Generally felt as chest pain, angina pectoris often is described as heaviness, pressure, burning, aching, fullness, squeezing, and even indigestion. For some people, the pain is felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, or back.
Angina is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease. The heart valve problem known as aortic stenosis causes decreased blood flow out of the heart into the coronary arteries, also resulting in angina. Angina can also result from low blood oxygen levels caused by severe anemia.
Angina Pectoris takes several forms:
- Stable angina. The pain predictably appears during heavy exertion or extreme emotional distress.
- Unstable angina. This pain occurs while at rest, feels more severe, and lasts longer than stable angina. This form may progress to a heart attack.
- Prinzmetal’s angina. Most commonly seen in people with existing coronary heart disease, this form of angina also occurs while at rest, when sleeping, or during exposure to cold temperatures. These conditions produce reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, which induces a spasm of the coronary artery.
Rest is usually prescribed to reduce the heart’s need for oxygen. This, clearly, is an immediate response to the pain and does nothing to address the cause of the condition.
Nitroglycerin has been a favored angina treatment for generations, followed more recently by beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. Each of these improves blood flow. They also can produce side effects.
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a medical procedure to open blocked coronary arteries.
This procedure does not come without risk of:
- bleeding at the catheter insertion site
- blood clot or damage to the blood vessel at the insertion site
- blood clot within the vessel treated by PTCA/stent
- infection at the catheter insertion site
- cardiac dysrhythmias/arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
- myocardial infarction
- chest pain or discomfort
- rupture of the coronary artery, requiring open-heart surgery
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) redirects blood flow around a blocked section of the coronary artery.
- Wound infection and bleeding
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Stroke, heart attack, or even death
Acupuncture Treatments Are Effective
Acupuncture has been found to produce therapeutic effects on several cardiac and chest ailments. Acupuncture quickly relieves the symptoms of an acute attack of angina pectoris in a high percentage of cases. Moreover, combined with conventional drug regimens, acupuncture improves drug effectiveness while reducing the undesirable side effects. This often results in the angina sufferer requiring a lower drug dosage and at a reduced frequency.
Contact our office today to learn more about Acupuncture For Angina Pectoris.
Acupunct Electrother Res. 2013;38(1-2):17-35.
Treating angina pectoris by acupuncture therapy.
Xu L, Xu H, Gao W, Wang W, Zhang H, Lu DP.