What Does An Angina Attack Feel Like & How long Does Angina Last?

Chest pain or discomfort that occurs if an area of your heart muscle does not get enough of oxygen-rich blood, then you may be experiencing an angina attack. Want to know more about it? Read below and discover what does an angina attack feel like and how long does it last.

What Is Angina?

Experts believe that nearly 7 million of people in the United States of America suffer from angina. This is a condition that occurs equally among men and women. Angina may feel like pressure in your chest. This pain can also occur in shoulders, arms, neck, back or jaw. It must be noted that an angina pain may even feel like indigestion.

Angina is not a disease; rather it is a symptom of an underlying heart problem. Angina attack is usually a symptom of coronary heart disease or CHD, which is the most common type of heart disease in adults. However, it must be mentioned that not all chest pain or discomfort is a sign of Coronary heart disease.

There are four major types of angina attacks including stable angina, unstable angina, variant angina and microvascular angina.

What Does An Angina Attack Feel Like?

What Does An Angina Attack Feel Like?

When you have an angina attack, you may feel pain and severe discomfort, pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness in the chest. This pain or discomfort typically starts behind the breastbone.

You may also experience pain in the arms, shoulders, neck, back, jaw or throat. You may confuse this pain with the pain of indigestion as it feels like indigestion. Some individuals also find it pretty difficult to describe how the pain of angina attack feels like and where exactly the pain is coming from.

You may also feel like nausea, fatigue or tiredness, shortness of breath, light-headedness, sweating, and also weakness.

As we mentioned earlier that there are different types of angina and how one feels in angina attacks, primarily depends on which type of angina the person has.

How Long Does An Angina Attack Last?

The pain associated with angina usually lasts more than a few minutes to about 30 minutes. Stable angina attack lasts for about 5 minutes, while unstable angina attack lasts longer than stable angina, i.e. up to 20 minutes. In some cases, the pain will go away and come back again in some time. Usually rest and medication helps in getting you relief from the angina attack. However, the severe cases of angina last for 30 minutes or even more. You need to seek immediate medical help in such cases of angina attack.


If you experience angina attack more a longer period of time or if the pain and discomfort does not go away even when you rest or take the medications, it may be a sign that you are having a heart attack. You must seek an immediate medical help in such case.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 23, 2023

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