A 74-year-old female asked:
can heart related arm pain be continual or more likely occasional?
2 doctor answers • 4 doctors weighed in
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.
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.
Last updated Mar 22, 2014
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