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Left Arm tightness revisted

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Left Arm tightness revisted

Old 05-23-19, 05:13 PM
  #1  
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Left Arm tightness revisted

I'm 40, riding about 100 miles a week and overweight.

I made post here long ago about left arm tightness I was feeling when I started working out. So I hop on my bike, and 10 minutes in I'm at 130 bpm and the following symptoms occur.

Shortness of breath,
Dry mouth
Tightness in my left arm, as if I have a turnoquit applied. Wouldn't describe it as pain, just strain.
Percieved Effort is 9-10
HR indicates I'm barely working hard.

This will continue for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, but it goes away. It may return later more mildly If I'm pushing myself into 170 HR

After my last post I was strongly urged to go to doctor, and I eventually did. Got a stress test and blood work. Everything was fine, cartiologist was bored with the procedure and gave me about 15 seconds of his time only to tell me I had a good heart. During the test I felt fine as my HR got up into 150s. This was 5 months ago.

I never heard anything else from the doctor.

Tends to be worst late in the day, especially after work. Usually far more mild if I'm not working.

Any ideas, and I really don't want to go back to doctor, haven't paid for the waste of time stress test yet.
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Old 05-23-19, 05:27 PM
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You are wise to be concerned - most people deny that they might have an issue.

I suggest that you find a doctor or PA who will provide a 24/7 monitor that you wear so that when an event occurs it is recorded and can be analyzed.

It may be nothing, but I don't see another way to tie some hard data to your qualitative experience with the various symptoms you describe.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-24-19, 08:45 AM
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Hard to say what it might be. This didn't happen during the stress test? It only happens on the bike? IOW if you go out and run a couple miles, it doesn't happen? If it also happens when you run, you need a different doc. That monitor is called a Holter monitor. They're pretty fancy now, do HRV and everything. If it only happens on the bike, hmm, bike fit?
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Old 05-24-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Hard to say what it might be. This didn't happen during the stress test? It only happens on the bike? IOW if you go out and run a couple miles, it doesn't happen? If it also happens when you run, you need a different doc. That monitor is called a Holter monitor. They're pretty fancy now, do HRV and everything. If it only happens on the bike, hmm, bike fit?
I felt completely normal during the stress test. It seems to come and go for me, I did take the day off work, slept in, drank extra water and was pretty amped up.

The occurrence of symptoms varies. It happens when walking up a hill for a sustained amount of time sometimes, happens when jogging as well, which I don't do much of. I took two aspirin before riding last night and felt like symptoms were far more mild, though I did feel some tightness, especially in the first 15 minutes.

I often feel like there is a major mental component. For example I rarely notice it on group rides when I'm amped up. It has happened but it's usually more mild.

When riding alone on longer rides I often start with a very mild warm up and generally don't feel the symptoms as much.

I do not feel pain or pressure in the chest, but a tightness around entire left arm. Exact feeling that left arm isn't getting enough blood.

Last edited by gattm99; 05-24-19 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 05-24-19, 03:55 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
I felt completely normal during the stress test. It seems to come and go for me, I did take the day off work, slept in, drank extra water and was pretty amped up.

The occurrence of symptoms varies. It happens when walking up a hill for a sustained amount of time sometimes, happens when jogging as well, which I don't do much of. I took two aspirin before riding last night and felt like symptoms were far more mild, though I did feel some tightness, especially in the first 15 minutes.

I often feel like there is a major mental component. For example I rarely notice it on group rides when I'm amped up. It has happened but it's usually more mild.

When riding alone on longer rides I often start with a very mild warm up and generally don't feel the symptoms as much.

I do not feel pain or pressure in the chest, but a tightness around entire left arm. Exact feeling that left arm isn't getting enough blood.
I used to get something similar, but pain in left chest, no arm problem. Docs assured me it wan't my heart, maybe chest muscle or lung. Felt to me like it was that a blood vessel was slow in opening, because it went away after a few more miles of riding and didn't come back.

I started taking 1g of sodium nitrate every morning. You can get it food grade on Amazon. You'll need a gram scale. This opens up one's blood vessels, reduces BP, and is good for you.
https://trainright.com/nitric-oxide-...c-performance/
I've been doing this for a couple years. It's good.

Never use a mouthwash - it kills the bacteria you need to make NO.
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Old 05-24-19, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I used to get something similar, but pain in left chest, no arm problem. Docs assured me it wan't my heart, maybe chest muscle or lung. Felt to me like it was that a blood vessel was slow in opening, because it went away after a few more miles of riding and didn't come back.

I started taking 1g of sodium nitrate every morning. You can get it food grade on Amazon. You'll need a gram scale. This opens up one's blood vessels, reduces BP, and is good for you.
https://trainright.com/nitric-oxide-...c-performance/
I've been doing this for a couple years. It's good.

Never use a mouthwash - it kills the bacteria you need to make NO.
Yeap that's exactly how I would describe it. I'm going to try some sodium nitrate and see what happens. I already have a gram scale.
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Old 05-24-19, 05:03 PM
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Wow, great article, I'm over 40, take motrin frequently. Ride about 10 hours a week, don't get enough sleep, don't eat beets of leafy vegetables, and have had stomach acid issues my whole life and take a stomach acid pill daily.

I'm going to try NO today.
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Old 05-24-19, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
Wow, great article, I'm over 40, take motrin frequently. Ride about 10 hours a week, don't get enough sleep, don't eat beets of leafy vegetables, and have had stomach acid issues my whole life and take a stomach acid pill daily.

