Saturday, June 15, 2024

What Part Of Arm Hurts During Heart Attack

Don't Miss

Risk Factors For Atherosclerosis Are As Follows:

The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Chronic Chest Pain

Tobacco smoking Obesity Age Familial history

The classical symptom of a heart attack is sudden chest pain. The pain typically radiates to the left side of the body affecting the left shoulder, arm, and neck. The pain of heart attack is described as having an elephant on the chest. Levines sign or when a person clenches his/her fist over the sternum is classically thought to predict cardiac chest pain but studies have shown that it has a poor predictive value.

Is Mild Chest Pain Normal

Chest pain may arise and subside every few minutes or over several days. The cause may be related to the heart, the muscles, the digestive system, or psychological factors. Underlying causes of chest pain may be mild, as in the case of acid reflux. Or, they may be serious and indicate, for example, a heart attack.

Heart Attack Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore

February 8, 2017Heart

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, approximately 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Ventricular fibrillation is a leading cause of death of heart attack sufferers, and this typically occurs before victims can make it to an emergency room. For those who can get treatment in time, the prognosis is excellent, as most modern treatments yield a survival rate of more than 90 percent. The remaining percentage of those who do eventually die are those who have suffered significant damage to the heart muscle during the heart attack or those who experience damage later.

Recommended Reading: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations

Symptoms That Should Accompany Left Arm Pain

Chest pain:;Chest pain is the most commonly recognized symptom indicating that there is something wrong with the heart. But for some patients, chest pain does not occur as a symptom of a heart attack. You may experience pressure, tightness, or pain originating in the center of the chest spreading down the arm, to the back, or to the neck and jaw .

Unusual fatigue:;We all get tired from time to time, but if fatigue is new, sudden, or dramatic, it could be a sign of a heart attack. This includes suddenly feeling worn out after your typical exercise routine, feeling fatigued even without physical exertion or after simple activities like making the bed, and experiencing sleep problems even though you feel exceptionally tired.

Sweating and/or shortness of breath:;If you experience sudden sweating or shortness of breath without physical activity, breathlessness that worsens without activity, shortness of breath that worsens when lying down and improving when getting up, stress sweat with no apparent stress, or sweating or shortness of breath that is accompanied by the other symptoms listed here, then these are signs of a heart attack.

Neck, jaw, and head ache:;As mentioned, chest pains can move to affect the neck or jaw, but pain in the jaw or neck can occur without the presence of chest pain during a heart attack.

Upper back pain:;Pain from the chest may radiate to the upper back and can be experienced in-between the shoulder blades.

Heart Attack Symptoms: Women Vs Men

Platinum Supplemental Insurance Do You Know What a Heart ...

Women may experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath as many men do, but they also tend to experience stomach pain, back pain, and other non-classic symptoms.

Because of the subtlety in those symptoms, many women brush off these warning signs and already have heart damage by the time they get to the Emergency Department.

And many women put their families before their own health. But you cant take care of your loved ones if your own health is not where it needs to be.

You May Like: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations

What Else Could Cause My Arm Pain

When your arm or is painful, it is most often due to a condition that is not as serious as a heart attack. Common causes of arm pain include:

  • Arm or shoulder muscle stress or due to over exercising and activities, such as sleeping in an awkward position

  • bone due to an injury

  • , inflammation of a bursa sac that cushions a joint

  • , a disorder that causes long-term tender spots and in the shoulders and other areas of the body

  • Injury to the neck or shoulder, which can cause pain to spread down the arm

  • , wear and tear of the joints in the arm and shoulder

  • , irritation of a tendon from strain or overuse such as in

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

Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Resting Heart Rate

Angina And Heart Attacks

Angina is a syndrome caused by the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becoming restricted.

People with angina can experience similar symptoms to a heart attack, but they usually happen during exercise and pass within a few minutes.

However, occasionally, people with angina can have a heart attack. It’s important to recognise the difference between the symptoms of angina and those of a heart attack. The best way to do this is to remember that the symptoms of angina can be controlled with medicine, but symptoms of a heart attack cannot.

If you have angina, you may have been prescribed medicine that improves your symptoms within 5 minutes. If the first dose does not work, a second dose can be taken after 5 minutes, and a third dose after a further 5 minutes.

If the pain persists, despite taking 3 doses of glyceryl trinitrate over 15 minutes, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022

When To See A Doctor

Is Arm Pain a Heart Attack Symptom

Even if youve ruled out a heart attack or stroke, its always a good idea to follow up with your doctor if you have unexplained numbness in any part of your body. This is especially important if it doesnt seem to go away once you change positions.

During your appointment, make sure to tell your doctor:

  • when your symptoms started

You May Like: How Much Blood Does The Heart Pump

Cardiac Pain That Isnt A Heart Attack

Cardiac pain, or angina, refers to discomfort in the chest because of something going on with the heart. The first thing a cardiologist will try to determine in a patient with cardiac pain is whether the pain is caused by clogged arteries.

Several conditions of the heart can cause cardiac pain but arent related to clogged arteries, including:

  • Pericarditis: inflammation of the two thin layers of tissue that surround the heart
  • Dissection: when the aorta splits and causes severe chest and back pain
  • Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Cardiomyopathy: diseases of the heart muscle

When Should I Call My Doctor Or 911

Contact your doctor if you have long-term arm pain or discomfort. if your arm pain is severe or sudden or occurs with any of these symptoms:

  • Feeling as if something terrible is going to happen or having an unexplained sense of dread or uneasiness

  • Any type of , such as pain, pressure, or squeezing, even if it is mild

Recommended Reading: Does Acid Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations

Comparison Of How Left Arm Pain From A Heart Attack Feels Vs From A Muscle Problem

When people feel pain in their left arm, they are often worried that it could be a sign of a heart attack, says Nichole M. Polin, MD, FACC, Director, Cardio-Oncology Clinic, Ochsner Health System.

