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Is Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Heart Attack

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What Is The Medical Treatment For Angina

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

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 providers 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 patients 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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Symptoms That Should Accompany Left Arm Pain

Chest pain: Chest pain is the most commonly recognized symptom indicating that there is something wrong with the heart. But for some patients, chest pain does not occur as a symptom of a heart attack. You may experience pressure, tightness, or pain originating in the center of the chest spreading down the arm, to the back, or to the neck and jaw .

Unusual fatigue: We all get tired from time to time, but if fatigue is new, sudden, or dramatic, it could be a sign of a heart attack. This includes suddenly feeling worn out after your typical exercise routine, feeling fatigued even without physical exertion or after simple activities like making the bed, and experiencing sleep problems even though you feel exceptionally tired.

Sweating and/or shortness of breath: If you experience sudden sweating or shortness of breath without physical activity, breathlessness that worsens without activity, shortness of breath that worsens when lying down and improving when getting up, stress sweat with no apparent stress, or sweating or shortness of breath that is accompanied by the other symptoms listed here, then these are signs of a heart attack.

Neck, jaw, and head ache: As mentioned, chest pains can move to affect the neck or jaw, but pain in the jaw or neck can occur without the presence of chest pain during a heart attack.

Upper back pain: Pain from the chest may radiate to the upper back and can be experienced in-between the shoulder blades.

No : Worst Headache Of Your Life

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 youre 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 Causes Shoulder Pain

Shoulder problems can be serious or minor. They can also be acute or chronic .

The causes of shoulder pain include:.

  • general wear and tear with increasing age
  • poor posture
  • arthritis
  • a frozen shoulder
  • overuse
  • inflammation in the fluid sacs in the joints, called bursitis
  • weakness or overuse of the muscles around the shoulder, called the rotator cuff
  • inflammation of the tendons, called tendonitis
  • problems with the muscles, ligaments and tendons around the shoulder
  • pain from a problem in the neck or spine
  • nerve pain
  • pain after surgery

Shoulder pain can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as fibromyalgia or polymyalgia rheumatica. Occasionally, shoulder pain and shortness of breath appear as symptoms when someone is having a heart attack.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

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While some heart attacks seemingly come out of nowhere, the majority of them start more slowly. Regardless of whether your heart attack is sudden or one that develops over time, your chances of recovering and minimizing damage to your heart improve considerably when you treat the issue promptly.

To do so, you must learn to recognize the signs and symptoms that may indicate a heart attack is forthcoming. The American Heart Association reports that while the symptoms of a heart attack may vary somewhat between men and women, most people who have them experience some, or all, of the same five symptoms. These five symptoms are listed below. You can also to share with family and friends.

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Neck Pain Or Back Pain

Neck and back pain are common ailments after injury and with arthritis. However, neck and back pain coupled with pain spreading down both arms can signal a myocardial infarction. Again, this can occur with or without chest pain. If you experience neck and back pain for no reason and don’t have a history of injury or arthritis, it’s still better to have it checked out, especially if other symptoms are involved.

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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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.
  • Shoulder Pain And Its Link To Heart Attack

    Is Right Shoulder Pain A Sign Of A Heart Attack?

    Chest pain is one of the most common signs of a heart attack that many people recognize easily. But sometimes, there are other symptoms as well, which you may not associate with a heart event. Case in point, shoulder pain can be a sign of a heart attack.

    The shoulder can begin to hurt as a result of the pain radiating from the chest. This is most commonly experienced on the left side where your heart resides.

    Its important to be aware of this type of pain as a symptom of a heart attack, as well as other strong and weak indicators of a heart attack. The below chart will help you distinguish between the two.

    Strong Indicators of a Heart AttackWeak Indicators of a Heart Attack
    Burning, squeezing, tightness, pressure, or pain sensationKnifelike or sharp pain felt when coughing or sneezing
    Gradual increase of pain over a few minutesPain concentrated on one point.
    Pain in the diffuse area, including middle of the chestPain occurring distinctly on one side of the body
    Pain extending to back, jaw, neck, and left armAbrupt stabbing pain that lasts for a very short moment
    Pressure or pain accompanied by other symptoms like sudden nausea, cold sweat, problems breathingPain 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 restingPain caused by pressing the chest or body movement

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    Heart Attack Symptoms Vary Widely

    Dr. Rimmerman emphasizes that the symptoms of heart attack or angina can vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience no symptoms at all. Others experience crushing chest pain. Others may feel only arm, throat or jaw discomfort.

    But the discomfort is usually unrelenting, typically lasting five minutes or more.

