What Is A Muscle Strain In Your Chest
A muscle strain in your chest can cause a sharp, sudden pain. This happens when your muscle is stretched or torn. Most chest pain comes from intercostal muscle strain. Your intercostal muscles are located between your ribs. They help control your breathing and stabilize your upper body.
When you have a chest muscle strain, the first thing youll feel is a sudden pain in your chest. You may also experience weakness, numbness, stiffness, and/or swelling. These might seem to be signs of a heart attack, but here are the additional symptoms that actually indicate a heart attack:
Seek immediate care if you experience these symptoms together with your chest pain.
Make Preventing Another Heart Attack Your First Priority Here Are Five Things You Can Do:
Take your medications as prescribed. Certain medicines can greatly lower your risk of another cardiac event. Thats why its important for you to understand your medicines and take them correctly. Learn about managing your medications.
Attend your follow-up appointments. Attending your follow-up appointments will help your doctors keep track of your condition and recovery. You can make the most of your time with your doctor by preparing for your appointment.
Participate in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help you recover after a heart attack. You should have received a referral to cardiac rehab when you were discharged from the hospital if you didnt, ask your doctor about it. Learn more about cardiac rehab.
Get support. Its normal to feel scared, overwhelmed or confused after a heart attack. Getting support from loved ones or from people who have also experienced a heart attack can help you cope. Connect with other heart attack survivors and caregivers through our Support Network.
Manage your risk factors. After a heart attack, its important to manage risk factors by taking medications, quitting smoking, eating healthy food and getting active. Find out more about managing your risk factors.
He Had Bouts Of Severe Back And Shoulder Pain Which He Did Not Relate To His Heart
Another man had what he described as five-minute episodes of discomfort in the centre of his stomach, which he found debilitating rather than painful. Two days later he had what he thought was indigestion, becoming nauseous and experiencing an overwhelming feeling of tiredness. It was at this point that he was diagnosed as having had a heart attack.;One 37-year-old woman describes the pains she had in her teeth and arms. Another man, a hospital consultant, explained that he had what felt like severe heartburn but none of the classic symptoms of a heart attack.
Occasionally, a heart attack is silent and produces little discomfort. People may not know they have had one until they have a medical investigation for other symptoms or a routine medical examination .A few people said they had no symptoms and had felt well before their heart attack. Several described breathlessness, chest pain when walking up a hill or exercising, arm pains, or felt lethargic or more tired than usual in the lead up to having a heart attack. But many did not recognise the significance of these symptoms until after their heart attack. They had thought at the time that they were caused by asthma, indigestion or other gastric conditions.
Dont Miss: How Much Blood Does The Heart Pump
How To Know When To Visit The Er For A Heart Attack
Each year, about 805,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack vary not only from person to person, but also from heart attack to heart attack in the same person.
It is important to remember that heart attacks can occur gradually or all of a sudden. Therefore, make sure you know the symptoms and call 911 immediately if you or your loved ones are experiencing signs of a heart attack.
Get The Care You Need
If you’re worried that you’re having a heart attack, but your doctor isn’t taking you seriously:
- Be persistent.
- Make it clear these symptoms aren’t normal for you.
- Ask for an ECG or EKG and blood tests that can diagnose a heart attack. Insist on these simple, fast, and accurate tests before going home.
- Get a second opinion. Ask to see a doctor who specializes in heart problems.
I urge you to listen to your body it could be telling you it’s time to call 9-1-1. Don’t ignore or downplay your symptoms. Acting quickly can help save your life. If you experience any of the symptoms described above, don’t wait Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat. For more information on heart attack symptoms and getting care, visit our website and watch this video for an easy way to remember the symptoms of a heart attack.
Also Check: Vitamin D3 And Heart Palpitations
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Symptoms;of a heart attack can include:
- chest pain;;a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
- pain in other parts of the body;;it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms , jaw, neck, back and tummy
- feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- feeling sick or being sick
- an overwhelming sense of anxiety
- coughing or wheezing
Although the chest pain is often severe,;some people may only experience;minor pain, similar to indigestion. In some cases, there may not be;any chest pain at all,;especially in women, older people, and;people who have diabetes.
It’s;the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Chest Head Jaw And Tooth Pain
Chest discomfort, manifest as pain, fullness, and/or squeezing sensation of the chest
Chest pain is the hallmark symptom of a heart attack, although it can take many different forms. In other cases, chest pain may not occur at all. The characteristic chest pain of a heart attack has been described as a sense of pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain that starts in the center of the chest. The pain or discomfort typically lasts more than a few minutes, or it may go away and then return. It can spread down the arms, to the back, or to the head and neck. Both women and men report chest pain as a primary symptom of heart attack, but women more often than men are likely to have some of the other symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, or shortness of breath, that are described below.
