Angina is the pain which is caused by an insufficient blood supply to the heart itself. Angina varies from very mild to very frightening, crushing pain. Extreme angina is often accompanied by breathlessness. Angina is brought on by strenuous exercise which causes a need for an increased hart rate and therefore, an increased supply of blood to the heart. When this increased demand for coronary circulation cannot be met (often as a result of atherosclerosis) the patient feels angina.
Mild or moderate angina can be treated and relieved by nitrate drugs, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers. In extreme cases surgery (walkthrough) is performed to bypass a narrowed coronary artery.