Chest pain appears in many forms, ranging from a sharp stab to a dull ache. Many different problems can cause chest pain. One of the most life-threatening causes is heart attack or myocardial infarction. In general, chest discomfort related to a heart attack may be described with one or more of the following:
1) Chest pain during physical exertion or exercise
Chest pain occurs when the heart muscles itself needs more oxygen than it is getting, for example, during times of physical activities. Narrowed arteries may allow enough blood to reach the heart when you are sitting as the demand for oxygen is low. However, with physical exertion, like walking up the stairs, the heart works harder and needs more oxygen. Normally this type of chest discomfort is relieved with rest.
2) Chest pain
- feelings of heaviness, tightness, or crushing pressure with duration of 10-20 minutes. The pain may radiate to arms or the neck. These symptoms indicate that heart muscles do not receive enough oxygen.
3) Chest pain that occurs at rest
This indicates severe blockage of the artery. There might be other symptoms such as sweating profusely and fainting.
If you notice any of the symptoms discussed above, see your doctor or go to an emergency department right away. If you have any risk factors for heart disease it is especially important to pay attention to your body and get any symptoms checked out by a doctor. Getting prompt medical attention may save your life!