Contractions in the chest muscles that cause severe pain unless the muscle releases is known as a chest spasm. Experiencing this symptom is often due to an underlying medical condition. There exists several reasons why this symptom would appear in the first place. Individuals who suffer from recurrent spasms should consult a doctor for a diagnosis and make mention of this symptom during routine medical visits, since this may eventually lead to a severe problem.
When the muscles of the chest begin to spasm, people may feel an impression of tightness, pressure, or contraction in the chest. The muscles may also twitch and jitter around. Some individuals have reported a quivering sensation as the chest muscles involuntarily contract. Taking a breath may become a painful and arduous task. The amount of pain felt can vary, depending on the specific cause and individual; be aware that at worst, the pain can be debilitating. Once the muscles stop contracting, the feeling of tightness and pain should immediately be released, bringing about rapid relief.
Suffering physical trauma to the chest muscles may be a cause for chest spasms. Additional causes include neurological damage, electrolyte imbalances, and specific chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia and asthma. Some may suffer from muscular pain in the chest region due to anxiety, tension, or high levels of stress. Fatigue could also be another factor, since the nutrient depleted muscles may spasm as a result of low electrolytes. Insufficient amounts of calcium and magnesium, specifically, are related to twitches and muscle cramps.
It may be difficult sometimes to track down what exactly is the source of chest pains. Chest spasms are sometimes mistaken for a heart attack, or may be felt in the muscles despite a problem actually occurring in the esophagus or coronary artery. Since a plethora of conditions may result in chest pain, it is imperative to seek medical attention for recurring muscle spasms, especially if they occur alongside symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and reduced blood flow in the fingers and toes (or any signs of reduced blood flow/poor circulation in general).
Seeing a Doctor
During a medical evaluation for chest spasms, a doctor might recommend medical imaging studies, some bloodwork, and evaluation of heart function as well as conducting a physical examination. These diagnostic steps will be essential in determining any underlying problems that may lead to the muscle spasms. A comprehensive interview will also need to be performed in order to retrieve more details about when the spasms occur. It is a good idea for patients to make note of when they begin to experience any chest spasms, since these details can be useful to your doctor who will need to find any trends and patterns.
Photo Credit: minerve0079