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Louisville, KY
A 74-year-old female asked:

can heart related arm pain be continual or more likely occasional?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Alves
Emergency Medicine 24 years experience
Episodic: When arm/neck/jaw pain is a component of pain from the heart, it lasts as long as the heart is under-perfused (=angina) or until the tissue dies (=heart attack w/o treatment). All-the-time pain suggests non-heart origin, but if at risk or having other symptoms, need evaluation in er to be sure is not cardiac origin.
Dr. Bennett Werner
Cardiology 44 years experience
Not continuous: The pain is intermittent and generally worse with exertion. Associated shortness of breath would be typical but isn't essential. 5-20 minutes is typical. Continuous pain lasting >1 hour would be very unusual unless there are many other symptoms present as well heralding a full blown heart attack.

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Last updated Mar 22, 2014
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