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.
What To Expect At Your Doctors Office
If you have left arm pain accompanied by other symptoms of a heart attack, dont delay. Seek emergency care immediately. This could be a life-threatening event.
Emergency personnel will use an electrocardiogram to monitor your heart. An intravenous line will be put in your arm to ensure you get enough fluids and to deliver medication, if necessary. You may also need oxygen to help you breathe.
Additional diagnostic tests will help determine if you had or are having a heart attack. Treatment depends on the extent of the damage.
Further testing depends on your symptoms and what can be determined from the imaging tests.
Can A Panic Attack Cause A Heart Attack
A panic attack is unlikely to cause a heart attack, but its possible. Emotional stress plays a role in both conditions. Both panic attacks and heart attacks can occur during or after a stressful situation, says Dr. Miller. But most of the time, people have a panic attack rather than a heart attack in response to emotional stress.
People who have anxiety, depression or chronic stress may have a higher risk of heart problems. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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But If Your Heart Is Healthywhy Would Stress Cause A Pain In Your Left Arm
Think about that for a moment. Its not surprising that of Dr. Clarkes 7,000 stress-illness patients, hes never encountered one with a simultaneous presentation of chest and left arm pain in the presence of a healthy heart.
Angina means theres a problem with the coronary arteries, and there are treatments for this. Do NOT ignore these symptoms!
Tests by a cardiologist would begin with an EKG and cardiac stress test.
However, if you go to an emergency room with complaints of pain in the chest and left arm, you will immediately have an EKG done, blood tests to see if you had or are having a heart attack or have a blood clot in a lung, and a chest X-ray.
Anxiety, of course, is often the cause of a single symptom: chest pain.
Dr. Clarke explains, The mechanism that produces physical symptoms in anxiety is not completely understood.
But possible explanations include altered processing by the central nervous system of sensory signals from the chest and contraction of muscles in the chest caused by signals traveling from brain to muscle via the sympathetic nervous system.
Since 1983 Dr. Clarke has successfully cared for over 7,000 patients with stress illness.
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.;;
Can Physical Therapy Help With Stress Related Neck Pain Andshoulder Tension
Theres a multitude of evidence to support the effectiveness ofphysical therapy when it comes to reducing shoulder pain and decreased range of motion. Physical therapy treatment options for shoulder pain include manual therapy, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercises, stretching, therapeutic ultrasound, laser therapy, and modalities such as electrical stimulation/TENS, heat or ice.
Physical therapy can be a safe and effective option for managing the effects of severe stress. If your stress-induced shoulder and neck pain lasts for more than a few weeks, give us a call orrequest an appointment to discuss potential treatment options.
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How To Reduce Anxiety And Chest Pain
The best way to manage chest pain is with prevention and by reducing your overall anxiety symptoms. The less you experience anxiety, the less risk you’ll have for chest pain.
If you’re currently experiencing anxiety and chest pain, the best things to do are the following:
- Control Your Breathing Recall that this type of chest pain is often caused by hyperventilation, and even if you’re not hyperventilating, getting your breathing under control is a great way to calm the nerves. Take slow, controlled breaths using deep breathing techniques that take at least 15 seconds and you’ll quickly see a difference. Try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, breathing deep from your diaphragm rather than shallow from your chest.
- Control Your Thoughts One of the reasons I recommend going to a doctor first is because understanding that your chest pain is anxiety related reduces the severity of the experience. If you know that your heart is in good health, don’t let your thoughts spiral out of control because that may make the chest pain worse.
- Control Your Environment Chest pain caused by thoughts or anxiety is often made worse when you sit and focus on the experience. See if you can give yourself a healthy coping distraction, and much of the chest pain will fade away. Some suggestions for this include changing your location , listen to relaxing or happy music, talk on the phone with a trusted friend, or use grounding techniques to focus on the present.
