Your pain in the chest suddenly intensifies, and the dreadful two-word phrase “heart attack” enters your mind.
Relax! It’s possible that what you fear isn’t what you’re confronted with.
If you’re having chest pain, don’t panic; it might not be a sign of a heart attack.
Chest pain may be a common symptom of heart disease, but many other possibilities exist. Even if a few of these are life-threatening, most of them aren’t.
Some of the most common reasons and treatments for chest pain while lying down will be discussed in this article.
As the name suggests, chest pain refers to discomfort or pain in the thorax, located between the neck and diaphragm. In most cases, chest pain does not warrant a trip to the emergency room.
However, it can be a common symptom of heart disease in certain people.
Chest Pain Risk Factors
While lying down, several things can lead to having chest pain. A wide range of medical disorders is associated with these risk factors. Some are as follows:
- Increased blood lipid levels (especially cholesterol)
- Lung cancer
The severity of the situation varies from person to person. On the other hand, unexpected chest pain should prompt a trip to the doctor.
Could it be a heart problem?
An imminent heart attack can manifest itself in various ways, one of which is severe chest pain. Emergency services should be called immediately if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following symptoms.
- Heaviness in the chest when attempting to sleep
- One or both arms suddenly feel heavy, weak, or achy
- Shivering due to extreme hot/flushing temperatures
- Unusual tiredness
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sustained vomiting or nausea
- Prickling and/or burning sensation in one or both arms and/or back/neck/jaw/tummy/other painful feelings
- Squeezing, burning, tightness, or pain in the middle of the chest
When you lie down, you may have chest pain for several reasons. The following are some common causes of chest pain:
- Stomach acid reflux
- An injury to the chest wall or rib cage
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Apnea (abrupt pauses in breathing during sleep)
- Anxiety/Panic Disorder
A heart attack isn’t usually indicated by chest pain. But it’s the biggest urgent threat to your life that’s usually tested for first by doctors in the emergency room. A collapsed lung or blood clot in the lung may also be found during the examination.
When examining chest pain, a doctor may request the following tests:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or an aortic dissection can be detected with CT scanning.
- Chest X-ray. Lung health, heart size and form, and major blood vessels can all be seen on a chest X-ray.
- Blood tests. Checking the amounts of various proteins and enzymes found in the heart muscle may be done by blood tests.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). The heart’s electrical activity can be quickly assessed with this simple test.
If your initial tests for chest pain come back positive, you may require more testing, which may include:
- Angiogram (coronary catheterization). Using this test, doctors can see any blockages in the heart’s arteries.
- Stress tests. This monitors how the heart and blood arteries react to exertion, which can help determine if chest pain is caused by a cardiac issue.
Depending on the cause of your chest pain, your doctor may prescribe medication, do noninvasive treatments, perform surgery, or use a mix of these approaches. If you’re experiencing chest pain, it’s best to get medical attention.
Treatments for chest pain caused by heart-related conditions include:
- cardiology procedures such as bypass surgery and coronary artery by-passes
- balloons or stents are used in cardiac catheterization, which may be used to unblock arteries that have been obstructed
- nitroglycerin,anti-clotting medicines, blood thinners, and other therapies that can open partially blocked arteries
Non-heart related chest pain can be treated by:
- anti-anxiety medication for chest pain caused by panic attacks
- the use of antacids or specific procedures to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn
- reinflation of a collapsed lung by inserting a chest tube or similar device, which your doctor will execute.
When to get help for chest pain
Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you experience chest pain that doesn’t go away with anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care measures, such as modifying your diet.
If you have any of the following symptoms in addition to chest pain, call emergency services immediately.
- As though your breastbone were being squeezed to the point of being crushed.
- An excruciating discomfort in the chest radiates to the jaw left arm, or back.
- Blood pressure or heart rate that is abnormally low.
- A feeling of unwellness, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or breathing rate, disorientation, pallor, or profuse perspiration
- Sudden, severe chest pain with shortness of breath after a long period of rest or inactivity
Call your doctor If you experience any of the following:
- The tightness in your chest just won’t go away.
- A high temperature, chills, or a yellow-green mucus-producing cough
- Suppression of the esophagus
Take No Chances
A variety of factors can cause chest pain or discomfort. Fortunately, not all of them pose a danger to one’s life. However, a heart attack or any type of heart issue might cause chest pain.
Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing severe chest pain or any other signs of a heart attack. In the event of a heart attack or other life-threatening emergency, dial 911 or go to RapidCare Emergency Room.