How do you know if chest pain is from your heart?
Heart “pain” is called “angina pectoris” which comes from the Latin; angina means “to choke” and pectoris means “chest”. The “pain” may not feel like pain, but rather it may feel like a choking or suffocation. It is usually located in the center of the chest, but may be a little to the left of center.
If you can point to it with one finger or if the hurting spot becomes tender when you press on it, the pain isn’t coming from your heart. If you are younger than 40 years old, it is unlikely to be coming from your heart. You can’t point to heart pain with one finger, it covers an area at least the size of your hand.
Heart “pain” can be described using many different adjectives…….but usually is described as a “pressure”, a “heaviness”, or a ”tightness” that feels as though something heavy is sitting on your chest. It is frequently accompanied by a feeling that you can’t get enough air in, like a choking or suffocastine feeling. It may spread into your neck, jaw, and/or arms. It is worsened with activity, and it eases with rest.