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Neck Pain and Other Types of Heart Attack Symptoms

By Dr. Drew Voelsch

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Arlington Heights Chiropractor

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Knowing when you are suffering from heart attack symptoms can be the difference between life and death. Many people delay getting help because they mistake what they feel for heartburn, indigestion or something less serious. This can be a fatal mistake. If a person waits too long, heart damage or death can result.

The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, but it’s not the only one. Other common heart attack symptoms include:

  • Nausea;
  • Upper abdominal pain;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Cold sweat;
  • Upper body discomfort;
  • Arm and/or back pain;
  • Neck pain;

Heart attack symptoms differ for everyone, and they can vary from one attack to the next in the same person. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. 

With that in mind, we’ll be focusing on how your neck pain can be a warning sign that a heart attack is imminent and how to tell if it’s a symptom or if it’s associated with a different condition. 

Neck Pain and Heart Attacks: How Is It a Warning Sign?

Neck pain is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack. The reason it’s a warning sign is that it can refer to pain in the chest and trigger heart attack symptoms. The pain is caused by the heart muscle itself and is referred to the neck when the pain travels along the arteries that run through the neck.

Referral of pain is made possible by the autonomic nervous system, which controls and originates the involuntary movements of organs. The autonomic nervous system can stimulate pain from the shoulder through the diaphragm.

What Are Other Reasons for Your Neck Pain?

There are other causes of neck pain as well. Neck pain is often a symptom of conditions like muscle strain, osteoarthritis, pinched nerves, herniated disks, and whiplash. If a neurologist cannot determine the cause of his pain, he may refer a person to a cardiologist to help correctly diagnose and treat the cause of the pain.

When Is Neck Pain a Prompt to Call 911? 

When pain from other sources is combined with heart attack symptoms, the combination may create enough concern to call 911. Neck pain can be a symptom of life-threatening conditions, so watch out for the following feelings that accompany your neck pain:

  • Any type of chest pain, pressure, tightness or discomfort;
  • Feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting;
  • Pain expands from your neck to your shoulders, arms, back, teeth or jaw;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Dizziness or passing out;
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat or having very pale skin;
  • Tiredness or weakness;

If your neck pain is due to heart attack symptoms, you’ve made some good choices by getting help immediately. Remember to stay as calm as possible and immediately call 911 to get the medical assistance you need. 

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Recognizing the Signs of Heart Attack

Heart attacks are a serious matter, so the quicker the person gets medical attention, the better their chances of survival. Heart attacks are often preventable and can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes.

Don’t wait for a heart attack to strike before finding ways to prevent them. Heart attack symptoms can differ for everyone, but the sooner you get medical attention, the more chances you have to save your life.

How Can We Help You?

Are you looking for a Chiropractor in Arlington? If so, Hawkeye Chiropractic is here for you.

We’re a full-service chiropractic center that’s led by Dr. Drew Voelsch, the top Chiropractor in the area. We work with all types of patients, from those who are looking to get relief from pain to those who want to live better lives by staying in shape.

Book an appointment today!

“Dr Drew is upfront about what’s going on with your body. He helps work with you to achieve the goals that you as a patient want to set. I highly recommend him to those interested in chiropractic services.P.S Go Cyclones!”

Pronoy DasGupta