Chest tightness is usually a euphemism for chest pain. At its worst, chest pain can mimic the symptoms of a panic attack or even myocardial infarction. This typically comes from hyperventilation which occurs when you are trying to inhale quickly due to anxiety. Even though it can be caused due to a variety of different problems within the heart and lungs, chest tightness, which is commonly derived as a symptom of a lung condition, will be discussed. Chest tightness can occur quite often or persistently and can feel like sharp pinching within the chest, leading to numbness, long-lasting pain and pressure. Even though it may feel like it is emanating from the heart, 85% of chest pain diagnoses are unrelated to the heart. As a matter of fact, in certain instances, chest pain can merely be a result of simple bloating from gas build-up in the body. Nevertheless, when such conditions occur and make you feel uncomfortable, call your doctor immediately to find out for sure what you may be experiencing, especially if the discomfort or pain lasts for a long time.
Things To Check When Experiencing Chest Tightness
Sitting while experiencing chest tightness can lead to blood clots which may spread to your arteries, causing blockages which can ultimately worsen lung conditions and make them more challenging to breathe. If this occurs, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. If you feel like your lungs are heavy, and it becomes difficult to breathe, the symptoms might be pneumonia. If so, check if you have a build-up of fluid in the lungs immediately as this can be an extremely dangerous condition. In rare cases, a condition known as pneumothorax may occur, causing leaks in the space between the lungs and chest wall which shows as severe shortness of breath and bluish colour in the extremities.
Tips to Reduce Chest Tightness
Slow Your Breathing
Since hyperventilation can lead to chest tightness and anxiety, slow down your breathing. Impose a sense of control over your inhalations and consciously focus on taking slower breaths. Relax both your mind and body at the same time. Use breathing techniques like pursed lips breathing or use yogic practices.
Take Deeper Breaths
In meditation, a commonly taught practise is inhaling slowly and exhaling slowly. No matter the size of the breath, try to inhale for as long as eight counts and exhale for the same amount. Remember to breathe from the diaphragm, which means that your stomach should be the one rising, not your chest.
Fix Your Posture
While trying to relieve chest tightness, a lot of focus should be given to posture. While breathing, straighten your back and keep your hands on your thighs or lap. Keep your eyes closed and tongue, touching the roof of your mouth. When doing so, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.