Know The Correlation Between The Two Conditions
According to the American Heart Association), many mental health issues can affect your heart health. When your body is under stress, it produces higher levels of glucose, adrenaline, and cortisol. Repetitive or prolonged distress overworks your adrenal glands, heart, and arteries. Unhealthy coping mechanisms, like smoking cigarettes or eating fatty foods, can contribute to the negative cycle. If left unchecked, an unhealthy mental state becomes another risk factor for heart attack.
Additionally, up to a third of all heart attack survivors experience depression. Anxiety and chest pain can trigger more panic, resulting in a potentially destructive cycle. Healthy mental and physical habits reduce the chances of anxiety and heart attacks.
To learn more about living a heart-healthy lifestyle and what to do when anxiety feels like a heart attack, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute today.
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Anxiety And Panic Attacks
In addition to chest pain and overwhelming feelings of anxiety, these attacks can cause symptoms such as;heart palpitations,;sweating, breathlessness and dizziness.
Most panic attacks last for;5 to 20 minutes. In the long-term, you may benefit from psychological therapy and;medication, or both.;
Psychological Symptoms Of Gad
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
- difficulty concentrating
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
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Who Is At Risk For Getting Broken Heart Syndrome
You may be at higher risk for getting broken heart syndrome if you are a middle-aged woman. The risk of developing the condition increases five times after the age of 55. While the syndrome has been reported in younger women, in men and even in children, the vast majority of patients are post-menopausal women. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it is believed that because the female hormone estrogen helps to protect the heart from the harmful effects of adrenaline, women become particularly vulnerable to the effects of sudden stress as they grow older and their estrogen levels decline. Other risk factors for developing this condition include a history of anxiety, depression or neurologic illness.
Stay on Top of Your Heart Health
If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.
Quick Read Angina Or Anxiety
- Many people go to the emergency room with chest pain that feels like a heart attack but is instead;anxiety.
- Its unlikely that a young person without risk factors is having a heart attack, but you should still go to the emergency room if you experience symptoms.;
Picture this: Your heart is racing. It feels like its not just beating in your chest but in your throat and neck. Its beating so hard that its impossible to think of anything else.
You feel short of breath, but short of breath doesnt quite describe it. Its more like youre smothering or choking. And when you think about it, swallowing is difficult, too.
On top of this, you are sweating and shaking uncontrollably. And you are dizzy to the point of needing to throw up.
Your chest gets tighter and tighter. You feel a sense of impending doom. Youre worried that you may be having a heart attack. What else could it be?
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Symptoms Of Stress And Anxiety
Stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body. In small doses, the stress response can improve alertness and sharpen senses; however, chronic stress can lead to serious problems such as cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, and autoimmune disease. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms on an ongoing basis.
- Frequent colds or infections
What Is Chest Pain
When medical professionals talk about chest pain, they’re talking about the pain and discomfort that can be an early sign of heart attack. There are many ways to describe this pain, including tightness or unusual pressure in the center of the chest.
While pain can radiate to the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back, people often mistake this pain for indigestion, which can be dangerous.
Because heart attack symptoms in women can be so subtle, heart attacks in women frequently go unrecognized. Unfortunately, treatment is sought long after symptoms are initially felt.
If you’re experiencing the heart attack symptoms listed here, call 911 immediately.
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Things To Keep In Mind If You Have Left Arm Pain
While left arm pain may not always be an indicator of an oncoming heart attack, it is important to seek the advice of your physician if you are experiencing discomfort in your left arm and have been previously diagnosed with heart disease.
If the pain in your left arm occurs after a hard fall, or if youve bumped into something, it may be a broken or fractured bone. If left untreated, this can cause more issues in the future. If there is a possibility that youve broken something in your arm, it is best to get it looked at by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Similarly, if you have any difficulty being able to fully rotate your shoulder, elbow, or wrist, this may be due to a rotator cuff tear, bursitis, or tendinitis, and if left without treatment, these issues can progress and worsen over time. Be sure to get your arm looked at by a trained professional if you experience any of these symptoms as soon as you can to prevent your condition from worsening
If your left arm pain is caused by a muscle sprain or strain, it can be treated at home by resting the arm, applying ice on and off for short periods of time, and keeping it elevated. Over-the-counter painkillers may also help to ease any discomfort until the sprain has fully healed.
