Suddenly you feel an intense tightening around your chest, along with pain and a burning sensation. You clutch your chest, awash in fear.
If you have never had this experience before, you wonder... is this a heart attack ... a panic attack ... an asthma attack ... and you will definitely want to contact your physician.
But if you have multiple sclerosis and been through this before, you'll recognize this as the mysterious MS Hug... the Chest Hug... the Girdle... otherwise known as dysesthesias. According to the Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders*, dysesthesias is defined as:
Dysesthesias is a symptom of pain or abnormal sensation(s) that typically cause hyperesthesia, paresthesiae, or peripheral sensory neuropathy. Dysesthesias can be due to lesions (an abnormal change) in sensory nerves and sensory pathways in the central nervous system (CNS, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord). The pain or abnormal sensations in dysesthesias is often described as painf...
Anyone who's ever had an asthma attack knows about the chest tightness and why it occurs. Yet what about the chest soreness that occurs the next day? Why does asthma causes chest pain?
The interesting thing to note here is there are no pain receptors in your lungs!!! The reason asthma causes pain is because asthma causes you to breathe the wrong way.
Confused? Allow me to explain with a pithy lesson on how we breathe. (To learn why we breathe click here )
Breathing is the process of moving air into and out of the lungs. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that can be done either consciously (you control it) or unconsciously (without thinking of it). Unconscious breathing : Most of the time you don't think about breathing, yet you continue to do it. This is an important safety net for life, because if we had to think about breathing 24-7 we'd accomplish little and most life would cease to exist. Air goes into your...
What does one do if she experiences major chest pains and medical examinations reveal no heart or BP abnormalities? This is a particularly good question because it applies to all fields of medicine, and to all people who at some time in their lives will become patients (Yes, even doctors). If a person is experiencing symptoms that are not accompanied by signs of disease, or evidence in the form of an abnormal test, the diagnostic work-up will sometimes cease. Yet the patient still has the symptoms. What should be done? First, were all the elements of your complaint dealt with? Please see my prior posting about preparing for a visit to a cardiologist . It is appropriate for a visit to any physician. Second, what constitutes a full work-up for chest pain? This is actually different depending upon the likelihood of different processes causing the discomfort. Arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease is quite unlikely in very young people (but congenital disease may be more ...
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