Anxiety Elevates Heart Rate
Anxiety, in itself, can cause the heart to race, and, if the arteries are obstructed as noted above, this could also cause arm pain by the same mechanism, says Dr. Tavel.
Anxiety, in the absence of a cardiac disorder, is seldom a cause of arm pain.
Anxiety in the absence of obstructed cardiac blood flow may also rarely produce pains in virtually any location for uncertain reasons. Such pains are usually more widespread and not limited to a single limb.
So if youve been having a fast heartbeat, feelings of anxiety and a concurrent unexplained aching in your arm you need to get your ticker checked.
Look at this for what it is: Youre trying to convince yourself that anxiety causes pain in one arm. Come on.
This symptom could have numerous causes including a muscle problem, but do you really believe that anxiety can cause pain in only one arm?
And if your heart rate is above 100 in the absence of exercise or emotional stress, this is all the more reason to see your doctor.
Dr. Tavels medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials and book reviews in peer-reviewed national medical journals. He was formerly director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Hospital in Indiana. mortontavel.com
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Differences Between Strained Chest Muscle And Cardiac Pain Angina
Musculoskeletal chest pain tends to be quite different from worrisome heart pain, says Alvaro Waissbluth, MD, an Ohio-based heart surgeon board certified in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular diseases, and founder of Eat Tank, an educational nutrition initiative that provides simple tools and practical knowledge for better understanding food.
Dr. Waissbluth continues, Musculoskeletal chest pains almost always change with physical movement of the chest wall either from breathing or moving ones arms or body.
This causes tension on the actual muscles or tendons or ligaments or joints that are inflamed and makes them hurt.
This is a hallmark feature of chest muscle soreness.
Like any sore or strained muscle, the pain will fluctuate or be aggravated with movement.
Also, musculoskeletal chest pains are often fleeting lasting a few seconds at most and go away when the movement is over. Angina doesnt last for three seconds.
Pay attention to your movements.
What motions did you carry out just before that fleeting chest pain?
The offending motion could have even been committed while you were seatedsimply twisting in your chair, pressing a hand against the armrest, may be all it takes to buzz the strained chest muscle.
They are rarely accompanied by other symptoms and typically dont radiate anywhere else, says Dr. Waissbluth, referring to musculoskeletal pain.
Take an exaggerated exhalation or inhalation to see if either bring out the discomfort.
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.
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Chest Pain That Isnt Heart
Symptoms of chest pain that are less likely to be connected with cardiac problems are as follows:
- A sharp pain when coughing, sneezing or breathing.
- A sudden sharp pain that lasts a few seconds.
- The pain is in one small spot.
- You have chest pain for many hours or days without other symptoms.
- You can reproduce the pain by pressing on your chest.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a burning painful feeling in your chest could be a result of a serious heart condition or caused by heartburn.6
Chew One Aspirin If Recommended
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to take an aspirin.
Aspirin may help to slow or reduce clotting and blockage around the site of a ruptured plaque deposit in your artery. This can limit damage to your heart and help save your life.
But aspirin won’t cure a heart attack or make your symptoms go away, so never delay calling 911 to take an aspirin.
You may be told not to take aspirin if you take a medication that can interact with it.
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Chest Pain Left Side Vs Right Side
The term chest pain can describe pain anywhere in the chest, but one common question with chest pain is if there is a difference between pain in the left side of the chest and the right side of the chest. This is because people typically associate only left side chest pain with a heart attack, as most people known that is where the heart is located.
However, left side chest pain doesnt always indicate a heart issue. Nor should right side chest pain be ignored. Heart attacks cause pain all over the bodyfrom the right side of the chest, to the left side of the chest and other places on the body, like the jaw.
Chest pain on the right side of the chest rarely signifies a heart issue–but that doesnt mean that right side chest pain isnt serious. There are several reasons behind chest pains on right side, some serious and others not as serious such as:
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Warning Signs Of Pain Originating In The Heart
It is common to experience chest pain after exertion or due to many different reasons. However, you must have knowledge about what side is your heart on as well as the warning signs of heart pain.
Also called myocardial infarction, this happens due to reduced blood flow through heart blood vessels. This leads to the death of heart muscle cells and cause permanent damage. The pain you experience in a heart attack is quite similar to angina, but it will be more severe in case of myocardial infarction.
Unlike what you see on TV, not all heart attacks will begin with crushing chest pain that hits you out of nowhere. About one-third of the patients who had heart attacks never experienced any chest pain. It means the symptoms of heart attack will vary from person to person. Some people may experience a few symptoms, while others may feel excruciating pain when they have a heart attack. Research shows heart attacks can start slowly with mild, bearable pain, whereas people with high blood sugar may not experience any symptoms at all. Women may experience symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, vomiting, and pain in the back, jaw, and shoulder. The most common symptoms include the following:
Coronary Artery Disease
Mitral Valve Prolapse
In this condition, a valve of your heart doesnt close properly, which causes several symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, and dizziness.
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Why Left Arm Pain
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.
Pain Only When You’re In A Certain Position
Q: What are some other causes of chest pain that would warrant a medical emergency?
