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Doctor insights on: Chest Muscle Pain Vs Heart Attack

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Dr. Creighton Wright
1,186 Doctors shared insights

Myocardial Infarction (Definition)

Myocardial Infarction means some of the heart muscle dies because of insufficient oxygen supply. Most often this occurs because the coronary artery is blocked by plaque & clot. Other causes include tears in the artery wall, extremely high oxygen demand (eg, rapid arrhythmia, heart valve disorder, or severe systemic illness.) Prompt treatment can minimize heart damage & ...Read more


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Are chest muscle spasms a sign of heart attack?

Are chest muscle spasms a sign of heart attack?

Not usually....: A heart attack occurs when there is a decrease in the blood flow to the heart itself. Symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain or pressure that can radiate to the jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, etc. Spasms of the chest wall muscles can happen for many reasons, including after a lot of coughing, and is not usually a sign of a heart attack. If you have chest pain, see your doctor or er! ...Read more

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Uninsured w/varied chest wall pain. Doc says its muscles/tension, that I have a "1 in a million chance" of heart attack, but im still terrified- help!?

Uninsured w/varied chest wall pain. Doc says its muscles/tension, that I have a "1 in a million chance" of heart attack, but im still terrified- help!?

Chest wall: Pain is common. Being terrified doesn't help. Try swimming or cardio exercise to reduce chest wall pain and stretches on a pull up bar. Statistically chest pain related to the heart is low in your age group but does happen. Look it at your family. If someone died before 50 from a heart attack you should be concerned, if not - don't be. ...Read more

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Can terrible pain from a pulled muscle in the chest lead to a heart attack?

Can terrible pain from a pulled muscle in the chest lead to a heart attack?

No: A pulled muscle or perhaps costochondritis can not cause you to have a heart attack. But if you have underlying heart disease, I suggest you have an evaluation from a cardiologist and perhaps have a stress test. ...Read more

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Can left arm muscle pain be sign of heart attack? Woke up feeling like when you get arm soreness from flu shot, but been two weeks since flu shot

Can left arm muscle pain be sign of heart attack? Woke up feeling like when you get arm soreness from flu shot, but been two weeks since flu shot

Hard to say.: Did you sleep on your arm? . Could be musculoskeletal pain, can not exclude heart. Does it get worse with activity. Anything makes it better or worse? . What other risk factors you have. Depends on full history and exam. Please see an md. ...Read more

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Pain in right shoulder blade. Circular motion with head cause pain in neck when I go to the right. Heart attack, lung cancer or just muscle sore?

Pain in right shoulder blade. Circular motion with head cause pain in neck when I go to the right. Heart attack, lung cancer or just muscle sore?

No heart attack: The pain probably is due to joint or muscle and is not heart attack, so you should see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between chest muscle pain or heart pain? They are so close together I am having a hard time distinguishing them apart.

How can I tell the difference between chest muscle pain or heart pain? They are so close together I am having a hard time distinguishing them apart.

By having your MD: Examine you. Costochondritis, or tietze's syndrome is diagnosed by pain or tenderness when your md presses on the junction of the affected rib (s) & the sternum (breastbone). Chest wall pain can last 4-8 weeks after the injury that caused the separation & inflammation, tho' mild pain may be elicited by certain movements for ~ 6 mos. Applying heat & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds help. ...Read more

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Can sleep problems cause chronic chest muscle pain? I snore very badly. I am waiting on results from sleep study. All heart tests are normal. Thanks.

Can sleep problems cause chronic chest muscle pain? I snore very badly. I am waiting on results from sleep study. All heart tests are normal. Thanks.

I expect so: I'm glad your heart work-up was normal and that you'll be treated for whatever the sleep study finds. It's a prime suspect for the soreness and you'll discover that soon if it is guilty. Consider a carefully planned exercise program to develop your chest muscles with the guidance of the sleep team. I believe they'll know of a good one. Best! ...Read more

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Had chest muscle pain. When the pain comes, heart rate rises n shortness of breath. Last for awhile. Now there is warm feeling in my left arm. Is it anxiey?

