Though it can be frightening, chest pain does not necessarily suggest a heart issue. In fact, of the 5.8 million Americans who visit emergency rooms for chest pain every year, almost 85% get diagnoses unrelated to the heart. Because chest pain can signify something serious such as a heart attack, you should always have it checked out by a health professional. However, there are things you can do to ease the pain while you wait for medical attention.
1. Most importantly, recognize the signs of a heart attack.
Chest pain experienced during a heart attack is described as dull, achy, squeezing, tight, or like a heavy pressure. It is typically around the center of the chest and is accompanied with some or all of the following: shortness of breath, nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness, and pain in the left arm.
2. Kneel on the bed
Often chest pain can be attributed to gas. If this is the case, kneel down on the bed with your face down. In this position, gas automatically passes out of your system.
3. Drink a hot fluids
If the pain is due to gas, drink a cup of hot water or any other hot beverage. Hot liquids help extinguish the gas while relieving you of the chest pain.
4. Take an aspirin
This is the simplest way to alleviate chest pain. Simply take an aspirin with a glass of water.
5. Get a back massage
Lay with your face down and get someone to strongly massage your upper back.
To reiterate, the tips above are for non-life-threatening chest pain (most commonly caused by anxiety or gas). Always seek medical attention in the case of severe, sharp pain.