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
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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.
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.
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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.
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Describe Chest Pain To Your Doctor
Doctors use several pieces of information to determine who is, and who isn’t, having a heart attack. In addition to the description of your symptoms and your heart risk profile, doctors use the results of an electrocardiogram and a blood test called cardiac troponin. But sometimes these don’t immediately show abnormalities. So, what you describe to the doctor and your medical history are extremely important in determining the initial steps in your treatment.
Here are some things your doctors will want to know about what you are experiencing:
What is it that you are feeling ?
Where is the discomfort?
Has it gotten worse or stayed the same?
Is the feeling constant, or does it come and go?
Have you felt it before?
What were you doing before these feelings started?
Clear answers to these questions go a long way toward nailing down a diagnosis. A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack , while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.
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. Itâs 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
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
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If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .
You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:
- Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
- Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health
What You Should Do During A Heart Attack
If you think you are having a heart attack, you or someone nearby should call emergency services immediately. Its unsafe to drive yourself to the hospital during a heart attack, so call an ambulance. While you may feel awake and alert enough to drive, the chest pain could get so severe that you may have trouble breathing or difficulty thinking clearly.
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Left Arm Pain: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Pain in the arms is a common complaint. We use our arms a great deal in everyday life, and the muscles, joints and tendons inside them can all be the cause of this pain. However, arm pain is not always caused by a problem with the arm itself, and may come from elsewhere in the body. In this case, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If you feel pain in your left arm in particular, it is important to be vigilant because this can be one of the symptoms of a heart attack. It is therefore important to learn to recognise the symptoms in order to tell if a pain in your arm is a cause for concern, and to know when you should seek urgent medical assistance.
Arm Back Neck Jaw Or Stomach Pain Or Discomfort
Heart attack pain may not be confined to the chest area. Pain or discomfort in your arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach can also be heart attack-related.
But many people do not associate pain in these areas with having a heart attack which may prevent them from getting immediate medical attention.
Some head-to-toe signs of a heart attack include:
- Jaw, neck, or back pain
- Arm or shoulder pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
If you feel sudden discomfort in these areas, call 9-1-1.
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She Had Crushing Sensations In Her Chest And Throat And Pain In Her Left Arm
When there is no chest pain, people may not realise they are having a heart attack. But it was very rare for people, even though they might not have typical symptoms, not to realise that there was something serious going on. One man in his early forties kept getting bouts of severe back pain, which he did not relate to his heart, but when it got really bad he decided to go to casualty.
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.
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Heart Attack Warning Signs
Pain, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or uncomfortable pressure in the center of the chest
Pain, numbness, pinching, prickling, or other uncomfortable sensations in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
Sudden nausea or vomiting or unexplained indigestion
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Sudden heat or flushing, or a cold sweat
Heaviness, weakness, or pain in one or both arms
Racing or fluttering heart
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.
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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.
Itâs the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.
Chest Pain Pressure And Discomfort
Most people with heart attacks experience some sort of chest pain or discomfort. But its important to understand that chest pains dont occur in every heart attack.
Chest pain is a common sign of a heart attack. People have described this sensation as feeling like an elephant is standing on their chest.
Some people dont describe chest pain as pain at all. Instead, they may say they felt chest tightness or squeezing. Sometimes this discomfort can seem bad for a few minutes and then go away. Sometimes the discomfort comes back hours or even a day later. These could all be signs your heart muscle isnt getting enough oxygen.
If you experience chest pains or tightness, you or someone around you should call 911 immediately.
Pain and tightness can also radiate in other areas of the body. Most people associate a heart attack with pain working its way down the left arm. That can happen, but pain can also appear in other locations, including:
- upper abdomen
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Can You Recognize A Heart Attack Or Stroke
What To Do When Every Moment Counts
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts. Get to know the signs and symptoms of these health threats. If you think you or someone else might be having a heart attack or stroke, get medical help right away. Acting fast could save your life or someone elses.
Heart disease and stroke are 2 of the top killers among both women and men in the U.S. Nationwide, someone dies from a heart attack about every 90 seconds, and stroke kills someone about every 4 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quick medical help could prevent many of these deaths. Fast action can also limit permanent damage to the body.
Heart attack and stroke are caused by interruptions to the normal flow of blood to the heart or brain2 organs that are essential to life. Without access to oxygen-rich blood and nutrients, heart or brain cells begin to malfunction and die. This cell death can set off a series of harmful effects throughout the body. The changes ultimately lead to the familiar symptoms of a heart or brain emergency.
You might know the most common symptoms of heart attack: sustained, crushing chest pain and difficulty breathing. A heart attack might also cause cold sweats, a racing heart, pain down the left arm, jaw stiffness, or shoulder pain.
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.
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Your Legs Feet And Ankles Are Swollen
This could be a sign that your heart doesnât pump blood as effectively as it should.
When the heart can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating.
Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
Lets Win This Together
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Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.
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