Chest pain is a very common symptom, with emergency departments handling about 5.8 million cases each year. This particular symptom could point towards the presence of a very serious underlying condition, like a heart attack; however, it is also a common symptom for conditions that are not as serious or severe. Regardless, it's important to seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible if you are experiencing chest pains. While waiting for emergency medical attention, here are three ways you can relieve your chest pains in the meantime.
Take Deep and Slow Breaths
It's not uncommon for people to panic the moment that they start feeling chest pains. This may cause them to hyperventilate. Hyperventilation can cause chest muscles to spasm, which will only worsen your chest pains. As your chest pains worsen, you might be tempted to hyperventilate even more. This becomes a vicious cycle that will only worsen your condition and your symptoms.
Stay level-headed and calm down. Take deep and slow breaths in order to reduce your respiratory rate decrease the chances of painful spasms. Take about 4 seconds to breathe in through your nose and into your lower belly. Hold your breath for about 1 to 2 seconds and then take about 4 seconds to exhale. Keep doing this until you start to feel the chest pains subside.
Chew on a Regular-Strength Aspirin Tablet
If you have regular-strength aspirin tablets at home and are not allergic to aspirin, chew on an aspirin tablet until you receive emergency medical attention. This medication will help ease chest pains that are caused by inflamed chest muscles, cartilage and other types of tissue. Aspirin will also suppress platelets from building up in your blood to help thin your blood out. This will also help relieve your chest pain if it is caused by an obstruction in your arteries.
If you do decide to take an aspirin tablet, make sure to tell the medical professional who is caring for you. The fact that you have taken aspirin or any other types of medication may affect your diagnosis, and may also the type of treatment that the professional may recommend later on. in general, whether or not you have taken aspirin will not have an affect on the diagnosis.
Get Into a Comfortable Position
Depending on the causes behind the chest pains, sitting in different positions may be more comfortable than others and may help relieve your symptoms. While waiting for emergency medical attention, you should always sit down and avoid moving around. The last thing that you want to do is to overexcite your muscles or get your blood pumping, as this could further worsen your condition. You also want to avoid lying down completely, as this could also worsen your chest pains.
Find a comfortable chair, like a sofa, with a lot of cushions and move your body around to find what sitting position feels most comfortable to you. If possible, you should also remove restrictive clothing and wear loose clothing instead. Once you are comfortable and seated, try to relax as much as you can, as panic and anxiety will only worsen your condition.
If you are experiencing chest pains, seek emergency medical attention immediately. While the chest pains could be due to a harmless condition, it could also be indicative of a more serious and severe condition that needs to be treated immediately. You definitely do not want to risk it and play Russian roulette with your own life. If possible, have a family member or a friend stay by your side until emergency medical service arrive.