Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Is Shoulder Blade Pain A Sign Of Heart Attack

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When Should You See Your Doctor

Is Right Shoulder Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack?

Its always better to err on the side of caution if something doesnt feel right. If you have noticed that you are shorter of breath with regular activity, you should go to your general doctor or your cardiologist, says Dr. Cho. It depends on the severity and the acuteness if it has started recently or not.

When you do visit, be sure to:

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

Your doctor likely will listen to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may order blood 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. Some patients may get stress tests, a coronary computed tomography angiogram or a cardiac catheterization.All of this is important in identifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heart attack.

What Does Pain In Left Shoulder Indicate

Causes of referred shoulder pain may include: Abdominal problems, such as gallstones or pancreatitis. Pelvic problems, such as a ruptured ovarian cyst. Heart or blood vessel problems in which pain is more often felt in the left arm and shoulder, such as heart attack or inflammation around the heart .

Raising Awareness For Heart Disease In Women

At age 33, Latricia Damico of Piedmont didnt think she was having a heart attack. She knew she had a family history of heart issues and struggled with high blood pressure, but she never thought the sharp nagging pain in her left shoulder blade was a sign that something was wrong with her heart.

When the pain got too bad to ignore, she finally went to the ER and discovered she had a heart attack often referred to as the Widowmaker, which occurs when a blood clot completely blocks the left anterior descending artery around the heart.

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Do You Know The Less Obvious Signs Of Heart Attack

This article is part of a series on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women. Several Norton Heart Care providers have come together to raise awareness and provide tips just for women. Because signs of heart attack can be different for women than men, its important to know what to look for and what to do to save your life or the life of someone close to you.

Many times when we think of heart attack symptoms we imagine crushing chest pain that causes intense sweating and nausea. While these symptoms are always quite concerning, there are other less obvious signs of heart attack.

Often patients, particularly women, will experience pain in the shoulder, arms, neck and jaw, or between the shoulder blades, said Robert Rogers, MSN, ACNP-BC, nurse practitioner with Norton Heart Specialists. While it may seem like pain in these areas is not related to the heart, it actually is quite common.

In fact, up to 40 percent of women will not experience any chest discomfort at all during a heart attack.

Rogers goes on to explain that pain in the shoulders, arms, neck or jaw, called referred pain, has to do with how nerves in the upper body are affected by whats going on with the heart.

If you think you or someone near you is having a heart attack, dont wait to see if symptoms go away, and dont try to drive yourself to the hospital. Always call 911 immediately. EMS can begin lifesaving treatment en route to the closest hospital.

Other Potential Heart Attack Signs

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

Heart attack signs look different for everyone, although there are a few common ones to watch for.

  • Neck, jaw, arm, and back pain: Pain radiating to your jaw, back, neck, or arms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint. For example, you might feel pain, but no specific muscle or joint aches. If the discomfort begins or worsens when you are exerting yourself, and then stops when you quit exercising, you should also get it checked out.
  • Unexpected sweating: During menopause, many women experience hot flashes. However, sudden or excessive sweating associated with other symptoms such as nausea or chest pressure can also be a heart attack sign. Stress sweat when there is no real cause for stress, or sweating or shortness of breath accompanied by other symptoms, such as chest pain or fatigue, can be cause for concern.
  • Chest pain: Chest pain/pressure is a very common heart attack sign, but can feel different than you might think. We need to dig deeper into the symptom of chest pain for both men and women as it relates to heart attacks, Dr. Cho says. It is seldom as dramatic as you might think, and it can feel like pressure or heart burn that comes on over time.

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Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack

Sometimes there is confusion between the terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack.” A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart muscle of the oxygen it needs to function properly.

Cardiac arrest means that the heart stops beating and death is imminent. A heart attack, if severe, can lead to cardiac arrest, and this is what occurs when a heart attack is fatal. However, other conditions, such as serious arrhythmias or shock, can also cause cardiac arrest.

When Should You Call 911 For A Heart Problem

At certain times, calling 911 right away is a must. If youre having chest pressure or chest tightness that started that day, you should not wait to go to your general practitioner, says Dr. Cho. Go to the emergency room.

You should also call 911 and get help right away if you have chest pain or discomfort along with any of the following symptoms, especially if they last longer than five minutes:

  • Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Sweating or cold sweat.
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats.

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What Is A Gallstone

A gallstone develops when substancesincluding bileharden. This hardened mass may then block the bile duct, causing discomfort and pain.

The pain from a gallstone may be intermittent or constant, says the American College of Gastroenterology. While this pain is usually felt in the upper abdomen, it can spread to your right shoulder.

Other symptoms associated with a gallstone include sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

Some people also have chest pain that feels similar to a heart attack. If you start to experience symptoms, it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact your physician right away.

No : Worst Headache Of Your Life

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

Get medical attention immediately. “If you have a cold, it could be a sinus headache,” says Sandra Fryhofer, MD, spokeswoman for the American College of Physicians. “But you could have a brain hemorrhage or brain tumor. With any pain, unless you’re sure of what caused it, get it checked out.”

Sharon Brangman, MD, spokeswoman for the American Geriatrics Society, tells WebMD that when someone says they have the worst headache of their life, “what we learned in medical training was that was a classic sign of a brainaneurysm. Go immediately to the ER.”

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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.

Symptoms Accompanying Shoulder Pain And Heart Attack

Now that you know that there is a possibility of heart attacks being connected with shoulder injuries, you may be wondering what symptoms you should be looking out for. Fortunately, the work of many doctors and scientists over the years have found a number of heart attack symptoms you should pay attention to.

