Heart attack: Feeling pain on this body part means you're at risk and shouldn't be ignored


Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. The most common signs of the deadly disease include pain or discomfort in the chest, pain that may spread to the left or right arm, or to the neck, jaw, back or stomach. Feeling sick, sweaty, light-hearted or having a shortness of breath are also signs. However, a pain in the shoulder is a major warning that you could be at risk and should not be ignored.

Many are unaware that a sore shoulder could be related to a cardiovascular issue.

In a recent study, a team examined the connection between shoulder pain, including joint pain and rotator cuff injury, and heart disease.

Past studies have connected heart disease with other conditions, like carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, and all musculoskeletal disorders.

Lead author of the study, Doctor Kurt Hegmann said: “If someone has rotator cuff problems, it could be a sign that there is something else going on.

They may need to manage risk factors for heart disease.”

Doctor Kenneth Rosenfield added: “Many people con’t realise that during a heart attack, the classic symptom of chest pain happens only about half of the time.

“People sometimes describe heart attack symptoms as chest discomfort or pressure, while others say they feel an intense, crushing sensation or a deep ache in the shoulder.

“During a heart attack, the location of the pain can also vary quite a bit from person to person. It may occur in the arm, shoulder, neck, jaw, or elsewhere in the upper half of the body.

“I had one patient who had earlobe pain, and another who felt pain in his wrist.”

People experiencing angina feel discomfort or pain as a result of the heart getting less oxygen than it needs.

Along with chest pain and left arm pain, having a pain in the shoulder is a major warning sign of a heart attack.

Treatment options for a heart attack depend on whether a person had a ST segment elevation myocardial infarction or another type of heart attack.

The NHS said: “Treatment for heart attacks depend on when your symptoms started and how soon you can access treatment.

“If your symptoms started within the past 12 hours you’ll usually be offered primary percutaneous coronary intervention.

“If your symptoms started within the past 12 hours but you can’t access PCI quickly you will be offered medication to break down clots.

“If your symptoms started more than 12 hours ago you may be offered a different procedure, especially if symptoms have improved.”


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