Chest Pain Symptoms And Causes

There are different types of chest pains. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing pain in the chest. In some instances, patients experience burning or crushing sensation along with pain in the chest. In some cases, patients will experience that the pain travels up to the neck, into the jaw and then discharges through to the back and down to one or both arms.

Chest pain can occur due to different problems. The most life-threatening ones are related to the lungs or the heart. As it is hard to determine the exact cause of the chest pain, it is better to seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of Chest Pain

Health care providers are of the opinion that different health issues can cause chest pain. In most instances, the underlying cause has nothing to do with the heart of the patient. However, there is no easy way to tell without seeing a doctor. Let us explore the symptoms of chest pain based on the cause of the pain:

Chest Pain Related to The Heart

Many of us know that chest pain is associated with heart disease. But, most heart patients say that they experience just a discomfort, and it cannot be stated as pain. But, chest pain associated with a heart problem will have one or more of the following associated symptoms:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Cold sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain that lasts for more than the few minutes, but gets worse with activities. The pain also comes back and goes away or differs in intensity.
  • Searing or crushing pain that travels to the back, arms, shoulders, jaw, and neck. To be more specific, it happens in the left part of the body.
  • Tightness, fullness or pressure in the chest region.

Other Kinds of Chest Pains

In fact, it is hard to differentiate chest pain because of heart issue from other kinds of chest pains. However, chest pains that are lesser likely to be due to heart issues will have the following symptoms:

  • Tenderness when a patient pushes on his chest
  • Pain that gets severe when the patient coughs or deeply breathes
  • Pain that gets worse or better when the position of the body is changed
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • A sour taste of food re-entering the mouth.

The most common symptom of heartburn, which is a burning sensation and pain behind the breastbone, can occur due to issues with either the stomach or the heart.

When to Seek Medical Help?

When a patient has unexplained chest pain or when the patient suspects a heart attack, it is better to get medical help immediately without any delay.

Causes of Chest Pain

Chest pain can occur as a result of many different factors. It can be a heart-related cause, digestion–related issues, muscle and bone related, lung-related, and also other reasons.

What are the Heart-Related Causes that Lead to Chest Pain?

  • Heart Attack:

    The heart-related cause of chest pain can also be caused due to a heart attack.
  • Aortic Dissection:

    This is a life-threatening condition that involves the main artery. This artery leads from the heart to the aorta. In case, the inner layer of this blood vessel separates,
    the blood will be forced between layers and may cause the aorta to rupture.
  • Pericarditis:

    This is a condition, where there is an inflamed sac surrounding the heart. It usually causes a sharp pain that gets worse when the patient breathes or when he lies down.

The digestive causes include gallbladder or pancreas issues, swallowing disorders and heartburn. When it comes to muscle and bone-related causes of chest pain, injured ribs, sore muscles and costochondritis are frequent contributors. The lung-related causes of chest pain include pulmonary hypertension, collapsed lung, pleurisy, and pulmonary embolism. The other reasons are shingles and panic attacks that lead to chest pain.

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