    Regardless of where the pain is, people typically cant find a position that relieves the pain, Dr. Rimmerman says. Nor do they find relief by taking a drink of water, popping antacids or taking deep breaths.

    And that means its time to call 911.

    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.

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    Recognizing A Heart Attack

  • 1Evaluate the quality of your pain.XResearch source Pain that relates to a heart attack most often feels like a pressure, or squeezing, sensation. It can range from mildly painful, or not painful at all , to full pain that people would rank a 10 out of 10 in intensity. The pain is often in the chest area, and may radiate down your left arm, to your jaw, or to your back.
  • 2Look for non pain-related symptoms.XResearch source In addition to pain in your arm, jaw, neck, and back, there are other symptoms you may see during a cardiac episode, as well. These include:XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Heart AssociationLeading nonprofit that funds medical research and public educationGo to source
  • Nausea
  • Do Not Fool Around With Potential Heart Attacks

    Platinum Supplemental Insurance Do You Know What a Heart ...

    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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    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.

    Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men

    Youre more likely to experience a heart attack if youre a man. Men also have heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. If you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or other risk factors, your chances of having a heart attack are even higher.

    Fortunately, a lot of research has been done on how mens hearts react during heart attacks.

    Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:

    • standard chest pain/pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation that may come and go or remain constant and intense
    • upper body pain or discomfort, including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
    • rapid or irregular heartbeat
    • stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
    • shortness of breath, which may leave you feeling like you cant get enough air, even when youre resting
    • dizziness or feeling like youre going to pass out
    • breaking out in a cold sweat

    Its important to remember, however, that each heart attack is different. Your symptoms may not fit this cookie-cutter description. Trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.

    In recent decades, scientists have realized that heart attack symptoms can be quite different for women than for men.

    Symptoms of heart attack in women include:

    In a 2012 survey published in the journal Circulation, only 65 percent of women said theyd call 911 if they thought they might be having a heart attack.

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    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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    Putting Her Health First

    Shoulder pain or a heart attack?

    For months, Latricia learned about healthy eating, exercise and heart health at cardiac rehab. She had to make major changes to her nutrition and diet and learned how to exercise more.

    “Most people think they know what is healthy to eat, but they don’t myself included. During cardiac rehab I had to do the Pritikin Diet, which is a low-fat, low-sodium, no sugar, plant-based diet. I could have some fish and chicken, but no red meat,” she says. “But I was open to it. I have a daughter now. My mother passed away when I was young, so I dont want my child to lose her mother at a young age. She is my motivation.”

    Today, Latricia still continues to work closely with Dr. Mack on her heart health, and she says her lifestyle changes have made a world of difference.

    I feel better than I ever have. My blood pressure is steady, my cholesterol levels are great and I eat clean. Everything is different now, she says. You must advocate for your own health. I was embarrassed to say anything, even though I knew something was wrong. Women need to be more proactive for their health.

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    Before Latricias Heart Attack

    In 2016, Latricia and her husband were trying to have a baby. As someone who has struggled with weight, she knew her blood pressure could be a problem.

    I have had high blood pressure since my 20s, and since my mom died from a heart attack, my OB-GYN suggested I work with a cardiologist, she says.

    Latricia visited INTEGRIS cardiologist Dr. Aleicia Mack to address her high blood pressure and to reduce the risk of problems during her pregnancy like preeclampsia.

    I was working with Dr. Mack to control my blood pressure, but when I got pregnant I had to change my medications to a pregnancy-friendly medication that didnt work as well, Latricia says. I had to stay with the medication that wasnt working as well when I was nursing, too. I struggled with it.

    In spring 2017, shortly after the birth of her daughter Ainsley, Latricia began feeling short of breath, tired all the time and generally not well. She thought it was her weight that was causing the symptoms until she began to get shoulder pain.

    I thought it was a pinched nerve. Thats what it felt like, she says. It was in my left shoulder blade. I also started getting sensitivity to heat, and I dealt with that all summer. The pains came more often, and at the end of July, it was worse and took my breath away.

    Usually When You Have Shoulder Pain Your First Thought Is Probably: Did I Injure Myself Somehow

    For many people, the answer to this question is yes.

    In fact, the most common cause of shoulder pain is a condition called rotator cuff tendonitis. This overuse injury occurs when tendons become irritated under the bones in your shoulder, says the National Library of Medicine .

    There are many other reasons why your shoulder may be bothering you, and not all of them are obviously related to injuring that part of your body.

    Here are 3 causes of shoulder pain you may not think of:

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    Catch The Signs Early

    Dont wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:

    • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
    • Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
    • Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

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