My husband has had several occurrances where he feels a numbness in his shoulders, arms and a squeezing pressure in his chest area. Is this a warning sign of a possible heart attack? He says when he feels this that it is hard to lift his arms from his side, like they are "dead weight." It subsides in 30 seconds to a minute. I would appreciate any help.
Thanks for your question.
Your husband's symptoms certainly raise concern that he might have heart disease. This could be a form of angina pectoris (chest pain caused by blockages in the coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle).
I suggest he make an appointment with his physician for an evaluation that will include a history, physical examination, and an electrocardiogram. He/she will probably arrange for further tests to include blood work and a stress test. Once this information is obtained, his doctor will know what the situation is. If his heart checks out alright, then other causes can be investigated.
Until seen, I would recommend that your husband avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
Martin Cane, M.D.
Here are some links that might be useful to you right now:
Heart Disease Symptoms, Treatments, and Drug Information
Stress and Heart Disease: How to Lower Levels to Reduce Your Risk
Five Easy Ways to Help Your Heart