A reader’s friend – a 36-year old female – has been suffering from a burning sensation across her chest and along her left arm. The symptoms seem to be worse at night and in the morning, particularly when she's rushing around to get to work.
She’s had two ECGs (electrocardiograms) as well as other tests and has been told she is in good health. The doctors don’t know what’s wrong with her.
It has been suggested that she might be suffering from heartburn or reflux but her symptoms don’t really match up with those ailments. Do readers have any advice?
Interestingly, readers who have responded to this query all say the same thing: this woman should get checked out by a chiropractor, osteopath or physical therapist as soon as possible. As one reader points out, problems with neck and/or upper back spinal misalignment often mimic heart attack pain and can cause a burning sensation.
Chiropractor Elisabeth explains, “It could be a trapped nerve in the neck, something called thoracic outlet syndrome, where the nerves to the arm get trapped between the collarbone and the ribs. This is common in office workers who spend a long time on a computer. A chiropractor or an osteopath could treat this.” The problem could also be caused by a poor sleeping position and general stress, according to registered osteopath Mardi. E-news broadcast 22 May 2007 No. 361