Jul, 14
Dr. Nicolas Madsen

About the Author Dr. Nicolas Madsen

Nicolas Madsen, MD, is a cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute, with special interest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. He is focused on research and community outreach programs to find better ways to screen and educate children and adolescents regarding their risks for heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest.


  1. Hi, I have been struggling with my nineteen year old daughter for months with severe chest pain, and fatigue. she gets winded when walking up and down stairs, and can’t catch her breath after a mile run. She has seen a cardiologist, and a pulmonologist, both of whom have said her heart and lungs are healthy, and no asthma, yet the pain and breathing difficulties persist. Now, she is complaining of tenderness in the area of her spleen. She has had recent blood work, and all is normal. To my knowledge she abstains from drugs and alcohol, and does not smoke. She is not a complainer, and has run 25 miles on a broken ankle, only complaining of some pain….. I am at my wits end. I don’t know were else to turn. Last night she called crying begging me to help make the pain stop. Any suggestions??

    heid - September 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm Reply
  2. My ten year old daughter for last 2 years has complained of chest hurting. This acquires at no given notice just occurs out of the blue. Her father had WPW and a great grandma with Huntington Disease. She was born early due to heart rate very low and under stress, so had an emergency C-section. I am wondering if she may have something wrong or if this is something not to worry about.


    HEATHER - October 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm Reply
  3. My daugther is 8 and she complains about bothe of her ribs hurting what can it be

    nayely - November 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm Reply
  4. Hi my 8 year old daughter has been waking up at night complaining of chest pain it doesn’t last very long because she falls back to sleep pretty quick. This happens about 3 times a night. Her last check up I was told she was a little over weight. Should I be very concerned?

    Melissa - November 9, 2014 at 1:16 am Reply
  5. Dr.,
    Our 8 year old son has complained a few times over the past year about his “heart hurting” when he runs a lot. (Happened at recess a few times i know of) Just recently he has been practicing for a basketball team the past (3) Sundays in a row. EACH time at the end of practice when they would do a scrimmage he would grab his chest toward the end and hold back tears. He is the kind of child that refuses to cry in front of people if at all possible too. He tells me that it feels like somebody is “Squeezing his heart behind his chest” I have felt the heart beat and it did not seem to be beating too fast. Powerful yes but that seemed normal to me due to he has been running back and forth non stop. He does NOT cough. The pain goes away about 10 minutes or so after he stops the running. The only time he complains about he pain is when he is severely active. I just set up a DR appointment with his pediatrician this week but found this site and wanted your thoughts if you would be so kind as to reply. Thank you in advance,

    Chris Russell - November 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm Reply
  6. my 11yr old son has been complaing of pain in his heart for the past 3 days since having the flue jab.they come and go regular even when he is just resting.he was playing on his xbox this evening when he had a sudden sharp pain,he paused his game and had a few tears .he has type1 diabetes so not sure what to do as he seems fine inbetween .

    Heather Clouston - November 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm Reply
  7. My son is 6 years young he has been complaining of his heart hurting as you stated. We will be watching a movie for example and then he will start to cry for he Is in pain. I will feel his chest and it beats pretty hard and fast. Is this common

    Brittany Coll - November 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply
  8. My son is eleven, yesterday while sitting down he had a sharp pain down his left arm and wrist that brought him to tears……tonight he woke up complaining if sharp pains in his chest and that his left wrist and leg were hurting…i am going to be scheduling an appt with his doctor in the morning but am wondering in the meantime what that cld be from or if it is normal as well for his age at times…..thank you

    Rebecca Luper - November 19, 2014 at 11:09 pm Reply
  9. my granddaughter has had chest pains when she runs for 4 years. The heart Drs say that she her heart is find. She is 10 years old, she wants to play sports but if this keep up I don’t know if she can. Please can you tell us what to do? Heart problems runs really high on my side of the family.

    Teresa Kittle - November 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm Reply
  10. My daughter is 8 years old. She has been complaining about chest pains for about 3 weeks. Usually when she is sitting down resting or asleep. She also gets very winded during PE in school. She wakes up at night crying usually because of her chest. Some nights it’s her hips. I was wondering if these pains could be associated with growing. She is average height but higher up on the weight scale for her age. Though that is not due to being fat in my opinion she is just wider then most kids her age. The left side of her chest does seem to protrude farther out then her right by only a little but as a female I would assume that’s normal because most people ( obviously more noticeable in females) are not symmetrical. Is this something that I should be worried about and take her to the er or can it wait until her Dr is back from vacation

    Rebecca - November 22, 2014 at 10:31 pm Reply
  11. My son is 6 years old and has for the past 2-3 weeks been complaining and crying with his chest hurting. It happens when he’s at recess or active but not everytime. I took him to the Dr. who ordered a chest x-ray and an EKG. The EKG came back abnormal with a junction escape rhythm and he is being sent to a cardiologist now. My question is that I have never heard of this and I have looked online but I cannot make sense out of what I am reading, they use a lot of abbreviations and things that may make sense after we see the cardio. In the meantime, is there anything you can tell me to help me understand a bit better please. I am extremely worried about him and what I should expect in this process.