I'm going to try NO today.
Try stopping the motrin - in the long run it's unhelpful, actually makes stuff worse. Most times, inflammation from exercise is good for you. That's why your body does that. The exception is tendinitis. And see a gastroenterologist. And eat more vegetables. Half your dinner plate should be veggies. Make it happen. One of those coaches' things, if there was only one thing .. . eat your vegetables.
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Old 05-25-19, 03:31 AM
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First doctor sounds like a quack, get rid of him. Remember, he works for you. Second, have you had a complete blood work done recently?
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Old 05-26-19, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I used to get something similar, but pain in left chest, no arm problem. Docs assured me it wan't my heart, maybe chest muscle or lung. Felt to me like it was that a blood vessel was slow in opening, because it went away after a few more miles of riding and didn't come back.

I started taking 1g of sodium nitrate every morning. You can get it food grade on Amazon. You'll need a gram scale. This opens up one's blood vessels, reduces BP, and is good for you.
https://trainright.com/nitric-oxide-...c-performance/
I've been doing this for a couple years. It's good.

Never use a mouthwash - it kills the bacteria you need to make NO.
There's no end to the uses for a good scale. Cooking. Calories. Titrating supplements for health. Comparing bottle cages. Making sure the drugs are legit. Choosing among trail running shoes. Identifying counterfeit nickles. Holding things temporarily. The list just goes on and on.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
First doctor sounds like a quack, get rid of him. Remember, he works for you. Second, have you had a complete blood work done recently?
Just a quick update. The original doctor I saw ordered a complete bloodwork. He called back when I was at work and told my wife everything was normal, but I had slightly high triglycerides. He wasn't involved with the stress stess, the Cardiologist comes to this small rural hospital hospital once a week to administer the tests, he was the one who pissed me off. I haven't called or went back to the doctor since then.

I'm out of school now and have much more free time. I got in 200 miles last week of May, and 130 first week of June. Most of these rides started with tightness in the chest, left arm tightness and a general feeling of weakness in the early stages of the ride and then I felt great in the later stages.

I remember two rides where I started out feeling great and had no issues. One thing that sets these rides apart is sleep. Before both I went to bed early and slept a bit later. I typically get about 6-7 hours of sleep per night. The last week of teaching school and things are winding down I tend to stay up later but was still getting up early, I drive 2 hours a day for work. I was probably gett about 5-6 hours of sleep in late May.

Another difference is both of these rides started with extended slow warm ups. In one I started with My parents and did about an hour around 120 heart rate. Then I did a few 15 minute threshold intervals and had zero tightness.

Do you think chronic lack of sleep might be causing my body to be so slow to adjust to high intensity?
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Old 06-10-19, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gattm99 View Post
Just a quick update. The original doctor I saw ordered a complete bloodwork. He called back when I was at work and told my wife everything was normal, but I had slightly high triglycerides. He wasn't involved with the stress stess, the Cardiologist comes to this small rural hospital hospital once a week to administer the tests, he was the one who pissed me off. I haven't called or went back to the doctor since then.

I'm out of school now and have much more free time. I got in 200 miles last week of May, and 130 first week of June. Most of these rides started with tightness in the chest, left arm tightness and a general feeling of weakness in the early stages of the ride and then I felt great in the later stages.

I remember two rides where I started out feeling great and had no issues. One thing that sets these rides apart is sleep. Before both I went to bed early and slept a bit later. I typically get about 6-7 hours of sleep per night. The last week of teaching school and things are winding down I tend to stay up later but was still getting up early, I drive 2 hours a day for work. I was probably gett about 5-6 hours of sleep in late May.

Another difference is both of these rides started with extended slow warm ups. In one I started with My parents and did about an hour around 120 heart rate. Then I did a few 15 minute threshold intervals and had zero tightness.

Do you think chronic lack of sleep might be causing my body to be so slow to adjust to high intensity?
In my opinion -- absolutely. It most certainly does in mine. Sleep is the single most critical component of training, and aerobic training is no exception.

Although you can hide it a lot easier than during an anaerobic session. Because when your mind isn't fully regenerated through sleep, the mind/muscle connection will be the first loss you will notice. In fact, when you don't get enough sleep you unusually feel groggy as soon as you wake up. The moment you try to concentrate and push any heavy weight, your mind will turn into jelly.

No matter how good you maintain your nutrition, it won't be applied if you don't have a good recuperative night's sleep. I always aim for 8 hours when I want to performer my best. But the minimum should be 7. Anything below that and I won't even bother. Anything below 7 and not only will your performance take a dramatic nose dive and do more harm than good.

Of course there are always those that will claims the opposite. In those cases, all I can say is that there's no accounting of personal testimonials. If you say so.
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Old 06-24-19, 03:45 PM
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I actually have a pinched nerve in my back from cycling that will send pain down the left arm. It doesn't affect my breathing though.

I have experienced what you are talking about in two very different situations.

1. Time trial or 5k run with inadequate warm-up. Blasting off that starting line guns blazing, and yep, nearly exactly what you described. I'd imagine lack of sleep would make this worse.

2. Drinking and riding. Downtown on a beater bike and eating a burrito or pizza plus sharing a pitcher or three with friends. If I sprint across a green light or power up a hill, same situation. Makes me wonder how burbon was ever a part of chemical cheating but it was.

So not everything is angina. It sounds like you are busy ruling it out.

The only thing I'd add would be to discontinue any non prescription meds or supplements and slowly work them back.
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