Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 11, 2015
Thoracic spine injuries can present a variety of symptoms, some of which may be confused with those of a heart attack. The goal of this article is to clear up the confusion between these two conditions by answering the question: “can thoracic spinal disc injuries cause heart attack symptoms in a patient.”
Heart Attack Symptoms
Let’s start by identifying some of the more common symptoms of a heart attack. Here are a few common heart attack symptoms:
- Pain or squeezing feeling in the chest
- Pain in the arm(s) or upper back
- Heartburn, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
Some of these symptoms are broad and could apply to many conditions, including an injury or condition in the thoracic spine. Upper back pain and arm pain are common symptoms of nerve-related conditions in the thoracic spine.
How to Differentiate
With so many overlapping symptoms, how can a person differentiate between a heart attack and a spinal injury or condition? Identifying the symptoms that are present vs. symptoms that do not exist can help narrow it down. For example, certain symptoms of a heart attack, like shortness of breath and heartburn, are not typical signs of an issue in the thoracic spine. When in doubt about your symptoms, the safest bet is always to see your physician.
Bottom line, if you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, play it safe and assume they are indicative of a heart attack. The worst thing you can do is assume these symptoms are a result of something else, when they are heart attack related. Seek medical attention and get your symptoms examined. If they are related to a heart attack, you will be thankful you did. If, on the other hand, they are related to a spine condition, your physician can recommend options for treatment as well.