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Connections Between Shoulder Pain And Heart Attack

Discomfort from a heart attack can cause chest pain or even shoulder pain. So if you are experiencing shoulder or arm pain on the left side, you may be having a heart attack. However, Heart attack is not the only cause of these types of pain. So it is important to be aware of different body pains that can be indications of heart attacks.

Strong Indicators of a Heart Attack

Weak Indicators of a Heart Attack

Burning, squeezing, tightness, pressure or pain sensation

Knifelike or sharp pain felt when coughing or sneezing

Gradual increase of pain over a few minutes

Pain concentrated on one point.

Pain in the diffuse area, including middle of chest

Pain occurring distinctly on one side of the body

Pain extending to back, jaw, neck, and left arm

Abrupt stubbing pain that lasts for a very short moment

Pressure or pain accompanied by other symptoms like sudden nausea, cold sweat, problems breathing

Pain lasting for days or hours without any other symptoms

Pressure or pain that is felt during emotional stress or physical exertion or when you are resting

Pain caused by pressing the chest or body movement

Do Not Fool Around With Potential Heart Attacks

Heart attack symptoms: Signs other than chest pain include pain in left ...

Once upon a time, heart attacks were usually fatal. Doctors didnt know how to treat them and by the time something had been figured out, it was often too late. Now, science not only knows how to deal with heart attacks, it has provided you with the tools for early detection. If you are at high risk of a heart attack and you start getting pain in your left shoulderdont dismiss itgo have it checked out. That trip to the doctor may save your life.

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Waiting For An Ambulance

If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.

If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.

Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.

Right Shoulder Blade Pain Is Common But Self

Pain is the body’s messenger signaling a potential problem that deserves our attention. Pain in certain areas of the body is more significant and avoiding any delay in seeking medical care is important. Pain in right shoulder blade can be caused by a range of processes, ranging from the non-worrisome benign to life-threatening.

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Herniated Or Bulging Discs

Degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine or thoracic spine can irritate or press on your nerves or spine. This can lead to pain between your shoulders.

Other symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pain in one or both arms

Sometimes pain caused by disc disease in the neck is positional, meaning it can get better or worse when you flex or extend your neck.

Development Of Upper Back And Chest Pain

Shoulder pain or a heart attack?

The chest and upper back are in close proximity to each other with both sharing many ribs that help protect the same vital internal organs. Some of the underlying biomechanics that can contribute to both upper back and chest pain include:

  • Muscle dysfunction. Muscle inflammation or strain in the chest and/or upper back region can cause muscle tightness and/or spasms. When one muscle becomes painful or stiff, other nearby muscles may also become painful in response, such as if they need to work harder. Additionally, tendons, ligaments, or the muscle√Ęs connective tissues may become overstretched or inflamed and refer pain to the chest and upper back.
  • See Thoracic Spinal Nerves

  • Problem with internal organs. Various problems or conditions can develop in the heart or lungs, which may send pain to both the chest and upper back.

Many other factors may be involved with developing chest and upper back pain. Sometimes upper back and chest pain may also have more than one cause or separate causes.

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What Is Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is usually felt in the front of the shoulder, or at the top of the arm. Often, the pain is only felt when you move your arm in a certain way.

The pain may be deep and sharp, or there may be numbness, tingling or pins and needles. It may radiate down into the arm or up into the head, or there may be pain between the shoulder blades. Sometimes the pain may be caused by problems in the neck or spine, rather than the shoulder.

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. It’s 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

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When To See A Doctor

Immediate medical attention should be sought for unexplained pain in the left shoulder blade accompanied by shortness of breath or chest pain.

In many cases, a person can trace shoulder blade pain back to a seemingly harmless incident, such as a recent fall or an occasion when they lifted too much weight.

It may be less evident to a person who slept badly, but warning signs include sleeping on one side for too long or having recently switched mattresses.

People who are unable to explain a pain in their shoulder blade should see their doctor.

Women should be particularly wary of any pain in the left shoulder blade as it could be a sign of a heart attack, and they should seek out immediate attention from a doctor.

A person may also wish to see a doctor in the case of a strain as the doctor may be able to recommend additional treatment.

Symptoms that signal a need for immediate attention include:

  • chest pain

Other means of prevention include:

  • eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients
  • getting moderate exercise

Taking Control Of Womens Heart Health

Pain On Upper Right Side Of Back And Chest

The American Heart Association recommends that women check their blood pressure and cholesterol regularly and make healthy lifestyle choices like stopping smoking, eating healthy and exercising.

If you have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure, you need to take it seriously, says Latricia. Its important to make changes and take control of your health.

Chest pain is still the most common sign of a heart attack for most women. Below are some common warning signs of a heart attack in both men and women.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain the center of the chest.
  • Pain radiating to the neck, shoulder, back, jaw or arms.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cold, clammy sweats.
  • Nausea, heartburn, vomiting or abdominal pain.

The scary thing about a womens heart attack is that it often doesn’t come with chest pain. Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to have symptoms other than chest discomfort when experiencing a heart attack. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, between 30-37 percent of women did not have chest pain at all.

Some of the subtler signs of a heart attack could start weeks ahead of time for women. They are more likely than men to report pain in the middle or upper back, neck, or jaw shortness of breath indigestion, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite and sudden onset of weakness. Other warning signs more common for women include:

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