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:
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.
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
- acid reflux, or heartburn
- swallowing problems related to disorders of the esophagus
- inflammation of the gallbladder or pancreas
The gastrointestinal causes of chest pain includes:
Lung-related causes of chest pain
The given conditions are lung-related causes of chest pain:
Muscle- or bone-related causes of chest pain
Causes of chest pain related to the muscles or bones includes:
- bruised or broken ribs
- sore muscles because of exercise or chronic pain syndromes
- compression fractures leading to pressure on a nerve
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:
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:
- chest pressure or tightness
- back, jaw, or arm pain
- abdominal pain
- pain during hard work or exercise
Symptoms that may indicate your chest pain isn’t related to a heart problems are following:
- a sour or acidic taste in your mouth
- pain that only starts after you swallow or eat
- trouble swallowing
- pain that improves or worsens depending on your body position
- pain that’s worse when you breathe deeply or cough
- pain accompanied by a rash
- runny nose
- feelings of panic or anxiety
- back pain that radiates to the front of your chest
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.
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:
- medications, which may have nitroglycerin and other medications that open partially blocked arteries, clot-dissolving drugs, or blood thinners
- cardiac catheterization, which may involve using balloons or stents to open blocked arteries
- surgical repair of the arteries, which is also called as coronary artery bypass grafting or bypass surgery
Treatments for other causes of chest pain include:
- lung re-inflation for a collapsed lung, which your doctor will do by inserting a chest tube or associated device
- antacids or certain procedures for acid reflux and heartburn, which are used to cure the symptoms
- anti-anxiety medications, which are used to treat chest pain asst with panic attacks
What is the outlook for people with chest pain?
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.