Had chest muscle pain. When the pain comes, heart rate rises n shortness of breath. Last for awhile. Now there is warm feeling in my left arm. Is it anxiey?

Chest pain: Indicates a need for you to see your doc to rule out medical conditions. Yes, anxiety can cause such symptoms but first see doc then see a mental health professional to learn to manage stress. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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What to do if chest pain but not a heart attack?

Chest pain: What tests have you had to make sure the chest pain is not a heart attack? You could have angina or you could have Costochondritis, which is inflammation where cartilage and ribs attach at the breast bone (sternum). ...Read more

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What distinguishes chest pains due to indigestion and a heart attack?

Hard to tell: These pains may be very hard to distinguish: indigestion usually occurs after meals, especially if spicy or fatty; heart attack pains usually occur with exertion, may be associated with shortness of breath or radiate down the arm. It is really hard to tell, unless you are in a hospital setting where the necessary tests may be done. Especially in women. ...Read more

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I had a sharp pain in my chest that made part of left arm numb. Did I have a heart attack?

I had a sharp pain in my chest that made part of left arm numb. Did I have a heart attack?

Not likely: Sharp aim, young female, numbness- not likely cardiac. These symptoms more consistent with musculoskeletal / nerve pain. Can never be 100 % though. ...Read more

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Sob, tightness in chest and under ribs. Feels like need to burp. If not heart attack what is it?

Sob, tightness in chest and under ribs. Feels like need to burp. If not heart attack what is it?

I see you are: Diabetic and smoker. 2 risk factors for coronary artery disease. If overweight then, 3 risk factors. I will r/o ischemic heart disease first with ekg and stress test. If negative acid reflux with esophageal muscle spam a possibility. See a doctor asap. ...Read more

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Can a hernia in your stomach cause an uncomfortable chest feeling, similar to the coming of a heart attack?

Can a hernia in your stomach cause an uncomfortable chest feeling, similar to the coming of a heart attack?

May be: Hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach moves into the chest. However; any symptom suggestive of heart attack should not be taken lightly and you should consult your doctor at the earliest. ...Read more

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Is it possible for a person having a heart attack to have neck and jaw pain but no chest pain? I also have tmj

Is it possible for a person having a heart attack to have neck and jaw pain but no chest pain? I also have tmj

Yes: Neck and jaw pain without chest pain would be considered an "atypical" presentation but it does happen. Remember that a heart attack can (and does in 30-50% of cases) have no pain. Other symptoms that commonly accompany heart attacks are: breathlessness, cold-clammy sweat, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Recurring pain is not likely your heart since frequent recurrent heart attacks are unlikely. ...Read more

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Woke up dizzy and felt like I was gonna pass out.. chest hurts.. have a lot of gas too. Can gas cause same signs as heart attack?

Woke up dizzy and felt like I was gonna pass out.. chest hurts.. have a lot of gas too. Can gas cause same signs as heart attack?

Yes: Would definitely recommend that you seek timely medical attention if you experienced the above mentioned symptoms. Heart attack is definitely a possibility and it is not the gas causing the symptoms. ...Read more

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D dimer 1600. Incr sed/crp. Elevated myoglobin (119) norm tropinin. Ck norm 72 hr after chest pain. Echo done. Does the echo r/o heart attack?

D dimer 1600. Incr sed/crp. Elevated myoglobin (119) norm tropinin. Ck norm 72 hr after chest pain. Echo done. Does the echo r/o heart attack?

Suggest: Echocardiogram can suggest myocardial damage if the heart attack is severe. Ecg, cardiac enzymes (such as tropinins) and symptoms are the points that rules in or out a heart attack. Elevated d-dimer suggests blood clots though very non specific including pulmonary embolism. ...Read more

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Stabbing pains on left side of breast and chest for 2 days now on and off echo a month ago was normal. Had baby 2 wks ago scared of heart attack!

