Many people experience chest pain, not necessarily due to any kind of heart disease. This is often due to another ailment. If the heart hurts, it can be caused by diseases of the musculoskeletal system, respiratory, digestive and other diseases. However, only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis by examining the patient.

But any person who has had such symptoms should understand, if the heart hurts, what to do and how to recognize that this is indeed a heart ailment. You need to know this in order to consult a specialist in a timely manner for some serious pathologies. Signs of ailment may differ, you must definitely learn to recognize them. The most important thing is to distinguish between heart and non-heart pain. To this end, you need to know what is the duration, intensity of the attack. In addition, it is desirable to have information about other diseases, the symptoms of which are similar to those of the heart.

The first symptoms of a heart attack

first symptoms of a heart attack

Discomfort in the chest can appear for various reasons. To understand that the heart hurts, it is advisable to know several characteristic symptoms. Attacks are not always accompanied by unpleasant sensations. At the same time, people with other ailments complain that it is hard for them to breathe, it hurts in the left side of the chest. But all this is not a consequence of cardiac diseases.

The earliest signs that indicate that the motor of the human body is impaired, most often appear for several months, or even years before the first attack. Therefore, everyone should know how and where the heart hurts. Early signs of the disease that should alert you are as follows:

Painful sensations behind the ribs. They give in the back, arm, neck, teeth. The left side is most often affected. At the same time, there is shortness of breath, nausea, increased sweating.
Discomfort after physical activity, stress, which disappears after rest, or nitroglycerin tablets.
Shortness of breath appears even with moderate exertion, simple work, while eating and even in a supine position. Before the onset of the attack, the patient may be sitting asleep or suffering from insomnia.
Severe fatigue from the usual activities can begin long before the first attack.
Representatives of the stronger sex sometimes develop erectile dysfunction several years before the diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
Puffiness. This symptom is considered the most basic evidence of cardiac dysfunction. At first, the swelling is almost invisible, but becomes larger over time. This is noticeable when a person takes off his shoes or rings from his toes. If swelling is observed, you should consult a specialist and undergo an examination.
Stopping breathing during night sleep, and snoring. These signs indicate a predisposition to an attack of heart disease.

Signs of coronary disease

  1. Myocardial infarction

Heart attacks can proceed in different ways and how the heart hurts , the symptoms in women and men in different situations can be different. In the case of myocardial infarction, everything happens approximately like this:

There is a feeling of heaviness, it hurts in the central part of the chest, arm.
Discomfort extends to the left arm, neck, throat, and lower jaw.
The head is spinning, sweating appears, the skin is paler, nauseous.
There is a feeling of heaviness in the stomach, it burns in the chest.
Anxiety, weakness.
Rapid pulse.
The course of a heart attack may be different. The signs are sometimes completely absent. Sometimes the patient says that he experiences chest discomfort, sometimes such symptoms are absent and the process can be painless. Signs of a massive heart attack: shortness of breath, blue lips, etc. very similar to the symptoms of acute heart failure.

The duration of such an attack is approximately thirty minutes. Nitroglycerin does not help at all.

  1. Ischemia

The main manifestation of ischemic heart disease is angina attacks. In this case, pains in the heart occur, the symptoms in women and men are the same. Among them:

heart palpitations;
disorders of the heart;
inconsistent pulse;
dizzy, nauseous;
weakness, sweating.

With ischemic disease, patients say that they have a burning sensation, pressures in the chest. There is a feeling of overflow. Often, discomfort is transmitted to the arm, neck, throat. Most often observed during physical activity, stress and stop when a person is left alone.

With angina pectoris at rest, pain in the heart, the causes of which are different, appear at any time, even at night. This form is considered unfavorable.

Inflammatory heart disease

  1. Pericarditis

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the outer cardiac membrane, the main symptom of which is a dull pain in the region of the heart. It usually hurts in the center of the chest, in some cases it radiates to the arm, back, neck. When swallowing, coughing, etc. the discomfort increases. It gets worse lying down, better sitting up. Although the nature of the pain is usually dull and aching, in some cases it is acute. Pericarditis is also characterized by palpitations.

  1. Myocarditis

Inflammation of the myocardium is one of the reasons why heart hurts, about 90 percent of people complain about it. Its shape can be different, it appears regardless of physical activity, but after a while after that it can become stronger. Nitroglycerin doesn’t help.

Valvular heart disease

If valve disease is present, its severity cannot be judged by symptoms. The patient may not complain about anything and at the same time be in a serious condition. The main symptoms are:

Shortness of breath, which is observed not only with high exertion, but even during the most usual activities and in a supine position;
Discomfort in the chest during exertion, breathing in cold air;
Weakness, dizziness;
Abnormal heart rhythm. These are, in particular, an uneven pulse, a frequent heartbeat, irregularities in the work of the heart.
This pathology often leads to heart failure. Then the following symptoms appear: the legs swell, the giaot swells, the body weight increases.