Jaw pain, toothache, headache
The pain of a heart attack can spread down both arms, to the jaw or head, or to the back. Some people report tooth pain or headache as a symptom of a heart attack. It is possible to have these types of pain without chest pain during a heart attack.
Shortness of breath
Feeling short of breath or like you are gasping for air is a common symptom of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, is medically known as dyspnea. Shortness of breath may occur before or during the chest pain of a heart attack, and in some cases, it may be associated with other heart attack symptoms without any chest pain.
Read Also: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Learn Ways To Prevent Heart Attack And When To Seek Treatment
Sudden, intense chest pain and trouble breathing are two of the most common signs people associate with a heart attack, but several lesser-known symptoms should also raise warning flags. Some of these symptoms may be subtle or easy to overlook, especially in women. Its important to know the signs of heart trouble, so you can seek help before its too late.
In this video, San Diego Health host Susan Taylor talks with Poulina Uddin, MD, a cardiologist at Scripps Clinic Anderson Medical Pavilion, about heart attack symptoms and what to do if you have them.
Men and women may have different symptoms
Researchers continue to study why symptoms of heart attack may be different for women than men, but a combination of factors seems to contribute. Physiology may play a role: Women have smaller heart vessels, and cholesterol can affect them in various ways. Hormones, especially estrogen, also seem to contribute to blood vessel changes. Any of these factors may influence the type of symptoms that precede a heart attack.
If you have new or worrisome symptoms, or something that is interrupting what youre doing during the day, it may be worth an emergency room visit or even a call to 911, depending on how dramatic or severe those symptoms are, says Dr. Uddin. If the symptoms have been going on longer, or are intermittent or a little less bothersome, call your physician to set up an appointment.
Lower your risk factors for heart attack
Brush your teeth
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Digestive Problems
Nausea or feeling sick on your stomach is a less common but possible symptom of a heart attack. Sometimes belching or burping can accompany nausea, and some patients have described a feeling like indigestion associated with a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to report these less typical symptoms of heart attack, and some patients have described feeling as though they are developing the flu.
Recommended Reading: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Woman
The most common symptom of heart attack in women is chest pain or tightness. Women may also experience pain in the upper abdomen. Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional symptoms, such as:
- fatigue, which may appear for several days prior to other symptoms and create the impression you have the flu rather than a heart attack
- upper back pain that may feel like burning, tingling, or pressure
- neck and jaw pain often without any chest pain
- pain, tingling, or discomfort in either or both arms
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath, with or without chest pain that can come on suddenly
Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns or illnesses, you should be particularly mindful of other possible heart attack symptoms.
If you suddenly become nauseated and youre having trouble catching your breath or youre feeling serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the operator you may be having a heart attack.
Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms. While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks prior to menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.
Symptoms And Getting Help For A Heart Attack
A heart attack usually causes severe pain in the centre of the chest. The pain usually feels like a heaviness or tightness, which may also spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. The pain may affect only the neck, jaw, arms or stomach. A person having a heart attack may also sweat, feel light-headed, feel sick, or be short of breath or have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.
Many of the people we interviewed had severe chest pain which spread to their arm, and they called 999 for an ambulance or they called their GP.
Also Check: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
Read Also: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
How To Tell The Difference Between Anxiety Chest Pain And Cardiac Chest Pain
There’s no guaranteed method of knowing whether or not chest pain is caused by anxiety or by a heart problem. But generally the two differ in their overall experience:
Anxiety Chest Pain
- Is usually more localized to a specific area.
- Closer to the middle of the chest, although not necessarily.
Cardiac Chest Pain
- Tends to radiate all around the shoulder and possibly the jaw.
- Tends to be a duller pain, like the heart is being crushed.
- Lasts longer than 10 minutes or more.
There are a lot of similarities between the two. Both may have lightheadedness or dizziness and feel like the heart is being squeezed. Both can make it harder to breathe . It’s not easy to tell the difference, but the differences are there. Furthermore, once you identify what anxiety chest pain feels like for you, in the moment, you may feel more reassured about what your symptoms are indicating .
How Long Does A Heart Attack Last
Initial heart attack symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath, may come and go. Symptoms often last around 10 minutes or longer.
