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Is Neck Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack

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You probably don’t give much thought to your neck, unless something goes wrong and you start to feel neck pain.. This underappreciated body part has to be strong enough to support a heavy weight yet still allow you to tilt, turn, and nod your head easily.

Most of the time, neck pain doesn’t signal a serious medical problem. But it’s worth learning about one of the rare exceptions: a tear in one of the arteries of the neck, known as a cervical artery dissection . Although these occur in only about two in 100,000 people per year, they are one of the most common causes of stroke in people under age 50.

“Over the past two decades, awareness of cervical artery dissection has grown tremendously,” says Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. This may stem in part from the recognition that stroke rates seem to be rising among younger people, despite an overall downward trend in deaths caused by stroke.

Act Fast To Save Your Life

If you think you could be having heart attack symptoms, don’t ignore your concerns. You should never feel embarrassed to call for help. Even if you’re not sure that you’re experiencing a heart attack, you should call 9-1-1.

Acting fast can save your life and remember â an ambulance is the safest way to get to the hospital. First responders can check on your vitals and start life-saving treatment right away. Furthermore, people arriving by ambulance often get faster treatment at the hospital. Every minute matters when it comes to getting treatment for myocardial infarction.

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When Chest Pains Are Serious

Unlike an achy knee or crabby lower back, chest pain isn’t something to shrug off until tomorrow. It also isn’t something to diagnose at home. Don’t play doctor go see one, fast, if you are worried about pain or discomfort in your chest, upper back, left arm, or jaw; or suddenly faint or develop a cold sweat, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 or your local emergency number to summon an emergency medical crew. It will whisk you to the hospital in a vehicle full of equipment that can start the diagnosis and keep you stable if your heart really is in trouble.

There are oh-so-many reasons to delay calling for help.

  • I’m too young .
  • I’m in great shape .
  • I have a family to take care of .
  • I don’t want to bother anyone .

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All The Signs Of A Heart Attack

It is important to be aware of all signs of a potential cardiac arrest, including:

  • Chest discomfort, uncomfortable pressure over the chest
  • Fullness of chest
  • Pain in the center of chest
  • Spreading pain to inner side of left or right arm
  • Pain over the upper back
  • Radiating pain to the jaw
  • Radiating pain over the neck region
  • Upper part of the stomach in this condition usually women are misdiagnosed as they are suffering from gastritis and treated with antacids
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain

Signs Symptoms And Complications

Heart Attack Neck Pain

Signs and symptoms vary based on the type of angina you have and on whether you are a man or a woman. Angina symptoms can differ in severity, location in the body, timing, and how much relief you may feel with rest or medicines. Since symptoms of angina and of heart attack can be the same, if you feel chest discomfort that does not go away with rest or medicine. Angina can also lead to a heart attack and other complications that can be life-threatening.

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When You See Your Doctor:

  • Bring;a list of your symptoms and when they are occurring.
  • Let them know about any related;family history.
  • Talk about stress or anything going on in your life that might contribute to a problem.

Your doctor likely willlisten to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may orderblood work, which will show whether your heart is;damaged.

They also may use an electrocardiogram ;to tell whether the electrical activity of your heart is normal, or an echocardiogram to view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred.;

All this is important inidentifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heartattack.

Spasm Of The Coronary Arteries

A spasm that tightens your coronary arteries can cause angina. Spasms can occur whether or not you have ischemic heart disease and can affect large or small coronary arteries. Damage to your hearts arteries may cause them to narrow instead of widen when the heart needs more oxygen-rich blood.

What happens in the heart during an angina event?

In one day, your heart beats about 100,000 times and pumps about 2,400 gallons of blood throughout your body. To meet this demand, your hearts cells needs a great deal of oxygen, which is supplied by the large coronary arteries and the tiny arteries that branch off the large arteries. When your heart is working hard, such as during physical activity or emotional stress, its demand for oxygen increases. Angina occurs when there is an imbalance between the hearts need for oxygen-rich blood and the ability of the arteries to deliver blood to all areas of the heart.

