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Is Back Pain Related To Heart Problems

Heart Attack Warning Signs For Women

Link Between Heart Disease and Back Pain? Dr. Sheena Bhuva explains

While chest pain is often a symptom of a heart attack among women, the pain is often described as pressure or tightness instead of the heavy weight on the chest pain that men describe.

In some cases, there may only be other symptoms and very little or no chest pain.

Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional heart attack symptoms, such as:

  • unusual or extreme fatigue, which may develop several days before other symptoms and may make you feel like youre coming down with the flu
  • pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen that may feel like heartburn or indigestion
  • throat and jaw pain, often without any chest pain
  • symptoms that come on gradually

Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms, partly because of delays in recognizing heart attack symptoms since theyre not commonly talked about.

While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks before menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.

Development Of Upper Back And Chest Pain

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 muscleâs 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.

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.

Download the common heart attack warning signs infographic |

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Back Pain And Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that affect the heart. Heart disease is also a term often used synonymously with cardiovascular disease, though the two reflect different conditions.

Cardiovascular disease generally involves the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, which can present with symptoms ranging from typical chest pain to shortness of breath and even to back pain, especially in women. These symptoms can signal a heart attack.

A 2019 report in the journal Circulation indicated that 121.5 million U.S. adults, or 48%, have some form of cardiovascular disease, while the CDC found that nearly 634,000 people died from it in 2015, making it the leading killer of Americans.

At Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, Dr. Bharat Gandhi and Dr. Priya Gandhi take your heart health very seriously. They try to find practical solutions, including lifestyle changes, to minimize their patients risks of developing heart disease and they work hard to manage the condition if and when its diagnosed.

If You Believe You Are Having A Heart Attack Do Not Wait To Get Help

Heart Disease Back Pain Symptoms
  • Take nitroglycerin, if prescribed by your doctor.
  • Take aspirin, but only if prescribed by your doctor. Aspirin can interact with other medications and should be taken only when advised by a medical professional.
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When To See A Doctor

You should always take chest pain seriously, as sometimes it may be an indicator of a serious health condition, like a heart attack.

Always seek emergency medical attention if you have unexplained or sudden chest pain, especially if you have difficulty breathing or the pain has spread to other areas like the arm or jaw.

You should also make a doctors appointment for any condition that isnt relieved using OTC medications or has symptoms that recur, are persistent, or begin to worsen.

You can connect to a physician in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.

Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease

Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.

Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

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How K Health Can Help

You can chat with a primary health provider in the K Health app within minutes. Not sure if your chest and back pain means you need to go to the ER? If you are not having emergency symptoms, a K Health doctor may be able to help you manage chest and back pain caused by GERD or other digestive problems.

What To Do When Heart Attack Happens

What Does Back Pain Have To Do With Heart Disease? | Dr. Michael Greger
  • If you or someone near you experiences heart attack symptoms like shoulder pain, heart attack may be suspected and 911 should be called within the first 5 minutes. Ensure you seek treatment immediately, most people die because they doubt the symptoms could be heat attack related.
  • You might be tempted to drive the patient to the emergency room yourself, but it is better if you wait for the ambulance. The crew will know how to keep the patient alive. However, if you are having a heart attack, do not drive yourself unless you do not have any other choice.
  • Before the ambulance arrives, try keeping the patient calm by sitting him down or helping him lie down. Secondly, if the person is not allergic to aspirin make them chew and swallow a baby aspirin. The effects are felt faster when it is chewed than when swallowed whole. If you notice the person has stopped breathing, a person qualified to perform CPR should perform the procedure on him, or you can do it. If you have no idea how to administer a CPR, the 911 operator can guide you through it.

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How Do I Know If My Leg Pain Could Mean A Serious Heart Condition

Ideally, pain shouldnt be an everyday experience. You can usually link pain back to an activity or injury. Examples include challenging your muscles in the gym or experiencing a fall and hurting your leg.

When your leg pain becomes the rule and not the exception, its time to get concerned. You should be most concerned if the pain worsens with any physical activity, such as walking. This is because your body is signaling to you that something is wrong with the blood flow to your legs.

You should be especially worried if you experience pain in your legs and chest. This signals a potential lack of blood flow to the heart and could even mean youre at increased risk of heart attack.

Does Heart Disease Cause Back Pain

Heart diseases and back pain have been spreading massively across the globe. This has led to many questions regarding the link between the two. Since both of these have had a rapid increase in prevalence in the past decade, its only natural that people will be curious to know about it. So, if you have been trying to find out if heart disease causes back pain or not, then youre in the right place.

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The Final Word On Back Pain And Heart Attacks

As mentioned earlier, back pain by itself is not a harbinger of a coming heart attack. You are more likely to experience back pain because of a herniated disc or muscle strain. However, women should be aware that they may feel subtler symptoms. If you are enduring back pain in conjunction with other heart attack symptoms, come see us at Phoenix Heart.

Take control of your cardiac health with Phoenix Heart. at one of our Arizona offices today.

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Where Is Heart Pain Felt In Back

Does Heart Disease Cause Back Pain?

This pain is typically felt more on one side of the spine, but it can be felt on both sides. People with upper back and chest pain usually have one or more of the following symptoms: Dull achiness that is felt in the upper back and chest, perhaps just on one side, and/or possibly extending into the shoulder area.

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An Inability To Do What You Were Able To Do Before

Defining this symptom can be somewhat difficult because its less a universal heart attack sign and more dependent on your individual experiences and baseline energy levels.

