Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Neurological Disorders Forum

a searing, radiating pain, Neurological or cardiac?

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For the fourth time in 10 months, I had a very strange occurrence: a searing, radiating pain that starts under my left shoulder blade and spreads up my neck and down my left arm - rendering it useless. The pain takes my breath away and lasts, on average, about 5 minutes. This time, in the midst of the pain, I got a migraine (30 year history of complex migraines with aura). My vision has remained impaired far longer than my typical migraine - almost as if each eye is working independently and left me with tingling in my left hand. I'm not sure if this is neurological or vascular (i.e. heart attack?) I am 46 years old with hypertension for which I take 10 mg or lisinopril daily and cholesterol which is under control with 10 mg of Lipitor.

Any ideas? Going to schedule a consult with my neurologist - but wondering if anyone has any insights.
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replied December 11th, 2012
I am interested to know what has happened with your neurologist. I, too, have had the same type of symptoms for over 2 years in both shoulders and arms, back and front. Have had a head MRI, nerve testing, and numerous x-rays of the neck. Was told it was spinal stenosis and herniated cervical disk. Had an anterior cervical disk removal and fusion C3, C4 but the pains have not gone away. They occur randomly 3 or 4 times a week, are debilitating, and last from 3 to 5 minutes...more like a seizing spasm with tingles up the side of my face on the side where the arm or shoulder is experiencing the pain.
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replied December 11th, 2012
Well, because my symptoms mimicked a heart attack or angina, I was instead sent to a cardiologist for a full work-up. The good news: my heart is in pristine condition (cardiologist's words). Her diagnosis of exclusion was Prinzmetal's Angina, for which she prescribed 120 mg of Diltiazem daily. Since beginning the treatment four months ago, I have had only one episode - which occurred about 10 days into treatment. The wonderful additional benefit has been the near eradication of my migraines! I hope you are able to find a resolution to your pain soon!!!
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replied December 14th, 2012
Thanks for letting me know. I too had a full cardiac workup but all they found was afib. The pain is never in my chest just upper shoulders and upper arms. Docs think it is nerve related because of the tingles up the side of my face. I discovered through trial and error that certain pressure points alleviate or mitigate the pain. I'm glad you discovered what was causing your problem and that you are now good!
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