Chest pain may be a result of anything, from a muscle strain to injured ribs or peptic ulcers to asthma. But the doctors of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix would like to tell you more about angina, chest pain about 10 million Americans experience, according to Medscape.
What is angina?
Angina, a symptom of coronary artery disease, is a chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. People feel a variety of symptoms in the chest, arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back, like:
- Recurring pain
- Shortness of breath
Angina could be on-and-off as weather changes or when you exercise but eventually goes away on its own. If these symptoms persist, you need to immediately inform your Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Doctors need to evaluate your condition, namely because angina is a precursor to a heart attack.
Types of Angina
Stable angina is triggered by a physical activity because your heart demands more blood but narrow arteries limit blood flow. Other triggers include emotional stress, cold temperatures, heavy meals, and smoking.
Unstable angina is when fatty deposits cause the blood vessels to suddenly rupture, resulting in a clot that blocks, or reduces, blood flow.
Prinzmetal's angina is a sudden spasm in a coronary artery that temporarily narrows the artery, reduces blood flow and causing chest pain. This typically occurs overnight and attacks occur in clusters because of emotional stress, smoking, and certain blood-vessel tightening medications.
- Quit smoking
- Monitor and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Increasing your physical activity with your doctor's approval
- Reduce your stress level
- Get an annual flu shot
Do you need to speak with your doctor?
If you'd like to speak with a Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix, call them at either location: St. Thomas at (340) 714-2845 or St. Croix (340) 692-5000.