For People With Type 2 Diabetes
These medications should lower blood glucose and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
A doctor may prescribe either a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, such as canagliflozin , or a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, such as dulaglutide .
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Tendonitis Or Inflammation Of Tendons
The inflammation of the connective tissue between muscle and bone is tendonitis. Owing to repetitive joint use, tendonitis sometimes occurs. Therefore, tennis players, swimmers, and musicians frequently get tendonitis for this cause. The cause of left arm pain may be tendonitis in the shoulder or elbow.
Anxiety Chest Pain Vs Heart Attack Chest Pain
Chest pain is a concerning symptom, and its usually best to seek emergency medical attention if youre experiencing it. Even if the chest pain cause is anxiety, its better to know than to risk missing valuable time if youre having a heart attack.
People describe chest pain in a number of ways when theyre having a heart attack. Some examples include:
- chest pain that radiates to other parts of your body, such as down your arms or up to your jaw
- chest pain that worsens with exertion
- nausea along with chest pain
- pressure in the chest, as if someone has put something heavy on your chest
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- squeezing sensation in the chest
An estimated 30 percent of patients who are having a heart attack dont have chest pain, according to 2020 research. Some people report symptoms like back pain and fatigue as part of their heart attack symptoms.
While doctors know there is a connection between anxiety and chest pain, you still shouldnt ignore your symptoms and seek medical attention.
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If I Have Had Broken Heart Syndrome What Is My Long Term Prognosis
Short and long term prognosis depends on the type of stressor that causes the syndrome in the first place. Patients who develop broken heart syndrome due to emotional triggers have a good five year prognosis. Patients with physical stressors have a worse prognosis due to neurologic events, like a stroke. Since the heart muscle is not permanently damaged, most patients with broken heart syndrome continue to live healthy lives.
Dealing With Pain In Left Arm
Pain in the left arm can be very annoying and afflictive. Given below are some methods for you to deal with this condition.
If you have injured your arm by performing excessive physical activity, you can easily treat this with a bit of home care. Take a break from any activities that cause you to strain your left arm. Apply ice or a compression bandage to the painful area to take down any swelling and keep your arm elevated.
Increase physical activity
If you suspect that poor circulation is to blame for your discomfort, then you should work to increase your physical activity. Performing cardio exercises can improve your circulation all over the body. Performing activities such as push-ups or using small hand weights can help specific issues in your left arm.
Seek medical assistance
Any time that your arm pain is associated with severe redness or swelling in the area, several days of pain with no improvement, bleeding or a sudden onset of pain, it is important to seek medical assistance. If you hear a snapping or cracking sound when the injury takes place or you are having trouble moving your arm, then you will also need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
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Fractured Or Broken Bone
Despite pain, sometimes theres no outward sign that youve fractured or broken a bone in your arm or wrist.
A broken bone in your arm, wrist, or hand can cause pain that gets worse when you move. Other symptoms include swelling and numbness. Its possible to have a bone fracture or break in your arm or wrist even though your arm appears normal.
Symptoms Can Be Different For Men And Women
Men and women experience heart attack symptoms in slightly different ways. The main difference is how pain radiates.
- For men: Pain will spread to the left shoulder, down the left arm or up to the chin.
- For women: Pain can be much more subtle. It may travel to the left or right arm, up to the chin, shoulder blades and upper back or to abdomen . Women are also more likely to experience these accompanying symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain. Read an in-depth overview of heart attack symptoms for women here.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Surviving a heart attack depends upon how well you recognize and react to these symptoms. Remember that “time is muscle.” The sooner you receive medical care, the sooner heart muscle can be saved.
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