Doctors use a stress test to watch how your heart responds to the stress of exercise or other kinds of exertion. Some people call a stress test a treadmill study. Your doctor might use a more technical name: "exercise electrocardiogram."
Some heart symptoms can only be seen when you're physically active. To stimulate your heart rate during your stress test, you will be asked to either walk on a treadmill or pedal an exercise bike. Special equipment that translates the heart's electrical activity into lines on graph paper will monitor you as you exercise.
In order to compare the differences between exercise and rest, your heart's activity at rest will be monitored prior to a stress test. This monitoring may also reveal a heart problem which could make a stress test unsafe for your heart.
Your physician can schedule a stress test for you. You should consult with a physician to determine whether a stress test is appropriate for you.