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Chest Problems - Home Treatment

Home treatment is not appropriate for chest pain if the pain occurs with symptoms of a heart attack. If you think a heart attack might be the cause of your symptoms, call911or other emergency services immediately. After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

Home treatment for people who have been diagnosed with chest pain (angina)

Most people who have been diagnosed with angina have a pattern to their angina attacks that they can recognize. If you and your doctor have made a home treatment plan for your angina attacks, follow that plan. If the pain gets worse or does not go away or if you are unsure how to use your plan, call911or other emergency services immediately.

You may be able to control how much your angina bothers you by making changes in your lifestyle. You may find it helpful to:

  • Avoid strenuous activities that bring on angina.
  • Eat balanced, nutritious meals. Try to limit the amount of fats and fatty foods you eat.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Reduce stress. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
  • Control your blood pressure with diet and medicine. For more information, see the topic High Blood Pressure.
  • Avoid extremely cold or hot environments.
  • Take all medicines, such as nitroglycerin, as instructed by your doctor.
  • Follow the exercise or activity program you and your doctor developed.

If you do not need 911 emergency medical treatment for your chest pain or angina, take your pulse before reporting your symptoms to your doctor. Your heart rate and rhythm at the time of your chest pain may help your doctor evaluate your symptoms.

Home treatment for minor pain in the chest

Home treatment for minor chest pain depends on the cause of the pain. Minor chest pain often improves with home treatment. A visit to your doctor may not be needed.

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