Chest Pain - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 Chest Pain - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Chest Pain - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Chest pain can occur in many variations, from sharp stabbing to blunt pain. There are many causes of chest pain, and the most serious ones include the heart or lungs. In most cases it is very difficult to determine what causes chest pain, so it is best to seek medical attention immediately.


It is important to emphasize that chest pain manifests itself as a symptom of impending conditions such as heart attack or pulmonary embolism. When chest pain is present and the findings of all tests are neat, angina should be suspected.


Chest pain in most people causes fear and discomfort as it is often thought of as a myocardial infarction.


Sometimes it may be better to go to the doctor for months than to ignore the warning symptoms for months and end up with your doctor the way you didn't plan, which means "an ambulance and doctors fighting for your life."


Chest pain, which does not occur frequently and does not cause long-term problems or major discomfort - is generally harmless and is felt less by every person.


Such pain can be due to anxiety, stress or overstretching. However, even if chest pain begins to occur more frequently - you need to see a doctor.


Symptoms of chest pain

Although chest pain is usually associated with heart problems, in most cases the underlying cause of the pain has nothing to do with heart problems. However, there is no easy way to determine this without visiting a doctor.


In general, chest pain caused by heart problems may be related to:


a feeling of pressure or tightness in the chest,

severe pain reflected on the back, neck, jaw, shoulders or arms (especially the left arm),

pain that lasts for more than a few minutes, stops and recurs and varies in intensity,

shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness, or nausea.

Chest pain that is not caused by heart problems is more commonly associated with:


the feeling of annealing in the area behind the chest,

a feeling of acidity in the mouth or a feeling of returning food to the mouth,

swallowing problems,

pain that worsens or is less intense after changing body position,

pain that is exacerbated by deep breathing or coughing,

pain in the shoulder blade,

lack of appetite, nausea,

sensitivity due to pressure on the chest.

If you have new or unexplained chest pain or suspect you have a heart attack, call an ambulance immediately, Mayo Clinic warns.


Causes of chest pain

There are many possible causes of chest pain, but almost all require medical attention. Possible causes of heart related chest pain include:


heart attack - resulting from a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. The pain usually occurs in the middle part of the chest, but it is not limited to one place - it can spread to the left arm, back and to the lower jaw. Accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and sweating.

angina pectoris - chest pain that occurs due to transient myocardial ischemia, or lack of oxygen. Pain caused by angina is also commonly reported in the middle of the chest as a result of exertion or emotional arousal. The pain is exacerbated by breathing, the patient gets cold sweat, feeling nauseous and fainting, but with decreasing intensity of activity, the symptoms stop.

aortic dissection - a life-threatening condition resulting from longitudinal sectioning of aortic wall layers. Blood enters the fissure and creates a false aortic lumen. It is manifested by severe abrupt pain that begins in the front of the chest and spreads back and forth as the dissection progresses.

pericarditis - in most cases it is a short-term illness caused by viral infections. Pericarditis can be accompanied by fever and vomiting and rapid breathing. The pain is intense, piercing and can last for days.

The digestive problems that can cause chest pain are:





esophageal rupture,

gallbladder problems,

pancreatic problems.

Chest pain caused by muscle or bone problems may be associated with:


inflammation of the chest cartilage - this type of pain is not dangerous and most often represents the body's reaction to a more intense effort. The pain is constant and spreads across the chest. The pain is exacerbated by pressing the sore spot.

chronic muscle pain, such as fibromyalgia.

rib injury.

bone metastases.

Chest pain associated with lungs may be due to:


pulmonary embolism - when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the lung.

pneumonia - If the membrane covering the lungs is inflamed, it can cause chest pain and it usually worsens when breathing or coughing.

pneumothorax - penetration of air into the pleural space, spontaneously more often in thin tall people or traumatic.

inflammation of the lung (pleura) - a possible consequence of pneumonia, tumors and other diseases. The pain can be very intense and piercing, accompanied by fever and dry cough.

Chest pain can also occur due to panic attacks, and is then usually accompanied by rapid heartbeat, loss of breath, hyperventilation and excessive sweating. Chest pain can also be caused by physical exertion or some other stressful event.


Scientists at the University of Marburg, Germany collected data from 11 studies that examined the incidence of chest pain in 6500 people. Frequencies of individual causes were:


13.8% to 16.1% - cardiovascular disease,

6.6% to 11.2% - coronary heart disease,

1.5% to 3.6% - heart attack,

10.3% to 18.2% - respiratory diseases,

5.6% to 9.7% - gastrointestinal diseases.

The information obtained can help physicians in the practice of determining their diagnosis, the researchers said.



In order to identify the cause or at least eliminate a potentially life-threatening condition, the following should be done:


X-ray of the heart and lungs,


blood count and

clotting factors.


Treatment of chest pain

Treatment for chest pain varies depending on the underlying cause of the pain. When the pain is temporary and caused by stress or physical exertion, analgesic (aspirin) or nitroglycerin may be used in the case of diagnosed angina. In this case, the most important thing to do is break from strenuous activities and avoid stressful situations in order for the body to recover on its own.


However, in the case of pain of greater intensity or longer duration, it is necessary to see a doctor to determine the exact cause of chest pain and pressure and to determine the therapy, whether medical or surgical, depending on the severity of the clinical picture.


Chest pain can indicate serious health problems, so it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately.


If the pain persists and causes more discomfort, you should see a doctor as soon as possible because the emergency services are witnessing the arrival of patients in relatively “good” condition who complain of chest pain, who unfortunately did not receive their therapy because they passed away during the exam.


It is important to emphasize that in people with diabetes, chest pain does not have to be of any significant intensity, since in such persons the nerves that do not tolerate the pain in its full severity are often damaged. With this in mind, diabetics should pay close attention to their cardiovascular system in order not to inadvertently "undergo" a mild heart attack that may precede the next potentially fatal one.


Let this be a warning to you how easy it is to lose your life and that doctors are not robots that can save lives in any situation. It is sometimes not possible to perform adequate treatment even when the cause is known.


Most doctors will recommend that you keep small health logs where you can enter information about your pain, such as what part of your chest the pain occurred, how many hours, what kind of pain, what intensity, how long the pain lasted, and whether you felt any other symptoms.


Absolutely every piece of information that may seem important to you, including the circumstances under which the pain occurred, is crucial to making the right diagnosis.


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