Its a significant change in your functional status, is how I would put it, says Dr. Cho. You were able to be on the treadmill 20 minutes, but now you can barely do 10 because you just feel so tired.

Getting A Diagnosis For Upper Back And Chest Pain

Any sudden onset of unexplained chest pain that lingers needs to be evaluated by a doctor. When evaluating upper back and chest pain, a doctor typically aims to rule out cardiac causes before checking other potential causes, such as an injury to the muscles, ribs, or spine.

A trained medical professional can accurately diagnose the cause of upper back and chest pain. Once an accurate diagnosis is found, an effective treatment plan can begin.

See Diagnosing Upper Back Pain

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Characteristics Of The Sample

A total of 2,148 participants formed the study sample for the cross-sectional analysis .2). Briefly, the mean age of all participants was 53.7 years, with male participants making up 45% of the study sample. Participants who suffered a myocardial infarction or other coronary heart diseases were more likely to be older, suffer chronic LBP, male , and heavier .

What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack

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Take our quiz to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.

If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .

You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:

  • Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
  • Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
  • Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
  • Physical activity
  • Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
  • Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health

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Can Leg Pain Be A Sign Of Heart Problems

Yes, leg pain in some cases indicates the risk related to the development of heart problems. One such heart disease is peripheral artery disease. This takes place because of the narrowing of peripheral arteries present in your legs and leads to the formation of fatty deposits.

According to the latest research studies, people suffering from peripheral artery disease with symptoms of leg pain have a relatively higher lifetime risk to die from a cardiovascular problem. Along with this, muscle cramps and mild to severe pain in calves, hips, or thighs at the time of walking, exercising, and climbing stairs are common symptoms of peripheral artery disease.

Chronic Lbp And Myocardial Infarction

For the outcome of lifetime myocardial infarction, the variables age, gender, smoking, leisure physical activity and BMI were entered into the multivariate model for the total sample analysis. Chronic LBP was associated with a higher prevalence of myocardial infarction for the total sample . For the co-twin control analysis, a total of 344 pairs of twins were discordant for chronic LBP, including 230 DZ and 114 MZ pairs. Gender , smoking, leisure physical activity and BMI were considered confounding variables and entered into the multivariate analysis. An increase in the magnitude of the association was observed when the analyses were separated for DZ and MZ twins , although none of these were statistically significant .

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Real Stories About Experiencing Heart Attack

“I never connect nausea, shoulder pain, heart attack together. However, one day I was cutting the grass one afternoon and walked to the house to drink water and had a sit. Then I felt nauseated and sudden pain that spread to my arm, which then curled up and could not uncurl. I had my grandson call 911 and was flown directly to a cardiac hospital after the ambulance crew said I was in full ST elevation myocardial infraction. I coded 4 times, but I recovered and was released the next day.”

“I am 58 and 3 weeks ago I had a heart attack. For a month I had symptoms like pain in my jaw, shoulder, face, arm, back and a burning in my chest. All these I felt on the left side of my body. The pain would always ease up, but one night I woke up and the pain did not go away. I took aspirin and I started throwing up, i was rushed to ER where they told me I was having a heart attack. I got treated and I now am home.”

“My mother complained about shoulder pain. Not much attention was paid and her joints ached as well but she thought it was flu. The day she experience chest pain was the day she passed out because of a major heart attack.”

Study Sample And Data Collection

Back Pain and Heart Problems

The study sample of this cross-sectional study originated from the Murcia Twin Registry in Spain and comprised of identical monozygotic and non-identical dizygotic twins born in multiple births between 1940 and 1966. A complete description of recruitment methods and waves of data collection implemented by the MTR are provided elsewhere . Briefly, baseline data collection on health-related information for the current study took place via standardized questionnaires between 2009 and 2011, for opposite sex, male-male, and female-female twin pairsfollowed for 2, 3 and 4 years respectively. Data collection took place by way of telephone or face-to-face interviews.

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What Is Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease. Your coronary arteries are hollow tubes that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and to the rest of the body.

Over time, fat and cholesterol, as well as inflammatory cells and cellular waste products, can build up along the arteries’ walls, forming a plaque of hardened material. It makes the walls more rigid and narrows the space through which blood can flow. This is known as atherosclerosis.

Because of the narrowing, the heart muscle can’t get the amount of blood or oxygen it needs. In addition, clots can form around the plaque if they break off, they can travel to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke, respectively.

According to the American Heart Association, back pain is one symptom of a heart attack in progress. Back pain can also indicate stable or unstable angina. If the pain comes on suddenly, go to the emergency room.

Lower Back Pain Erectile Dysfunction And Other Surprising Signs Of Heart Disease

Everyone knows the most obvious signs of a struggling heart chest pain, shortness of breath but your body has more subtle ways to alert you to cardiac trouble.When plaque builds up and clogs arteries carrying blood through your body, for example, it might trigger erectile dysfunction or leg pain while walking. Knowing various signs can help you seek help faster to ward off serious trouble.Clogged arteries, called atherosclerosis, is concerning. If enough plaque builds up or its unstable, it can rupture, cutting off blood flow and leading to heart attack or stroke, said Dr. Heather Swales, co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institutes Womens Heart Health Program.Plaque, she said, is cholesterol and other substances that cling to the arterys inner lining. It contributes to the 735,000 heart attacks and 610,000 heart disease deaths each year.Typical symptoms of clogged arteries include:

  • Chest pain that can radiate into the neck, jaw, left arm or back.
  • Breathing trouble that can worsen with activity and improve when resting.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Unexplained fatigue.

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