What does the chest “pain” of angina feel like and how long, or short, might be the duration?

What are possible triggers?

“Angina is a term for chest pain due to coronary heart disease,” says Waqar Khan, MD, who’s been providing state-of-the-art cardiology services to the Houston area for over 20 years, and is author of “Be Heart Smart: Understand, Treat, and Prevent Coronary Heart Disease.”

Dr. Khan explains, “It may feel different to different patients — but more commonly it feels like pressure in the chest, but it may also feel like sharp pain , dull ache, tightness or squeezing type of chest pain.”

In other words, angina can present itself in many flavors. You can’t rule out angina as the source of your chest pain just because it is any particular flavor — such as sharp, dull, squeezing, tight or heavy.

The all-encompassing descriptor for the experience would be chest discomfort.

If chest discomfort occurs when you physically exert yourself or exercise, and it subsides when you stop the activity, this is suspicious for angina — whether the discomfort is a dull ache, a pressure, a jabbing pain or a heaviness.

Keep in mind that angina can also occur while a person is at rest. This is called unstable angina, and if you suspect this…you need to see a doctor immediately.

The way unstable angina feels would be the same as how it feels when triggered by exercise or activity.

Below are articles about angina. You’ll note that a few of the titles are similar; however, a different cardiologist was interviewed for those.

Physical Activity

– Can Angina Occur at Rest but not During Exercise?

– Can Angina from Exertion Go Away if Activity Continues?

Duration of Symptoms

– Can Angina Come and Go Every Second?

– Can Angina Last for Only Seconds?


– How Does Sudden Emotional Stress Cause Angina?

Digestive Connection

– Can Angina Cause Vomiting?

– Acid Reflux: Chest Tightness vs. Angina, Heart Attack

Waqar Khan, MD, has a private practice and serves as an affiliate faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Amazon.com/Be-Heart-Smart-Understand-Coronary/dp/1732268606
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



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