Feeling like something is wrong during or after a run?
If you are one of those people who feel that something is wrong with them and have very severe chest tightness.
If you want to relive your know about this pain, If you are looking for something to help you relieve this discomfort. Continue to read, I will tell you more about the main causes for this type of
problem and how you can get rid of it.
Why does chest pain or tightening happen?
Chest pain or chest pressure during exercise can occur in recreational runners, as well as in athletes. When chest tightening Or pain happens during or immediately after exercise, the most common cause is spasm of the lungs’ small airways which is Called exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), it can cause sharp chest pains and make breathing difficult.
This can sometimes be worse at certain times of the year or when exercising in few environments. People with this condition may need to visit a pulmonologist for adequate testing to determine if EIB is the root of your chest pain.
Rarely , but more serious lung issues include pneumothorax, when air leaks out into the space between your lungs and your chest wall, and pulmonary embolism (PE) , i.e. blood clots in one or more of the lungs’ arteries, which can occur after orthopaedic surgery or prolonged periods of rest after injury.
In athletes who do training or compete outside, exposure to the elements can increase the risk of viral and bacterial lung infections, which can result in either pneumonia or pleurisy, inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity. The inflammation feels like a very sharp pain that becomes most severe when you inspire i.e. breathe in.
When pain really hits your heart
In athletes 35 and older, the most common cardiac cause of chest pain is angina. Angina is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle as a result of coronary artery disease. The pain is often experienced with exercise and eases up with rest.
Besides this in younger athletes, cardiac chest pains are most commonly related to congenital heart defects, meaning you were born with the problem. These include:
1.hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an excessive thickening of the heart muscle — which is the most leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes;
2.abnormal locations of the coronary arteries;
3.congenital valvular issues.
But, not all heart conditions that cause chest pains in athletes exist at birth. Myocarditis, an inflammation in the heart’s muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart, are usually caused by a virus and can become worse during exercise.
What to do when sharp pain strikes?
If pain is in your chest, don’t try to just push through it. Stop exercise immediately, let your gym trainer or coach know what’s going on, and follow these tips:
Signs it’s an emergency: If there’s no obvious cause for the pain, it doesn’t resolve itself, it’s linked with fainting, light-headedness, or an irregular heartbeat, or you have a family history of heart disease, you should visit the emergency room immediately.
Signs you need a check-up:
Even if the pain goes away on it’s own, an appointment should be made with a doctor experienced in treating young athletes. He will discuss your symptoms with you and evaluate your heart, lung and gastrointestinal health. If the cause of the pain is still not clear, one should consult a cardiologist for further evaluation.
Heart problems contribute to only about 5 percent of chest pains in athletes but Athlete or not, chest pains are always cause for concern and deserve prompt medical attention.
Why does this pain happen?
- New to running:
Jumping in to a new jogging routine can be a cause. If you haven’t had much training in the sport, it could be that you’re working out at a rate or intensity that your body isn’t adjusted to yet.
Heavy respiration during a run may be painful at beginning, but the strain typically goes away with consistent practice.
- cramping chest muscles:
The muscles surrounding your rib cage (called “intercostal muscles”) are also prone to cramping while you’re pounding the pavement. This pain is highly localized—meaning you can usually put a finger on exactly where it hurts—and usually gets worse with movement , dehydration or lack of electrolytes could be the reason behind the spasms.
Jogging piles a ton of pressure on to your digestive system, the increased tension within the abdomen causes the oesophageal sphincter (the muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus that keeps your stomach contents from rising into your throat) to relax, contributing to heart burn.
To ease the sensation and keep the food in stomach where it belongs, it’s advised to skip heavy meals before runs. Before hitting the road, trigger foods should be avoided —that is, anything spicy, fried, or caffeinated. Also monitor the foods you consume before runs to determine if a particular food doesn’t sit well with ones health .
- An unaddressed lung condition, like asthma:
There are a few different pulmonary issues that can spark pain during a run, the most common of which is asthma. Pre-workout medication can help prevent an exercise-induced asthma attack, and a rescue inhaler should always be kept on hand during a run if one is already diagnosed with asthma. Stop running if pain starts , and there’s no relief within a few minutes, and symptoms of shortness of breath and wheezing are present consult a doctor.
- Having heart complications, like heart disease, heart attack, or angina:
For the worst-case scenario. This is already known that the harder the run, the harder heart has to work. But if coronary arteries—which bring blood to ticker—contract, the insufficient blood supply can induce chest pain during exercise. This condition is known as “angina,”
And, physical strain can also prompt a heart attack (an acute blockage of a coronary artery) or an arterial tear. Worsening chest pain, pain in the jaw, back, left arm or other parts of the upper body, heavy sweating, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, significant palpitations, and/or dizziness that worsens with high-intensity activity but is relieved with rest. If one has even the slightest suspicion that heart isn’t beating in right way , the best thing to visit a doctor.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy:
occurs when the heart muscle thickens to that extent, making it very hard for the heart to pump blood. Usually, the thickening occurs in the left ventricle—the chamber in charge of pumping oxygen-rich blood to the body. This makes a problem to emerge as the heart can’t pump the normal amount of blood needed, or blocks blood flow from the heart.
Some might have no symptoms. Others may have chest pain that comes on with exertion, palpitations, and shortness of breath. rarely do people with this condition experience a heart attack.
- Covid 19:
people who have recently recovered from Covid can develop chest tightness as well on running as there lung are still in recovery phase. So It’s better for them not to run in post Covid time.
Dehydration can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently—and that can cause an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, or even palpitations, and chest pain or discomfort.
Prevent dehydration by drinking water and eating water-rich foods like watermelon, melon, cucumber and all other high water content foods throughout the day and before, during, and after running.
Ways of presentation of this tightness
- Dull or heavy in nature
- Often described as a ‘tightness’
- It may spread from the chest to the arms, neck or to even jaw
- Mostly associated with nausea and difficulty breathing
Some factors can help in making a diagnosis these include
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Mental health
Mental health can also play some role in chest tightness. Often forgotten, anxiety can itself trigger chest pain. A panic attack is an extreme anxiety attack, when an individual may develop pains and palpitations in their chest. They may feel shortness of breath and develop tingling in their limbs. This can be pretty serious , and the symptoms are difficult to control.
Making a diagnosis can be difficult, and is often only made by Excluding physical cause through tests. The treatment may involve a combination of therapy and medication.
A person may be able to prevent chest tightness by
- eating a balanced diet.
- Managing high bp with medications.
- controlling asthma with medications
- Avoiding spicy and caffeine eatables
- Stopping smoke, and avoiding second-hand smoke or environmental irritants.
- Eating foods rich in antioxidants.
- Getting vaccinations like the flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine. This can help prevent lung infections and promote lung health.
- Exercising more frequently, which can help lungs function properly.
Who should visit a doctor?
Symptoms that may require to visit emergency :
- a crushing sensation on the breastbone
- chest pain that keeps spreading to the jaw, left arm, or back
- confusion, an unusual heartbeat, or rapid breathing
- cold sweating