Chest Pain Health (cont.)

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Follow-up

No matter what the cause of chest pain, regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider are important. This will help you remain as healthy as possible and prevent worsening of your condition.

Prevention

Heart Attack Prevention

Prevention of heart attack and angina involves living what the American Heart Association calls a "heart healthy" lifestyle. Reducing your risk factors has a significant effect on reducing your risk.

  • Don't smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat nutritious, low-fat foods in moderate quantities.
  • If you drink alcohol, use alcohol moderately.
  • Engage in physical activity or exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Control high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar every day.

Aortic Dissection Prevention

Aortic dissection may be prevented by controlling high blood pressure and getting proper screening if the patient has a familial disposition to this disorder.

Pulmonary Embolism Prevention

Prevention of pulmonary embolism includes living a heart healthy lifestyle.

  • No one should smoke, but women older than 35 years who use birth control pills are at especially high risk from smoking.
  • When traveling on extended trips that require sitting for long periods of time (plane, car, train, etc.) or other times of leg immobilization, get up and allow time for stretching and movement of the legs. Isometric contractions of the calves are helpful if getting out of the seat is not possible.
  • If the patient has leg swelling, particularly if one is disproportionate to the other, see the doctor or healthcare provider.
  • You should always receive preventive anticoagulant medication after surgery, especially after orthopedic surgery.

Spontaneous Pneumothorax Prevention

Smoking cessation decreases the risk of spontaneous pneumothorax.

Perforated Viscus Prevention

Treating peptic ulcers appropriately and avoiding swallowing foreign bodies reduces the risk of perforated viscus.

Pericarditis Prevention

Because many cases of acute pericarditis are caused by viruses, effective handwashing may reduce transmission of infectious viral agents.

Pneumonia Prevention

Effective handwashing and good hygiene will help reduce the transmission of infectious viruses and bacteria that can cause pneumonia.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Prevention

There is no prevention for mitral valve prolapse.

Esophagus Disease Prevention

Acid reflux (GERD) can be prevented to a certain extent in most people.

  • Avoid foods and other substances that bring on or worsen symptoms, especially fatty foods
  • Stop smoking
  • Use alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Avoid eating large meals
  • Avoid eating for three hours before bedtime
  • Avoid lying down right after eating
  • Elevate the head of your bed

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