The pain can be more confusing if orthopedic issues are also present such as arthritis of the shoulder or neck or a rotator cuff injury, continues Dr. Polin.

Typically, if a person is having a heart attack, pain in the left arm would not be the only symptom.

More often, this pain would also be associated with a pain or discomfort in the chest, excessive sweating, nausea, weakness or shortness of breath.

Musculoskeletal pain is usually reproducible with motion and palpation and would not be associated with the above symptoms.

The feeling in the left arm from a heart attack is often described by patients as a shooting pain.

Its sudden and intense, and may have a burning quality to it.

However, pain of a muscular origin would not be shooting or burning, nor would it suddenly streak down the arm while youre at rest and not even using the arm unless it is a muscle spasm.

And in that case, the spasm likely would be more focal rather than involving the entire arm.

A muscle spasm can be sudden and attention-getting, but it often lasts just seconds or less. A spasm may recur every few minutes and go on like this for a while.

Left arm pain from a heart attack would not behave this way.

What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Man

Heart attack symptoms: The sudden sensation which shouldn ...

The classic symptom of chest pain may not be present in every heart attack, but it remains the most common sign among men. The pain is often described as a pressure or squeezing sensation. Chest pain tends to be located in the center of the chest, but it can be felt from armpit to armpit.

Other common heart attack symptoms for men include:

  • shortness of breath, which sometimes develops before any other symptoms, and may be present when sitting still or moving around
  • back pain, often moving up to the neck
  • arm pain, typically in the left arm, but can be in either or both arms
  • jaw pain that sometimes feels like a bad toothache
  • nausea

Recommended Reading: 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.

What Exactly Is A Heart Attack

Myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as heart attack, is a medical emergency that needs immediate management. It basically means heart muscle death . It is primarily caused by the interruption of blood supply to the heart muscles. When heart muscles do not receive enough blood, they die and losses its function. Like the brain, heart muscles do not regenerate. If the heart muscles die, it will remain dead and useless.

Don’t Miss: Can Reflux Cause Heart Palpitations

Heart Attack & Left Arm Pain

Heart attacks are life-threatening and an ache in the left arm may be the first symptoms. Most often a person experiencing a heart attack will experience a radiating ache from the chest down the left arm, both men and women can have this symptom. The pain in left arm has to be diagnosed by a physician to know if you are having a heart attack.

As mentioned above, secluded left arm pain can be related to heart problems. Heart attack & left arm pain have been related for a long time and it is quite evident when you encounter the symptoms of chest pain with left arm pain. In order to avoid the heart attack, left arm pain should be diagnosed at the earliest by visiting the doctor. The doctor would take a close look at your condition and would do a proper diagnosis of the left arm pain and the associated reasons.

Familiarize Yourself With All Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Have you lately experienced upper body pain or injury? Do you have a problem breathing at times, or sometimes become tired faster compared to you should? If so, you may have a problem with your heart that, if unattended, could become deadly any time. Heart attacks can be either abrupt or subtle, and every person is a special case.

All aspects of health care are important, but this is particularly real for emergency situations where there merely isnt really time to note the issue for long prior to trying to address it. In cardiovascular disease, time issues, and so does encounter.

Why Left Arm Pain

Heart Attack Symptoms – The Nebraska Medical Center

During a heart attack, the pain radiates to the left side because of the confusion of the nervous system during a cardiac event. Anatomically, the heart is located on the center of the chest but is slightly tilted towards the left. That is same reason why we often feel palpitations and heart rates more on the left side of the chest. In fact, the heart beat can be best palpated or auscultated with the aid of a stethoscope on the area below the nipple on the left chest. This is two finger breadths below the nipple. This is where the apex of the heart is tilted a bit. The left arm pain is more commonly felt by women who suffer an attack than in men who usually only has sudden, severe chest pain.

The left arm pain noted during a heart attack arises when the nervous system or the neuron messenger system is confused while sending the message that is not well defined as the somatic nervous system. The nerves that supply the heart and the left arm are from the same spinal segment. The pain originates form the left chest then travels to the other parts such as the back, nape and left arm.

A left arm pain should be treated as a warning sign of a heart attack. The person should immediately seek medical advice to get the medical help she or he needs, even without the presence of chest pain. Early detection is important for preventive purposes. A person can be treated more effectively if the early signs of a heart attack are identified at an early time.

Also Check: Does Acid 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.

Signs And Symptoms Of Chest Muscle Strain

Chest muscle strain can cause sudden pain if your muscle is torn. A muscle strain in your chest can be acute. It may also gradually spread through your body as bleeding or swelling around the injured muscle occurs.

Common symptoms of a muscle strain in your chest include:


Your pain may be sharp from an acute pull in your muscle, or dull from a chronic strain. It may also be painful when you breathe or move your upper body.

Muscle spasms

You may experience uncontrollable and involuntary movements called muscle spasms due to a strain or tear. Muscle spasms may be painful or slightly irritating based on the severity and location of your strain.


With any kind of tear or strain, you will see swelling in the injured area. This can help you find where your pain is coming from.


Bruising may occur in the injured area. If you have a torn muscle, you will experience severe pain and bruising in the torn area. For a muscle strain in your chest, you may have light bruising.

You May Like: What Branch Of Medicine Deals With Heart Disease

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.

More articles

Popular Articles