Almost all people who have such a pathology complain of painful sensations. With the development of the disease, how the heart hurts , the symptoms change. At first, the pain is prolonged, does not depend on physical activity, nitroglycerin does not help. Felt in various places. Further, it is spontaneous or paroxysmal after exercise and most often disappears after taking a nitroglycerin tablet. Its character is different, its localization is accurate, but sometimes it spreads over a large area. Nitroglycerin does not always help.


There are several types of arrhythmias. They are characterized by changes in heart rate. There are several types of ailments in which heart pains are noted that radiate to the left arm.

Heart defects

These diseases can be acquired or inherited. For a long time they may not talk about themselves in any way. Sometimes the heart hurts, what to do, the doctor should tell. This pain is usually aching, cutting or stabbing. It is accompanied by high blood pressure.

Mitral valve prolapse

Aching or pressing pain that appears on the left is not caused by physical activity. They don’t stop after taking nitroglycerin. In addition, dizziness, heart palpitations, and headaches may occur in the morning and evening. Shortness of breath, light-headedness is possible.

Aortic stenosis

With such a disease, there is a pressing sensation in the chest. There is a strong heartbeat, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath during physical activity. Over time, shortness of breath is added during night sleep, dizziness. If you suddenly change your body position, fainting may occur. Asthma attacks and angina pectoris are possible.

Pulmonary artery thromboembolism

This is a very serious condition that needs urgent help. The first sign of the disease is a stabbing pain in the region of the heart, which becomes stronger with inhalation and does not radiate to other places. The patient’s skin turns blue, blood pressure decreases, shortness of breath appears, heart palpitations. Nitroglycerin does not work.

Aortic pathology

Sudden, very strong painful bursting sensations in the chest are the result of aortic dissection. They are sometimes so painful that a person can lose consciousness. The patient needs urgent medical attention.

If there is an aortic aneurysm, aching or throbbing pain in the heart is observed, which should be decided by a specialist. If the aneurysm ruptures, the pain becomes unbearable. If you do not take action, it can be fatal.

Noncardiac diseases

one). Intercostal neuralgia. Many people who experience similar pain in the region of the heart mistake it for heart pain. However, in reality they are different. With neuralgia, pain is acute, stabbing. They are aggravated by coughing, deep breathing, sharp turns of the body, etc. It can go away pretty soon, sometimes the pain lasts several hours. The patient can accurately determine the place of discomfort, it is located between the right ribs. In the case of angina pectoris, the person experiences a burning, aching sensation that does not go away when the position of the trunk is changed. It is impossible to determine the exact location.

2). Osteochondrosis. This disease is quite simple to mistake for angina pectoris. A person is sure that his heart hurts, the symptoms are as follows: numbness of the left hand occurs, it becomes more painful when moving. This is especially similar to angina pectoris, when an attack occurs during a night’s sleep. The main difference is that nitroglycerin does not work.

3). Diseases of the central nervous system. In such a situation, patients often complain. However, the symptoms vary. It can be regular, short-term, sharp or aching pain in the region of the heart. Neuroses are usually characterized by a variety of autonomic disorders. A person may experience an anxious feeling, insomnia, or, on the contrary, increased drowsiness. Hands freeze or grow cold, headache begins to hurt, and much more. Often, neurotic patients complain about numerous symptoms they do not actually experience. And the “cores” are very restrained in sharing their feelings. Sometimes it is difficult to understand that the patient has coronary artery disease or cardioneurosis, since the cardiogram does not show any changes.

four). Disorders of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. However, in this case, heart pain symptoms are somewhat different. They last longer, while the person is sick, vomits, he has heartburn. The intensity is due to the food intake. Often, the symptoms of acute pancreatitis are similar to myocardial infarction. Sometimes exacerbations of diseases of the gallbladder are given to the left side of the chest and it seems that there are pains in the heart. To understand what the problem is, you should take antispasmodics. If there is relief, then the patient has gastrointestinal diseases.

five). Pulmonary diseases. Painful sensations similar to those of the heart sometimes appear with pneumonia. This can be with pleurisy. But in this case, the pain is acute, aggravated by inhalation and coughing.

What should I do?


Each person who has felt painful sensations in the chest thinks what to do next. If there are suggestions that the heart hurts, urgent measures must be taken. After all, the reason can be serious, in particular myocardial infarction or an attack of angina pectoris. Therefore, you need to do the following:

You should calm down and sit down. Stress will only worsen the situation.
We must try to accept a different position. If relief comes after that, there is a possibility that the cause is different. If the painful sensations increase, pressing pain appears in the region of the heart, there is a risk that it is angina pectoris.
It is recommended to open access to fresh air and open a window.
So that breathing is not constrained, you need to make the clothes looser, unbutton the collar
If you suspect angina pectoris, you need to take a nitroglycerin tablet and put it under the tongue. If relief has not come within a quarter of an hour, you need to take another pill. Call for emergency help. With a heart attack, the medicine does not work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *