Chest Pain When Running: Causes And What To Do 2022

Chest Pain When Running: Causes And What To Do 2022

Chest pain when running can be a sign of several different medical conditions, some of which can be serious. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing chest pain while running, in order to determine the cause and receive treatment if necessary. Read on our post to get more information.

Your Heart On A Run

You may think that sharp chest pains are the result of a heart attack, regardless of whether you are just starting to run or have been running for years. This is not always true.

A patient who complains of sharp, sudden pain in the chest is most likely to have angina, myocardial, heart disease, or heart attacks. Angina, ischemia, and heart attacks often feel like chest pressure or tightness, according to Tamara B. Horwich MD, an associate clinical professor of medicine/cardiology, UCLA.

However, you should not worry about your chest pain when running. Before you go for a run, here’s what cardiologists have to say about chest pain.

Running And Heart Attacks

Running And Heart Attacks

According to the American Heart Association‘s 2018 research published in Circulation, a sudden heart attack is not common among runners. A sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to stop beating. It affects about 0.54 of 100,000 runners participating in marathons and half-marathons.

Although this is a small percentage, 71% of those who died in cardiac arrest were running marathons, rather than half-marathons. Heart attacks can lead to cardiac arrest. However, not all heart attacks are responsible for cardiac arrest.

However, you shouldn’t ignore your chest pain while running. “Not all chest pain can be considered cardiac chest pain. However, runners should listen to their bodies and get checked out if they feel any discomfort,” Eugene Chung MD, a sports cardiologist at the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and chair of American College of Cardiology’s section on exercise and sports cardiology.

Pay attention to the warning heart attack symptoms

  • A feeling of pain in your chest center that lasts more than a few seconds or comes and goes.
  • Feelings of tightness or heaviness in the chest
  • Pain in the jaw, back, chest, and other parts of the upper body.
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue
  • Cold sweats

Some women might not feel any chest pain. They are more likely to experience shortness of breath or nausea/vomiting, jaw and back pain, as well as other symptoms such as heart attacks.

Everyone, Even people in great shape, can feel pain in the chest after exercising. There are many possible causes, from benign to life-threatening.

Possible Causes Of Heart-related Chest Pain When Running

Possible Causes Of Heart-related Chest Pain When Running

Angina

Dr. Chung says that chest pain caused by exertion can be an indication of angina. This is caused by a supply-demand mismatch in the heart due to a blockage. If your coronary arteries—which bring blood to your ticker—contract, the insufficient blood supply can induce chest pain when you exercise.

Dr. Chung explains that angina can be characterized by an increase in chest pain, shortness of breath with exercise, radiating pain to the jaw, back, or left arm, nausea, and vomiting.

Dr. Chung says, “If these symptoms don’t resolve quickly with resting, I would seek medical treatment immediately.” It is important to not take it lightly if you feel faint while exercising. It may not be necessary to call the doctor immediately if it is an isolated incident.

Dr. Chung warns that if you have persistent symptoms such as fainting episodes or other signs, it is important to seek medical attention.

Also read: Lower Back Pain When Running: Causes And Treatments 2022

Supraventricular Tachycardia

Talk about anything that slows down your stride. While running, you can say “supraventricular tachycardia“, or SVT for short. Dr. Chung says that SVT is a new arrhythmia, which means you’ve never experienced it before. It can cause chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and/or palpitations.

Sometimes, SVT can be without symptoms. The heart normally beats 60-80 times per minute. It is more than 100 beats per hour in SVT. Although SVT is not usually a cause for concern, it should be reported to your doctor if you feel your heartbeat racing.

Your doctor may show you the Valsalva maneuver to slow down your heartbeat if you have frequent episodes of SVT. This is a technique where you “bear down” and try to exhale using your stomach muscles, but not your nose or mouth. Your doctor may recommend medication to slow down your heart rate if this fails.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition where the heart muscle thickens, makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. The thickening usually occurs in the left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood into the body. This causes problems because the heart is unable to pump enough blood or can block blood flow.

Some people may not experience any symptoms. Some people may feel chest pain, which can be accompanied by exertion, heart palpitations, and shortness of breathing. HCM is rare. You should still visit your doctor regularly to discuss your risk factors and discuss preventative treatments like beta-blockers or channel blockers to relax your heart muscle.

Common Causes Of Chest Pain Not Connected To Heart Disease

Common Causes Of Chest Pain Not Connected To Heart Disease

Asthma That Is Exercise-inducible

Even people without asthma can get exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma can be diagnosed if you experience wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, or discomfort soon after you have started running. The American Academy of Allergy and Asthma and Immunology states that people suffering from this condition are sensitive to low temperatures as well as dry air.

Running in cold or dry conditions doesn’t mean you have to stop. After a run, warm up slowly and then cool down. To breathe in moister and warmer air, you can wear a scarf or mask over your mouth. If you continue to have problems, consult your doctor. It is possible to need to take prescription medication or an inhaler before you exercise.

Heartburn

Dr. Chung said that heartburn patients often describe their chest pain as a central, sharp pain. It’s not surprising that chest pain so intense would make people stop in their tracks. Heartburn can also cause a bitter taste in your mouth and may make you feel the same pain when you lie down. Running can create abdominal pressure. This can lead to stomach acid traveling up to the esophagus and causing chest pain.

Avoid heartburn by not running after eating. Heartburn is less likely to be caused by a small snack before you run. If you experience heartburn while running, avoid acidic and spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and coffee.

Does your hip feel hurt after running? check out our post to learn more detailed info: Why Does My Hip Hurt After Running? Causes And Treatments

Lung Problems

The most common reason for chest pain that strikes after or during exercise is a spasm in the small airways of the lungs. Exercise-induced bronchospasm, also known as EIB, can cause severe chest pains and make breathing difficult. It can be more severe during certain seasons or in certain environments.

For accurate testing to determine whether EIB is the cause of your chest pain, you may need to see a pulmonologist. The good news is that many people who seek treatment are able to improve their athletic performance.

Pneumothorax is a rare but serious condition that can affect the lungs. This happens when air gets into your lungs from your chest wall. Pulmonary embolism is when blood clots in the lungs. It can happen after orthopedic surgery, prolonged rest, or after injury.

Outdoor athletes can be more susceptible to viral and bacterial lung infections. This can lead to pneumonia, pleurisy, and inflammation of the tissues in the lungs. If you don’t quickly respond to your inhaler, this could signify worsening breathing mechanics, causing severe pain and the need for urgent care.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Dr. Horwich states that sharp chest pain that disappears quickly and comes on suddenly is more likely to be due to muscular, joint, or skeletal pain, such as costochondritis. Costochondritis is a condition that causes pain in muscles surrounding your rib cage (called “intercostal muscles”). It can cause severe chest pain.

A deep breath can also be affected by the inflammation of the breastbone. The pain can radiate to your arms and shoulders, which closely mimics a heart attack. Costochondritis doesn’t affect the heart, but you should seek medical attention if you have chest pain. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best pain relief or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used to relieve the pain. Here are proven ways to combat inflammation.

Read also: Cramping When Running: What Are Causes And How To Treat?

Covid-19

If you are a recovering runner or a newbie runner looking to get started, it is important to consult your doctor before you go.

Dr. Chung says, “In the contexts of recovered infection from Covid-19 we also need to be concerned about any lingering effects on the coronavirus within the lung and heart.” I would wait 10 days to diagnose or resolve symptoms and then slowly ramp up activity for the next seven days.

If you are a novice runner, make sure to visit your doctor and tell them about your training plans.

What To Do When Chest Pain Strikes

Dr. Singh advises that you don’t push through the pain if it feels like something is bothering you. Notify your trainer immediately and tell them what’s happening.

You should immediately visit the emergency room if you feel the pain is severe.

You should see a doctor if you feel the pain is subsiding. The doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and assess your heart, lung, and digestive health. Your doctor may refer you for further evaluation if the source of your pain is not yet clear.

Only 5% of young athletes experience chest pains due to heart problems, but they are serious and should not be ignored. Chest pains, whether athletes or not are a concern, should be treated immediately.

When Should You See A Doctor?

See a doctor about any new, unidentified, or worsening chest pain. A doctor will be able to diagnose the cause and suggest a treatment plan that may include lifestyle modifications.

For any symptoms of a heart attack, seek emergency medical attention immediately. The most common symptom is chest pain. Other symptoms such as nausea are more common in women than in men.

Exercise-induced asthma sufferers should seek out specific treatment. Your doctor might be able to prescribe medication or suggest other methods relieve symptoms. This could allow a person to continue participating in exercise or sports.

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