Q:

Can tingling in the fingers be a sign of a heart attack?

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Quick Answer

Individuals who suffer from a heart attack may experience chest pain that radiates down the arms, which can include a tingling sensation in the hands, wrists and fingers. They may also experience a tingling sensation in the shoulders, neck and jaw, as HealthCentral explains. The pain can likewise radiate through the back as well as to the teeth and gums.

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Full Answer

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, resulting in the death of heart cells, as described by WebMD. It is often caused by the blockage of an artery. Although unusual, a heart attack can also be caused by a coronary spasm. When a coronary artery spasm occurs, it reduces the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Pain caused by a heart attack is not relieved by rest or changes in body position, as HealthCentral clarifies, and it usually lasts for at least 30 minutes. Some individuals describe the pain as a dull ache, while others experience a burning, stabbing or knifelike sensation.

The symptoms of a heart attack vary from one person to another, explains Mayo Clinic. Aside from chest pain, a heart attack may also cause abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea and indigestion. Shortness of breath, fatigue and lightheadedness are also symptoms of a heart attack.

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