A: One of the more common causes of chest pain that send people to the hospital, out of an abundance of caution, is musculoskeletal chest pain, which means, whether the patient remembers or not, he or she may have strained one of the muscles, joints, or ligaments in their chest wall. They pulled a chest muscle either by doing a new exercise, by bending over to pick up a large number of groceries, or by sleeping funny. A telling sign of chest pain on the left side, the right side or a particular location due to muscle strain is if the patients have chest pain that only happen when they are in an unusual position or at a particular location – for example, they reproduce the pain if they raise their left or right arm or if they bend over a certain way.
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Discomfort That Lessens With Exercise
If a sharp pain strikes your chest but improves as you move around a bit well, you may be looking at a case of heartburn or some other gastrointestinal issue.
An estimated 15 million Americans a day experience heartburn, which brings an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest and a sour feeling in your throat. An over-the-counter antacid can help bring some relief.
First Thoughts When A Patient Comes With Tightness In Chest
Q: Say a patient comes in with tightness in chest, what would be on your mind?
A: Chest tightness or pain can be caused by a really broad number of things . There are a few really key characteristics that could help categorize someone’s chest pain as something acute that require you to mobilize a ton of resources right away versus other things that are not life threatening even if they may be causing the patient’s chest pain and discomfort.
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When To Go To The Doctor
Many times, right-sided chest pain disappears after a few minutes and if it does, theres no reason to worry. However, assessment by a doctor is the only way to really identify the underlying cause. It’s best to go to a hospital if:
- The pain is very intense or gets worse with time
- The pain lasts for more than 15 minutes
- Other symptoms appear such as difficulty breathing, fever or fainting
In addition, elderly people and those with chronic problems, especially respiratory or heart disease, should be assessed by a doctor, as the pain may indicate that the condition has worsened, and treatment may need to be adjusted.
Is This Cause For Concern
Pain in the right side of your chest can happen for a number of reasons, but most chest discomfort isnt related to your heart. In fact, chest pain on your right side typically isnt the result of a heart attack.
Your chest is home to other organs and tissues that may be inflamed or injured, causing you to feel pain. Any aches you feel are most likely due to muscle strain, infection, stress or anxiety, or other conditions unrelated to your heart.
Keep reading to learn what that may be behind your symptoms and when you should see your doctor.
Chest pain on the left side is typically associated with a heart attack. If you feel any pain on your right side, its most likely not related to your heart.
But you should still seek immediate medical attention if you:
- have unexplained and unexpected severe chest pain
- feel pressure, squeezing, or fullness in your chest
- have severe pain shooting through your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- break out into a cold sweat
- feel weak, dizzy, or nauseous
- have difficulty breathing
Any of these symptoms could be caused by a serious or life-threatening condition, so you should seek urgent care as soon as possible.
An anxiety disorder or extreme stress can bring on panic attacks, which can feel very similar to a heart attack. Panic attacks can happen out of the blue or be triggered by a traumatic or stressful event in your life.
Symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks can include:
- shortness of breath
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Could It Be A Heart Problem
Chest pain isn’t always caused by a problem with your heart, but it can sometimes be a symptom of:
- angina where the blood supply to the muscles of the heart is restricted
- a heart attack where the blood supply to part of the heart is suddenly blocked
Both of these conditions can cause a dull, heavy or tight pain in the chest that can spread to the arms, neck, jaw or back. They can also cause additional symptoms, such as breathlessness and nausea.
The main differences between these conditions is that chest pain caused by angina tends to be triggered by physical activity or emotional stress, and gets better with rest after a few minutes.
If you have previously been diagnosed with angina, the pain may also be relieved by your angina medication.
Symptoms that last more than 15 minutes, occur at rest, and include sweating and vomiting are more likely to be caused by a heart attack.
Dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance if you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, or if you have the symptoms above and haven’t been diagnosed with a heart condition.
If you have an angina attack and you’ve previously been diagnosed with the condition, take the medication prescribed for you. A second dose can be taken after five minutes if the first dose is ineffective.
If there is no improvement five minutes after the second dose, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Pleural Effusion And Pleurisy
A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid in the space between the membranes surrounding the lungs. Some call it “water on the lungs.” There are many possible causes.
When an effusion is small, there may only be discomfort. But with large effusions, shortness of breath is often present as well.
When the built-up fluid contains cancer cells, the condition is called a malignant pleural effusion. This can happen because of cancer that either originated in the chest or spread there from elsewhere in the body. These cases can be quite painful.
Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura. This can often cause persistent right-sided chest pain. This pain often increases with a deep breath and can sometimes feel scratchy. Pleurisy can be caused by a pleural effusion, as well as pneumonia or severe flu.
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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.
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Chest Pain Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Chest pain can be a warning sign of a heart attack. A heart attack happens when the blood supply to your heart becomes blocked and damages the heart muscle.
The longer a heart attack is left untreated more damage occurs. In some cases, a heart attack can be fatal. Many Australians die of heart attack, or suffer permanent damage to the heart because they dont know the signs or wait too long to act.
Symptoms of a heart attack may include:
- Severe crushing pain in the centre of your chest or behind the breastbone. You may feel this as a squeezing, tightening, choking or heavy pressure feeling.
- Pain spreading to the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw or back.
- Feeling anxious, dizzy or unwell.
- A sick feeling in the stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
- Symptoms that often last 10 to 15 minutes or more.
Symptoms of a heart attack may vary from person to person, and some people have few symptoms or none at all.
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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.