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Is Neck Pain A Sign Of A Stroke

When a cervical artery dissection occurs, there is a chance for you to go into a stroke. Although the statistics say there are only 2 in 100,000 people who confront this situation. But the chance is still there and increasing! Over the past two decades, awareness of cervical artery dissection has grown tremendously, says Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.;

Source: Harvard Medical School;

Is Neck Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack

CardioSmart | Male Heart Attack Symptoms

Is Neck Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack

Neck pain usually attacks due to neck muscle fatigue and strain. But sometimes neck pain is a sign of a;heart attack. Neck pain occurred due to poor posture during sleep, sitting in a position for too long, etc. If neck pain is more than muscle fatigue and strain then it might be due to heart disease

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How Long Does A Heart Attack Last

Initial heart attack symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath, may come and go. Symptoms often last around 10 minutes or longer.

A study published in Critical Pathways in Cardiology found that symptoms lasting less than five minutes are unlikely to indicate a heart attack, while symptoms lasting longer than five minutes should be taken seriously as signs of a myocardial infarction .

However, this finding comes from only one study. So if you have symptoms lasting longer than a few minutes, you need to call 911.

Jaw Pain Is A Lesser Known Sign Of Heart Attack

Among these atypical heart attack symptoms is pain in the jaw. Some people notice pressure or tightness in the jaw, while others experience it as a sharper pain, similar to a toothache. It can also be accompanied by more recognizable heart attack symptoms, including discomfort or pain in the neck, back, or chest.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, women who experience jaw pain as a heart attack symptom are most likely to notice it in the lower left side of the jaw. Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience jaw pain during a heart attack, and less likely than men to experience the better known symptoms of heart attack, such as stabbing chest pain.

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What Not To Do

If you feel heart attack symptoms:

  • Donât delay getting help. “Women generally wait longer than men before going to the emergency room,” says Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, FACC, director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services for the UCSF Division of Cardiology in San Francisco. Even if you think your symptoms arenât that bad or will pass, the stakes are too high.
  • Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. You need an ambulance. If you drive, you could have a wreck on the way and possibly hurt yourself or someone else.
  • Donât have a friend or relative drive you, either. You may not get there fast enough.
  • Donât dismiss what you feel. “Don’t worry about feeling silly if you’re wrong,” Goldberg says. You have to get it checked out right away.

“People don’t want to spend hours in an emergency room if it isn’t a heart attack,” Bairey Merz says. “But women are actually good at deciding what is typical for themselves and when to seek health care.”

Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director, Joan H. Tisch Center for Womenâs Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York.

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC, FAHA, director, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center; director,Â; Preventive Cardiac Center; professor of medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, FACC, director, Women’s Cardiovascular Services, UCSF division of cardiology; professor of medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco; editor, JAMA Internal Medicine.

Unusual Persistent Neck Pain

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

With a cervical artery dissection, the neck pain is unusual, persistent, and often accompanied by a severe headache, says Dr. Rost. The neck pain from a carotid artery tear often spreads along the side of the neck and up toward the outer corner of the eye. A vertebral artery tear may feel like something sharp is stuck in the base of your skull. If you experience such pain especially if you also have stroke symptoms such as dizziness, double vision, jerky eye movements, unsteadiness while walking, or slurred speech call 911 immediately.

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Other Heart Attack Early Warning Signs And Symptoms: Arm And Back Pain

Arm pain

The chest pain of a heart attack can spread, or radiate, down one or both arms and to the shoulders. This often happens, and the pain may even extend to the wrist and fingers. This is most common on the left side of the body but it can also occur on the right side.

Upper back pain

The upper back is another common location for the spread of the pain from a heart attack. Most commonly, back pain that stems from a heart attack is described as occurring between the shoulder blades.

General malaise

A feeling of being generally unwell or like you are coming down with an illness can accompany a heart attack. This can be described as fatigue or even lightheadedness, with or without fainting. Some people will experience severe anxiety or panic during a heart attack. This has been described as feeling a sense of doom, as one experiences a panic attack.


Sweating, or perspiration, can accompany a heart attack. Some people have described feeling like they are breaking out in a cold sweat.

Heart Attack Without Chest Pain

Pain and pressure are not the only signs of a heart attack, however, as many people experience dizziness, light-headedness, and nausea. Symptoms of a heart attack can come on quickly and be severe or may start slowly, causing mild discomfort that escalates gradually or not at all. Some people have had heart attacks without experiencing any chest pain, which can mean that they do not get treatment promptly or at all.

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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.

Indigestion Nausea And Vomiting

Can Left Shoulder Pain Be A Sign Of A Heart Attack?

Often people begin experiencing mild indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems before a heart attack. Because heart attacks usually occur in older people who typically have more indigestion problems, these symptoms can get dismissed as heartburn or another food-related complication.

If you normally have an iron stomach, indigestion or heartburn could be a signal that something else is going on.

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What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Man

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

What Is The Medical Treatment For Angina

    If the person has come to the hospital emergency department, they may be sent to another care area for further testing, treatment, or observation. On the basis of the provider’s preliminary diagnosis, the patient may be sent to the following units:

    • An observation unit pending test results or further testing
    • A cardiac care unit
    • A cardiac catheterization unit

    Regardless of where the patient is sent, several basic treatments may be started. Which ones are given depends on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying disease.

    • At least one IV line will be started. This line is used to give medication or fluids.
    • Aspirin will probably be administered
    • Oxygen will be administered through a face mask or a tube in the nose. This will help if the patient is having trouble breathing or feeling uncomfortably short of breath. The direct administration of oxygen raises the oxygen content of the blood.

    Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, severity of the underlying disease, and extent of damage to the heart muscle, if any.

    After reviewing the patient’s immediate test results, the hospital doctor will make a decision about where the patient should be for the next hours and days.

    Angioplasty is a treatment used for people whose angina does not get better with medication and/or who are at high risk of having a heart attack.

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    Signs Of A Heart Attack Feet

  • Getting edema in your lower legs and feet: Before a heart attack, you may get Edema in your lower legs, feet, ankles. When it happens, your shoes will feel light because of the swelling.
  • Purple or Blue colored skin: When youre warm but you are getting a blue or purple skin, your blood isnt getting enough oxygen. The medical name of blue toe syndrome is Cyanosis, happens when one or more blood vessel is blocked, either in the heart muscles or around it.;
  • Painful lumps in toes, fingers: If you have infective endocarditis , Some painful bumps or lumps may appear on the fingers of your feet, in the toes or both.
  • Peripheral artery disease:Peripheral artery disease is a disease when cholesterol and plaque in the arteries, and it can cause discomfort in walking. It directly refers to a cardiovascular problem relating to heart problems.
  • Make Preventing Another Heart Attack Your First Priority Here Are Five Things You Can Do:

    This woman might be having heart attack. Could you spot ...

    Take your medications as prescribed. Certain medicines can greatly lower your risk of another cardiac event. Thats why its important for you to understand your medicines and take them correctly. Learn about managing your medications.

    Attend your follow-up appointments. Attending your follow-up appointments will help your doctors keep track of your condition and recovery. You can make the most of your time with your doctor by preparing for your appointment.

    Participate in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help you recover after a heart attack. You should have received a referral to cardiac rehab when you were discharged from the hospital if you didnt, ask your doctor about it. Learn more about cardiac rehab.

    Get support. Its normal to feel scared, overwhelmed or confused after a heart attack. Getting support from loved ones or from people who have also experienced a heart attack can help you cope. Connect with other heart attack survivors and caregivers through our Support Network.

    Manage your risk factors. After a heart attack, its important to manage risk factors by taking medications, quitting smoking, eating healthy food and getting active. Find out more about managing your risk factors.

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