, and currently is on my left (although it's clearing up now, and I will be going for a bone scan tomorrow). I do not have a clear diagnosis from my rheumatologist at this stage, although given my family history and current symptoms I believe that I am developing RA, and I have a strong feeling this is related to the RA.


Leonie, Community Member
6/24/09 8:32am

Yes, it could be Costochondritis.  I use DMSO, pharmaceutical grade, on my chest and it disappears completley.



bearsfan2222, Community Member
1/29/10 4:43pm

Saw the DMSO pharmaceutical grade on Amazon, but it says for lab use only. I'm confused. What do you get? A rub on gel? Where do you get it? Thanks. Bill.

Ambra, Community Member
2/11/10 11:47am

Thanks for all the answers everyone! I'm having the pains again today, radiating into my left shoulder. I think I'm having a minor flare up that's been affected by the awful cold weather we've been having lately. But I'm definitely going to bring this topic up again at  my next Rheumy appt.

bearsfan2222, Community Member
2/11/10 1:39pm

Ya I've been diagnosed with some Gerd, Gastritis and that H.Pylori. Just started a triple antibiotic prescription. We'll see if helps. I had chest pains but alwo some upper stomach burning too. Dr not sure it how much it will help with the chest pains but we'll see.  Then he wants to do a stress test even though the EKG results were fine.  I just wonder if i could have Fibromyalgia as sometimes the pain shoots to my back.  Anyway good luck to everyone!  keep us posted.

Darla, Community Member
7/ 6/10 5:16am

Ive been having this chest pain for over a year now, off and on, but more intense in recent months.  After the emergency room, stress tests, and getting referred to just about every doctor imaginable, I finally realized my Rheumatologist might be the right one to see me for this pain that has me concerned.  I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 3 months old, and recently turned 50. I have managed the RA very well over the years but never experienced the chest paiin until about age 49. Tonight, I woke up and the chest pain has radiated up in to my left shoulder.   I have an appointment to see my Rheumatologist in 2 more weeks to see if we can get to the bottom of this ongoing and persistant discomfort in my chest.


achilles3207, Community Member
3/24/12 12:47pm

can you apply dmso cream over your heart?

denverbroncos, Community Member
2/ 5/14 2:15am

my boyfriend has the exact same problems with the pains in the chest. It gets so bad sometimes he can't eat or sleep. I am trying to understand what's going on with this pain. He has gone to doctors and they haven't been too much help cause he lives in canada and he drs there pretty much suck. 

What's this DMSO you talk about?? I want to know if this is a gell you appy or pills. 

please help. Right now he tries to help ease the pain with a hot water bottle.Other then that he mostly is screaming in pain. 



Sally, Community Member
11/14/10 10:51am

I was just recently diagnosed with RA & have this horrible chest pain that runs across the top of my chest above both breasts from left to right. It's almost like a constant ache/really sore muscle but I can apply pressure on my breastbone and it is really painful like my bones are super sore. It hurts when I cough, take a deep breath or do anything that gives motion to that area. Does anyone feel like this???

deban, Community Member
11/24/10 11:43am

I feel the same chest pain as you!  I was diagnosed 2 years ago with RA.  I haven't taken any meds since the beginning of this year.  I went to my PCP with the chest pain and she said she thought it could be related to my RA so she gave me some meds for it.  I started taking them and they made me feel so sick, I stopped.  I now need to go back and see her or my RA doctor.  I do know what you feel though.  As I am sitting her I am my chest feels so heavy and the pain is up into my shoulders.  It is an achey kind of pain and motion makes it worse!  Deborah

Olga Matise, Community Member
12/26/10 2:12pm

I've been wondering the same thing.  I've had pain to my chest wall.

Kathy Vann, Community Member
8/ 8/11 1:53am

I was in the hospital for 3 das last month,Doctors thought it was my heart.As it turns out it was not my heart it was a Rheumatoid flare up.My Doctor Cardiologist said my chest pain is due the the Arthitis.The pain had and still do is underneath my left breast.Heart pain is in the middle.......Good luck

George, Community Member
3/24/12 4:25pm

Yes I have had the chest pains but not as severe as everyone else.

Thriving Woman, Community Member
5/ 1/14 8:12am

I am so grateful for this site! I have been having chest pains that are in the center of my chest sometimes radiating to my back. I feels like a heart attack so I go to the ER and they tell me that the cardiac work up is okay. I've had so many  stress tests, nuclear stress tests and you name it that it is just too much. I'm working on getting over pneumonia now which left my rib cage are like smuch and  I cannot exercise,. Also, getting anxious over anything can set it off. It is relieve by pain pills and anti-anxiety meds and some water. But I have to keep taking them today. I totally think it is R/A. It is also affected by breathing since I have had the pneumonia. Hmmmm.....stuff to think on. Thanks. I was scheduled for a nuclear stress test but canceled it because what is the point since the cardiac always shows up fine? Going to a new doc. I pray that everyone on here gets  a good healing. I think it is R\A because I also have T-Lgl-leukemia. The last R/a I went to accused me of being a drug addict because I have to take pain pills to control this. There is hope. I am not giving up. Thanks for this sight.

Jcrock, Community Member
6/ 3/14 6:03pm

It sounds like what I have Pericarditis. 

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By Ambra, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/03/14, First Published: 07/31/08