Heart Attack, Get to Know Everything About Chest Muscle Cramps

Heart attack, maybe this is the first thing you think of when you feel pain in your chest. In fact, chest pain is not always related to heart problems. Research finds that chest pain occurs due to muscle contractions around the ribs. We cannot control these contractions and cause the muscles in the chest to become tense and spasm or commonly known as chest muscle cramps.

In order not to treat chest muscle cramps incorrectly, you need to know the cause. Come on, look at some of the causes of chest muscle cramps and how to treat them.

Stomach acid

Under certain conditions, stomach acid can rise into the esophagus. This condition is called gastric acid reflux. The impact is a burning feeling around the breastbone so it is often thought to be a heart attack. If you experience stomach acid reflux more than twice a week, immediately consult a doctor. The reason is, this is a symptom of GERD that must be treated immediately.

Costochondritis (Bone Inflammation)

Another fairly common cause of chest pain is costochondritis , which is an inflammatory condition of the rib joints & chest cartilage. The causes can vary, from chest injuries to viruses. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as pressure on the chest wall as if being pricked.

Muscle cramp

Strenuous activities such as exercise can tense the muscles in your body, including your chest muscles. Even more so if you have a chest nerve compression injury. The pain can be felt from your chest to your entire arm and even go numb. This makes muscle cramps often considered a heart attack.

These are some of the conditions that cause chest muscle cramps besides heart attacks. If cramps occur, stay calm so that your muscles don't tense up further. There is a first treatment method to relieve cramps called RICE ( Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation ):

  1. Rest (Rest immediately)
    When you have cramps, immediately stop doing activities until the chest cramps subside. If cramps recur even for several days, reduce the intensity of your activities or take time to rest at home.
  2. Ice (Compress the painful area)
    To help relieve the pain of chest muscle cramps, compress with ice covered in a towel. Compress the painful area for approximately 20 minutes. You can repeat this several times until it feels more comfortable.
  3. Compression (Wrapped with a bandage)
    Apart from compressing, you can wrap your painful chest with a bandage. However, you should ask an experienced nurse or doctor to help bandage your chest with the correct technique.
  4. Elevation (Being in a higher position)
    If cramps attack, you can sit up straight. Avoid lying down when chest muscle cramps occur. While sitting up straight, you can give a light massage until you feel more comfortable.
  5. Taking pain relievers
    Pain relievers may be an option if the cramps do not subside.

That's some information about muscle cramps in the chest. If this is the first time this has happened. Immediately consult a doctor to differentiate between heart muscle cramps and chest muscle cramps. And don't self-diagnose #LiveExcellently

Article written by dr. Emile Tumpal Hombaron, Sp.JP (K) FIHA (Heart & Blood Vessel Specialist at EMC Alam Sutera Hospital).