A study published in Critical Pathways in Cardiology found that symptoms lasting less than five minutes are unlikely to indicate a heart attack, while symptoms lasting longer than five minutes should be taken seriously as signs of a myocardial infarction .
However, this finding comes from only one study. So if you have symptoms lasting longer than a few minutes, you need to call 911.
You May Like: How Much Blood Does The Heart Pump
What A Heart Attack Doesnt Feel Like
Not all chest pain is a heart attack symptom. Pain isunlikely to be heart-related when it:
- Is momentary,lasting only for a few seconds.
- Feels like apricking sensation.
- Is in a small,well-localized area of your chest.
- Can bereproduced when you press on your chest or move your arm.
- Radiates belowyour abdomen and into your legs.
The best way to guard yourself from a heart attack is to eat a healthy diet, do regular aerobic activity, avoid smoking, manage diabetes if you have it, have regular checkups with your primary care provider, and know and control your cholesterol levels, says Dr. Menon.
If you notice a sudden changein your ability to perform physical activity, get to a doctor right away.
While Waiting For The Ambulance
Stop any activity and rest while waiting for an ambulance. Dont try to drive yourself to hospital. Loosen any tight clothing, such as collar buttons or ties. Avoid breathing in cigarette smoke. Dont have anything to eat or drink.
If you have been prescribed angina medicine, sit or lie down and take a dose of this under your tongue. If this doesnt relieve your symptoms in 5 minutes, try taking 2 more doses at 5-minute intervals.
Chew 300mg aspirin straight away, unless youre allergic or your doctor has told you not to. Do not give aspirin to anyone under 12 years.
Recommended Reading: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
You May Like: Can Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Symptoms Accompanying Your Shoulder Pain Is Vital
Besides shoulder pain, heart attack may also have the following symptoms:
- Chest Pain or Discomfort: You may feel the pain or discomfort that feels like squeezing, fullness, pressure or tight ache in your chest and it will last for a while. The discomfort will come and go.
- Pain in Upper Body: The discomfort or pain might spread past your chest and to your jaw, teeth, neck, back, arms or shoulders. You might experience pain in the upper body pain without any discomfort in the chest.
- Stomach Pain: The pain can spread down to the abdomen and you might feel something like heartburns. You might feel nauseated or even vomit.
- Shortness of Breath: You might try to take deep breaths or pant. This is mostly before you experience chest discomfort. In some cases, you might not feel the discomfort.
- Anxiety: You might feel like you are experiencing a panic attack out of the blue, or feel a sudden sense of doom come over you.
- Light-Headedness: On top of the chest pressure you might feel dizzy or you are about to faint.
- Sweating: You might suddenly start sweating yet your skin is calm and cold.
When you feel any of the heart attack symptoms, do not ignore them and hope they will fade away. Call 911 immediately.
What Are The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are several different warning signs of a heart attack, and they are not always sudden or severe. Whether or not your chest pain symptoms include mild to severe pain, they should be considered heart-related until proven otherwise.
People having a heart attack may have just one of these symptoms, or a combination of several. They can come on suddenly or develop over a few minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.
Warning signs could include:
- discomfort or pain in the centre of your chest a heaviness, tightness or pressure, like something heavy sitting on your chest, or a belt tightening around your chest, or a bad case of indigestion
- discomfort in your arms, shoulder, neck, jaw or back
- other problems such as:
- feeling dizzy or light-headed
Heart attacks are more common in older people than in younger people, but they can occur in people of any age.
The pain you have may not sound like that described above, but its still important to see a doctor. Remember, all chest pain should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
You May Like: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate
Don’t Miss: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations
What Makes You Worry That Chest Pain Is Serious Like A Heart Attack
When is chest pain serious? That dull burning feeling in your chest doesn’t seem to be going away, and even feels like it is getting worse. Is it a heart attack, or;?
It’s a vexing question, one that millions of people and their doctors face each year. What’s the problem? Chest pain can stem from dozens of conditions besides , from pancreatitis to pneumonia or panic attack.
Millions of Americans with chest pain are seen in hospital emergency departments every year. Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable , a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon. A few have another potentially life-threatening problem, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection . Some are experiencing “regular” angina, which occurs when part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. Most of them, though, had a condition unrelated to the heart or arteries.
The other tricky problem with heart attacks is that different people experience them in different ways. Some have classic chest pain. Others have jaw pain or back pain. Still others become breathless, or extremely fatigued, or nauseated.