Dear Ask The Doctor: I am a 17 year old male with no previous heart problems. I avidly ride bikes and run. I believe I have exceptional Cardio. Recently, as in the past few months, I have notice a sharp pain in my chest, that only last a split second, after I suddenly burst out laughing due to something humorous. I have been smoking weed occasionally for the past year, if that has any effect. Should I be concerned with any heart problems?
Dear Patient: The pain you describe is not typical of pain arising from the heart. There are many causes of chest pain, including pain arising from the heart, lungs, upper gastrointestinal system and chest wall. In your case it may be musculo-skeletal pain related to exercise or a recent cardio-workout. It may be helpful to note in a diary how often the pain is occurring, at what time of the day, what you are doing when the pain starts, how long it lasts for and what relieves the pain. If pain is lasting greater than 30 minutes and is associated with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or vomiting, it warrants a visit to the Emergency Department