Puzzling chest pain issue

I’ve been to a cardiologist to see why I get these mild-to-moderate chest pains when I walk or run. I did the radioactive treadmill test thing, and she couldn’t find anything wrong. But I still get the chest pains, so I stopped walking and running for exercise because it was so disconcerting (also because I have plantar fasciitis).

But lack of exercise made me gain weight, so I started looking for an activity that wouldn’t hurt my feet. My office building has a new gym, and I started going there and using an exercise bike. I figured that if my chest started to hurt, I’d ease back on the intensity. I’ve been using the bike for a month or two now, and to my surprise, I get no pains in my chest at all. I’m able to get my heart rate up to 122, and keep it there for several minutes, no problem.

What’s up with this? I’m very relieved that I can exercise again, but I’m puzzled. Maybe the chest pains are something in the cartilage around my ribcage that get jostled when I walk or run?

IANAD, but I went to my doctor recently with a similar-sounding issue (occasional intense chest pain during rigorous exercise), and because I get an EKG taken every 3 months as part of a routine thyroid function checkup, I already knew there was nothing wrong with my heart.

Assuming I understood his explanation correctly, the type of chest pain I was having (and the type of chest pain you’re having, as far as I can tell), is caused by tight facet joints. During strenous exercise, as the ribcage expands, apparently tight facet joints can cause compression of a spinal nerve, which in turn causes pain in the corresponding dermatoma.

Similar experience. Chest pains when I inhaled. After several hours in the emergency room, and ruling out any heart issues, problem was diagnosed as an inflammation of the sac in which the lungs reside. I believe it’s called the plura. Gave me some intravenous anti-inflammatory drugs. Problem solved.

I had a similar test and they could not find anything abnormal.

The cardiologist then recommended to try to loose any extra weight (which I have working on but after having hernia surgery it is taking longer than expected

Do you get any pains in your left arm, hand, or jaw? You might google “Cardiac Syndrome X”.

The most common causes of noncardiac chest pain in adults are musculoskeletal or gastrointestinal.

The most common musculoskeletal causes are as follows:

Costosternal syndromes (costochondritis): Multiple areas of tenderness that reproduce the described pain, usually in the upper costal cartilages at the costochondral or costosternal junctions; they can also occcur at the xiphoid process

Spontaneous sternoclavicular subluxation: Most often occurs in the dominant side, associated with moderate to heavy repetitive tasks; almost exclusively occurs in middle-aged women.

Lower rib pain syndromes: Pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen with a tender spot on the costal margin; pain can be reproduced by pressing on the spot.

Posterior chest wall syndromes: May be caused by herniated thoracic disc, leading to band-like chest pain that may have a unilateral dermatomal distribution. Also induced by costovertebral joint dysfunction; tenderness over the affected area, worse with coughing or deep breathing.

The most common GI causes are esophageal in nature, generally GERD, esophagitis, or hiatal hernia.

Pulmonary problems such as pleuritis, pneumonias, sarcoid, and less likely lung lesions can also cause chest pain.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for everyone’s input. I’m still puzzled, but at least I’m less worried that it’s something vital, which in turn enables me to exercise without fretting.