Does mitral valve prolapse cause pain? Is it a symptom of MVP?
Does mitral valve prolapse cause pain? Most of the time, a prolapsed mitral valve does not cause physical symptoms. However, among people living with mitral prolapse who are symptomatic, pain is possibly the most widely reported symptom.
Pain that occurs with MVP usually presents itself as pain in the chest area. This mitral valve prolapse chest pain can be incredibly bothersome and frightening. It is often what prompts undiagnosed mitral prolapse sufferers to seek medical help.
Descriptions of chest pain by those who experience the symptom vary. Typically, patients describe it as sharp, stabbing pains that come and go without exertion. In some individuals, though, the pain is dull/achy and more consistent with that of stable angina. This pain tends to occur with physical and emotional stress and can spread to the neck, shoulders, and other areas of the upper body.
What causes mitral valve prolapse chest pain?
There are many possible mitral valve prolapse chest pain causes. According to experts, pain may occur due to stretching of supporting mitral structures. That is, stretching of the papillary muscles and chordae tendineae may cause pain when the mitral valve prolapses. MVP pain may also result from skeletal abnormalities of the chest wall that may be present with the mitral prolapse condition.
Dysautonomia, a condition wherein the autonomic nervous system malfunctions, is another potential cause of chest pain with mitral valve prolapse. It can affect the functioning of the heart, the blood vessels, and various other organs and structures in the body. This can trigger abnormal sympathetic or parasympathetic system responses and bring about mitral prolapse syndrome symptoms.
In older people with MVP and anginal chest pain, underlying cardiac ischemia is sometimes the cause. With coronary artery disease, for example, the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle harden and narrow over time. This decreases blood flow and can cause pain and discomfort. Coronary artery spasms from high blood pressure and cholesterol can also cause pain by restricting blood flow.
What does mitral valve prolapse chest pain feel like?
It depends on the individual and the cause of the symptom. Does mitral valve prolapse cause pain in the chest? It certainly can, and it can be scary, but what the chest pain from the mitral prolapse condition feels like isn’t the same for everyone. Moreover, MVP pain can accompany other disturbing mitral valve prolapse symptoms, such as heart palpitations and dyspnea (trouble breathing).
As mentioned, people with a prolapsing mitral valve often describe mitral valve prolapse chest pain as sharp and stabbing in nature. These pains, which generally affect the left side of the chest, usually occur without exertion, although they can arise or worsen with physical activity. In most cases, pain episodes are short lived, lasting no longer than a few minutes, but they can last hours.
Anginal-type mitral valve prolapse pain has a tendency to be dull. It may feel like pressure, squeezing, or heaviness in the chest (a crushing sensation), occurring and intensifying with activity and stress. The discomfort may also be felt in the back, the shoulders, and the arms, as well as the neck and the jaw. For some, mitral valve prolapse chest pain feels like heartburn or burning in the chest.
How is mitral valve prolapse chest pain treated?
Mitral valve prolapse treatment for chest pain and angina normally involves the use of Rx medications. Prescription drugs such as beta blockers are commonly prescribed for keeping mitral prolapse symptoms under control. These include beta-adrenergic blocking agents such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor and Toprol-XL), and propranolol (Inderal), among many others.
Vasodilators are another type of medication used to treat angina and chest pain caused by mitral valve prolapse. Drugs like ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and nitrates can ease MVP pain by widening blood vessels, improving blood flow, and reducing strain on the heart. Blood thinners such as Warfarin may be appropriate for some individuals with a mitral prolapse and chest pain.
In addition to the drugs mentioned above, there are natural MVP remedies that may provide mitral valve prolapse chest pain relief. Coenzyme Q10, l-carnitine, and kava-kava are just a few of these. Eating healthy and avoiding foods to avoid with mitral prolapse can also go a long way in reducing painful symptoms. Does mitral valve prolapse cause pain? Sometimes it does, but it can be treated.