Chest Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is chest pain?

Chest pain  which can be caused by various conditions such as heart or lungs diseases. It is one of the most common reasons that people visit the emergency room. Chest pain differs depending on the person. It also varies in:

  • quality
  • intensity
  • duration
  • location

It may feel like a sharp, instense pain or a dull ache. It may be a sign of a severe heart-asociated problem. Many common causes that are not so dangerous or life-threatening may also have caused it.

What causes chest pain?

When you have chest pain, your first concern may be that you are having a heart attack. While chest pain is a well-established sign of a heart attack, it can also be caused by many other less severe conditions.

About 13 percent of all emergency room (ER) comes for chest pain result in a diagnosis of a serious heart-related issues, according to the National Center for Health Studies (NCHS).(1)

Heart-related causes of chest pain

Heart-associated causes of chest pain include:

  • heart attack, which is a obstruction of blood flow to the heart
  • angina, which is chest pain due to blockages in the blood vessels supplying blood to your heart
  • pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart
  • myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle
  • cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for heart to pump blood efficiently
  • aortic dissection, which is a rare condition involving a tear or injury of the aorta, the large vessel carrying blood out of the heart

Gastrointestinal causes of chest pain

The gastrointestinal causes of chest pain includes:

Lung-related causes of chest pain

The given conditions are lung-related causes of chest pain:

Bronchospasms usually occur in individuals who have asthma and associated disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Muscle- or bone-related causes of chest pain

Causes of chest pain related to the muscles or bones includes:

Other causes

Shingles can cause chest pain. You may develop pain in your back or chest before the shingles rash becomes evident. Panic attacks can also lead to chest pain.

What symptoms may occur with chest pain?

You may experience other symptoms that comes with chest pain. Identifying symptoms you may be having can help your doctor make a diagnosis. These symptoms are:

Heart-related symptoms

While pain is the most common symptom of a heart issues, some people feel other symptoms, with or without chest pain.  Especially women have reported atypical symptoms that later have been identified as being related to a heart problem:

Other symptoms

Symptoms that may indicate your chest pain isn’t related to a heart problems are following:

How is chest pain diagnosed?

Go for emergency treatment urgently if you think you may be having a heart attack and particularly if your chest pain is new, unreasonable, or lasts more than a few moments.

You will answer certain questions asked by your doctor, and your answers can help them diagnose the cause of your chest pain. You also have to discuss any related symptoms and to share all informations about any medications, treatments, or other medical conditions you may have.

Diagnostic tests

Your doctor may perform tests to help diagnose or remove heart-associated problems as a reason behind your chest pain. These may include:

  • an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which records your heart’s electrical activity
  • blood tests, which measure enzyme levels
  • a chest X-ray, which is used to look into your heart, lungs, and blood vessels
  • an echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to record moving images of the heart
  • an MRI, which is used to find out any damage to the heart or aorta
  • stress tests, which are used to measure your heart function after exercise or any hard work
  • an angiogram, which is used to check blockages or obstructions in specific arteries

How is chest pain treated?

Your doctor might prescribe medications to treat chest pain, noninvasive procedures, surgery, or a combination of both. Treatment depends on the cause and severity or seriousness of your chest pain.

Treatments for heart-associated causes of chest pain include:

Treatments for other causes of chest pain include:

What is the outlook for people with chest pain?

Your doctor can treat and cure chest pain resulted due to many common conditions. These may include acid refluxanxiety attacks, and asthma or related disorders.

However, chest pain can also be a symptom of a life-threatening or fatal condition. Go for urgent medical treatment if you think you may be having a heart attack or another heart issues. This can save your life.

Once your doctor makes a diagnosis, they can suggest additional treatments to help you improve your condition.

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