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What are the symptoms of a heart muscle spasm?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of a heart muscle spasm include chest tightness, pain on the left side of the chest, a feeling of constriction and general chest pain, explains Healthline. Pain from a heart muscle spasm periodically spreads to the neck, jawbone and arms. Some patients may not experience any symptoms when the heart muscle spasms, but the condition may ultimately lead to a heart attack and requires immediate medical attention.

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Full Answer

Heart muscle spasms typically occur during rest in the early morning or at night, according to Healthline. The spasm can last from five minutes to 30 minutes during each occurrence. High cholesterol, plaque buildup in the arteries and hypertension cause the condition. People who use excessive amounts of stimulants, smoke, abuse illegal drugs and experience alcohol withdrawal are at risk for heart muscle spasms. Extreme cold and stress can trigger a heart muscle spasm.

Treatment for a heart muscle spasm focuses on preventing a heart attack and relieving chest pain, explains Healthline. Medical professionals commonly prescribe nitrates to relax the artery walls and dilate the arteries. The dietary supplement L-arginine may help to reduce spasms, whereas calcium channel blockers relax arterial muscles. People at risk for heart muscle spasms often take calcium channel blockers and L-arginine long term.

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