    Nichole Jackson - November 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm Reply
  12. My 13 year old has had sternum pain for almost a month. we think its from a blow to the chest from field hockey and then bumping the same area twice thereafter. We’ve been to the er and 4 other drs. been told three time its costocondritis. Motrin has not helped. Voltaren gel has not helped. Just been put on Mobic two days ago. Had a CT scan of sternum. no fractures found per ortho dr.
    how long does it take Mobic to work? can this be something else she has?

    am - November 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm Reply
  13. My son has been having chest pains since February 2014, at first it was diagnosed as growing pains, upon further test, we discovered he had PAPVR. This was something that without test would have been impossible to detect. On August 8, 2014 he had open heart surgery to correct this. All went well, Thank God. However after a couple of weeks his chest pains continued like before. He was on medication for some rubbing due to original enlargement and the chest pain was dismissed in order to focus on his heart pains. After a couple more check ups his heart test come back normal. Yet his chest pains are typically worse, they last for long stretches at a time and daily. He can not focus for more than an hour or so at a time. His school work is suffering. Can growing pains be that bad, on the average his pain is 5, it usually concerns me when he says his pain is 7 or 8 and he even crys. His physicians have said its growing pains. He doesn’t like to take Motrin, as he says it doesn’t really make a difference, and only takes it when the 7 and higher pains compel him to try and cope with the pain. Should I take a more aggressive approach with his physicians to look beyond your growing pains.

    Miguel Espinal - December 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm Reply
  14. Hello my daughter is 7 and for the last 3 weeks she randomly complains to me that her heart is burning and she feels a sharp pain in it. When she complains I notice that she is either lounging around or has eaten. She’s in perfect weight range and has been healthy her whole life. Any answers would be great thanks!

    Banesa - December 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm Reply
  15. Hello, my 6-year old daughter has complained a few times over the past year of her “heart hurting” and “bumping hard” and “squeezing of my heart”. Sometimes she is able to go to the bathroom (#2) and seems to help….but I wonder if there may be an underlying heart condition. It scares her, which in turn scares me to death. The episodes only last a few minutes at a time and she is not active prior to them that I know of. Her heart rate seems fine, strong, but fine. Could these be palpitations? Or some kind of reflux? Do you recommend she see her pediatrician?

    Brandee R. - December 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm Reply
  16. My 6 yr old is complaining his “heart hurts” along with his abdomen and sometimes stomach. The pain seems to come and go, sometimes when laying down, sometimes when playing. His grandfather has had 2 heart transplants due to cardiomyopothy. I’m going to make a dr apt but should I be worried or is this still “normal?”

    Amy - December 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm Reply
  17. My son is 10 uears old complains of pain upper left chest and sharp pain in his heart he says.
    Hes is been jumping the rope does about 200 jumps per night because hes overwight. He has asthma and takes albuterol as prn but asthma is controlled right now only this pain he has on his chest and also headaches about 3 x a week
    we wanna have him see a Dr. Should we see a cardiologist?

    emma canas - December 11, 2014 at 12:34 am Reply
  18. Hi my son was a premiee born five months gestation he has ephazimia latley hes been saying hes getting chest pains n pain in left arm Dr says hes ok should I be worried

    bernadette - December 11, 2014 at 7:19 am Reply
  19. I was trying to find some info on chest pains for teenagers and came across your q&a. You seem too nice to be a doctor. Not trying to offend you but sometimes doctors seem so desensitized or cold. Just wanted to say that you sound like a keeper. Thank you for taking the time to answer parent’s questions.

    Frances Napolitano - December 11, 2014 at 10:48 pm Reply
  20. 4 yr old boy. says his heart is broken or hurting. it’s been going on for roughly a year now.
    He was seen, quickly evaluated, regular size heart, nurses did a quick monitor to see the rhythm, they said it was normal.
    Yet the pains go on, if he’s lucky, he’ll go a day without pain. But on a normal day, he says it hurts 2-5 times a day. It hurts whether he’s playing or sitting around. When it hurts him, he just lies down on the couch or bed or just looks weak, but a few minutes later he’s up and about again.
    The past couple day’s tho, he’s been asking for motrin and I’m assuming that it’s helping him because he doesn’t say anything about pain. Sometimes his chest pain is accompanied with nausea. I’ve done some researching, and i’m reassured that i don’t have to be worried, but i’m just confused on what this pain can possibly be.

    Tiffany - December 12, 2014 at 2:45 am Reply
  21. Hi, my 9 year old nephew a month ago was told he had an abnormal heartbeat, then two weeks ago complained about chest pains in gym glass and was told again by the doctor he had abnormal heartbeat… Be has been referred to a cardiologist but was seeing if anybody new what it could be?

    Jaime Chavez - December 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm Reply

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