Stabbing pains on left side of breast and chest for 2 days now on and off echo a month ago was normal. Had baby 2 wks ago scared of heart attack!

Stabbing pains are: Unlikely to be cardiac. Cardiac pain is usually dull and achey like a tooth ache. Your description is more likely musculoskeletal in nature. Relax and enjoy the baby. You are not going to have a heart attack. ...Read more

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Went to ER had chest pain EKG was ischemic from one 2 years ago eco was fine no heart attack no damage need to see a cardio I am freaked out m 41?

Went to ER had chest pain EKG was ischemic from one 2 years ago eco was fine no heart attack no damage need to see a cardio I am freaked out m 41?

Ischemia: Cardiac ischemia usually suggests coronary artery blockages. An echocardiogram does not detect coronary artery problems but can detect heart muscle damage, weakness or enlargement. An echocardiogram can be perfectly normal even when there is significant coronary artery disease. I recommend that you consult a cardiologist for further diagnosis, stress testing and advice. ...Read more

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I have a cardio appt in 2 weeks. Been having nausea chest pain short of breath pain down left armcould this be a warning of impending heart attack?

Possible but: It's possible but unlikely because blocked arteries are very rare in non-smoking 30 year old women (per your profile). If you were 60, i'd urge you to go right to the er but but in your case, it's more likely to be caused by something other than your heart. ...Read more

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I woke up to tightness and slight pain in the left sign of my chest above my breast. Could this be a heart attack? I can breathe just fine though.

I woke up to tightness and slight pain in the left sign of my chest above my breast. Could this be a heart attack? I can breathe just fine though.

Unusual: This is unusual at your age, but you can see an MD for an EKG and determine if you need a more thorough workup for cardiac reasons for your symptoms. ...Read more

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What else can cause very mild arm pain mild chest pain and nausea besides a heart attack? I've had discomfort all day but don't want to overreact...

What else can cause very mild arm pain mild chest pain and nausea besides a heart attack? I've had discomfort all day but don't want to overreact...

Get checked out: The symptoms you describe could certainly be explained by a heart attack. Not everyone has the "classic" symptoms of crushing chest pain when they have a heart attack. There are certainly other possibilities, but since it is unclear the safest thing to do would be to get evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. ...Read more

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40yr old b/p 117/74 upper and mid back pain chest pain chest popping I've tried popping my back for 3 days it's popped a little is it heart attack?

40yr old b/p 117/74 upper and mid back pain chest pain chest popping I've tried popping my back for 3 days it's popped a little is it heart attack?

Symptoms: What you describe does not sound cardiac related. Your doctor can do your history and physical to try and explain your symptoms. ...Read more

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27 yo smoker. Chest pain left side goes under arm left arm heavy and tingly. Comes and goes for a few days. Heart attack? How to tell? Have anxiety.

27 yo smoker. Chest pain left side goes under arm left arm heavy and tingly. Comes and goes for a few days. Heart attack? How to tell? Have anxiety.

Chest pain: Indicates the need to go to the emergency room or see your doctor right away. If you have been cleared of heart problems see a mental health professional to learn coping skills for your anxiety and to free yourself of smoking, which MAY be the biggest threat to your health. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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If I have heart problems would the EKG have picked it up? Could it have missed? Having chest pains and heart felt on fire badly. Panic or heart attack?

EKG: A ekg is the first test when someone has chest pain. It isn't very sensitive or specific. If you were having a fulminant heart attack yes it likely would have picked it up. If you are continuing to experience chest pain you should seek further help from your doctor. ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


Dr. Creighton Wright
3,971 Doctors shared insights

Heart Attack (Definition)

A life-threatening condition in which the blood vessels that supply the heart becomes occluded and thus the heart itself is not longer receiving any blood flow. Without this blood flow, the heart muscle dies and cannot pump blood to the ...Read more