• Shannon Shannon
    April 30, 2008
    Can RA give you chest pains?
    Shannon Shannon
    April 30, 2008

    It hurts when I move my arms when swimming and when I try to stand up straight.  It is mostily located in the middle of my chest.  This has occured on and off for the past year but lately is very painful.  I have had RA for 10 years and take 30mg of methotraxate per week.

    Any suggestions?  Thank you for your time.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Hollybgroovin
    Health Guide
    May 01, 2008
    Hollybgroovin
    Health Guide
    May 01, 2008

    First let me say that anytime you have chest pain you should seek medical attention immediately. RA is a systemic disease that affects not only the joints, but also other systems in the body, including the heart. When you have RA, there is a higher risk of heart disease and it’s important that you and your doctor stay ahead of this. You may want to ask for a referral to a preventative cardiologist to get some baseline tests done. You should also know the symptoms of heart attack and stroke, so if you experience the symptoms, you can get yourself to the ER as quickly as possible. When you experience chest pain like you’re doing now, call an ambulance. It’s entirely possible that this isn’t your heart, but in case it is, you don’t want to ignore it. It’s far better to go to the ER one too many times if not needed, than one too few.

    That being said, have you been tested for cervical arthritis or have you been told that RA has affected your shoulder?  Both of these condition can cause chest pain.  Also after a short stay in my local ER I learned that RA can affect your chest bone as well and even cause inflammation.  Talk to your rheumatologist and express your concerns about this because he may want to do further testing.  I can tell you that when I have RA pain in my chest it always helps me to take a hot (but not too hot) towel and place it on my chest for awhile.  Please pursue this issue with you doctor because any chest pain can be very dangerous.  Good luck, and best wishes!


FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • Jason September 18, 2008
    Jason
    September 18, 2008

    I wish I could help, but I'm just in awe that someone shares this same problem. I thought I was alone. I've had it since I was 16. The pain doesn't only stay in my chest, it also switches between my left and right shoulder, my left and right knee, and very rarely my left ankle. Sometimes it affects multiple places at the same time. Could this be RA?

     

    (P.S. - The only form of relief I can give you is to massage the area with some arthritis cream, depending on the severity putting some light pressure on your chest with the palm of your hand can limit the pain until you release the pressure, but it gets very old, very fast.) Keep trying different doctors and specialists, eventually you'll find out exactly what's wrong, I'll do the same. But my thought is this is something we will probably have to live with forever.

     

    Also, I was diagnosed with a staff infection at age 14, it nearly killed me but luckily I recovered with proper treatment, maybe this could be the aftermath effect?

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  • Ginny June 14, 2008
    Ginny
    June 14, 2008

    Hi...I found out in March 2008 that I have RA. I also suffer with middle chest pain and no one has given me an answer for it.  I can not lay on my side because the pain get so bad, but as long as I keep an arm behind my back it's better. It seems as though I have to keep my chest (rib cage) open. I have severe fatigue, the dr. put me on steroids for one week, and I felt great..hated having to go off it...It was like letting me know what I used to feel like and taking it awayCry.  If anyone answers you about the chest pain could you please let me know...

     

    Good Luck

    Ginny

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