Chest Pain? Is it your heart or your spine?

Your heart, or misalignment of your spine, can cause chest pain. Many people that experience chest pain go to their family doctor or to the emergency room in fear that they are experiencing a heart attack. In some cases, the person is indeed having a heart attack and appropriate measures are taken to ensure that you will be o.k. In other cases, all tests come back negative for heart conditions and you are left wondering what caused your chest pain!

If your spine misaligns in the middle of your back (between your shoulder blades), then the bones can pinch the nerves that exit between them, causing sharp pain. The sharp pain comes from the nerve being pinched, but the pain can travel around your rib cage or pierce straight through your rib cage and out your breastbone. When the nerves are pinched on the left side of your spine, they can simulate a heart attack because the pain travels around the ribs or through the chest on the left side. Sometimes the pain can last for days if the nerve is being pinched hard enough.

Other symptoms associated with pinched nerves in your mid back are: shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating, heart palpitations, and numbness. All of these symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. It is always wise to check with your family doctor or get your heart checked if you are experiencing chest pain. Just remember that if all tests come back negative, the pain is most likely being caused by the misalignment of your spine. Chiropractors realign the spine, taking pressure off the nerve that is being pinched. When the nerve isn’t being pinched then it doesn’t send sharp pain signals through your chest wall.

So, next time you have chest pain…think of your Chiropractor and feel better, naturally.

Written by Dr. Heather McCarter