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Heart Attack Warning Signs

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Balaji Ramagiri 90% (216 ratings)
MBBS, DM - Cardiology, MD
Cardiologist, Hyderabad  •  29 years experience
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Symptoms of Heart Attack

Hello! Good day, I’m Dr. Balaji. I’m a cardiologist, practicing at city of Hyderabad. Today I’m going to briefly educate you about the Chest pain.

Chest pain is one of the commonest symptoms that I keep seeing in my daily OPD. Different spectrum of age groups come to me with chest pain from very small children to the elderly people. People are very confused about the origin of chest pain, what I mean, if it any kind of chest pain any place in the body they think it’s something to do with the heart, they’re going to get a heart attack, it’s going to be a serious, life threatening condition and few of them come with a stricken of panic that they are going to collapse. Fortunately all chest pains are not heart pains and then today we are going to learn which kinds of pains are heart pains, which are not. When we need not go to a doctor, when we can just relax, when we need not get panicky and then probably we can also assure our friends, colleagues, family members if they have chest pain by gaining knowledge form this lecture.

See, once we have chest cage, the chest cage basically contains what? We have a skin, we have a hard tissue below that, we have a rib cage, we have a sternum, a vertical bone in the middle and we have nerves, we have arteries, we have lung tissue. We have lung tissue on either side and we have heart in middle and we have some blood valves coming from these. So, let us go one by one. Heart we know is important organ which gives pumping the blood all through our day and night and then the heart itself should get blood supply from arteries, these are called as coronary arteries. When these coronary are flowing and supplying the blood to the heart muscle then only the heart keeps pumping effectively without any pain.

So, let us just go to the, what are the causes of chest pain? What cause chest pain? The first thing I’ve said is the muscle symptoms. So, we know that the chest wall is made of muscles and when these muscles become sore, when they become sprained, strained. When you life a weight or you know you have some kind of trauma tissue, you joined the gym or you lie down on the bed and particularly in a bad posture you can get some kind of pain. So if somebody gets chest pain probably during these activities we think it is a muscle pain, one need not be panicky, it’s not heart pain. Okay!

The second pain is joint pains, what is called costochondritis. This is one of the very common pains in the practice. This middle bone this is called the breast bone or sternum hinges at the ribs through a joint. That’s how when we breathe, when we breathe our rib cage moves because our hinges have joints. So, this is called as costochondritis. This costochondritis is nothing but a joint inflammation. You see that red spots, these are the inflammations. That means if there is an inflammation in these joints you’ll have pain, the pains are localized, there are in the area not more than fingertip. They increase with pushing or pressing the chest and also they increase with deep breathing. So, if these kinds of pains are there, this can be because of the viral illnesses, there are innumerable, unknown causes of these kinds of problems. Pushing the weights, lifting heavy weights, this can also cause these symptoms. So, don’t worry, these are not heart pains.

The other problems now-a-days we’re seeing more with the software professionals, the persons who works systems, the persons who sit and do a job like clerical jobs, is spondylosis pain. You know this is the spine, you know we have a spine, which comes from, goes up to the coccyx. This is the spine which is a series of a bones arranged one above other like boxes and from between these boxes you’ll get the nerves. These nerves supply the chest in a manner where each nerve supplies a specific area for example these are the different colours you are seeing in this diagram. These are supplied by different nerve roots so each nerve root supplies an area of the chest. So, when these kinds of nerve roots gets compressed for example c5, c6 nerve root gets compressed you’ll feel pain along the hand. So, many of the patients come with, you know these software professional come with the pain that just goes along the hand. So this pain and we know by convention that you know that heart pains can go to the hands and is a popular belief even though there is no complete truth in it that heart pain always goes to the hand.

Most of times somebody complains about only pain in the hand especially in the neck, especially here in this region, this is basically a nerve root compression because of cervical spondylosis. As you see this, as I’ve said the spine is a series of boxes of bone, from in between the nerve roots come. When they get compressed you feel this pain along the hand and also sometimes in the upper chest and also in the neck. If this series of nerves gets compressed they can have pain all around, and sometimes this pain can also goes to the chest and this causes confusion whether some heart pain is there, but this is not the heart pains. Please make sure that no, these kinds of pains are not heart pains and these kinds of pain does not cause a heart attack.

You see this, in these cervical spondylosis where does the pain go? See in this man the pain goes to the clavicle, this collar bone, it goes to the shoulder. It also can go along the chest. So, the pain can go all along left upper limb, sometimes right upper limb and maybe there, only in the shoulders not into the chest or to the hands or maybe go little down to the arms. These are all cervical spondylosis pains, nerve root pains not heart pains. One need not be worried about this kind of a pain.
 

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