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Chest Pain - Is It Always An Indication Of Heart Trouble?

Dr. Avinash Wankhede 88% (1355 ratings)
Clinical Cardiology, MD - Consultant Physician
Cardiologist, Surat  •  7 years experience
Chest Pain - Is It Always An Indication Of Heart Trouble?

The term 'chest pain’ is a very common term and is usually used in day to day life. Basically, chest pain refers to the pain that may generate in your chest, shoulder and can travel to your ribs, jaws and towards your arms. The feeling of the pain can be sharp or dull, depending on the severity of your condition and cause.

There can be several reasons behind chest pain. You need to conduct a few tests to examine the real cause of the chest pain. It is always advised by health experts to take the symptoms of chest pain very seriously in order to avoid any serious problem in the future. Most of the severe and life-threatening diseases behind chest pain involve lung and heart problems. People having serious heart problems often feel discomfort, followed by pain in their chest area.

Symptoms
Chest pain which is related to any heart disease such as heart attack usually has symptoms like:

  1. Feeling of fullness and tightness in the chest region
  2. Vomiting
  3. Nausea
  4. Burning or crushing pain, which travels from the chest to jaw, hands and back region.
  5. Weakness
  6. Breathing problem

Usually, it is very tough to distinguish whether the pain is associated with a heart problem or not. But generally chest pains which are not related to heart problems involves symptoms like

  1. Sensation in your mouth
  2. Problem in swallowing food
  3. Pain that worsens when you cough
  4. Burning sensation in your chest

Common causes of chest pain

  1. Angina: Angina is a medical condition described as a feeling of discomfort or pain in the chest region. This situation occurs when your heart muscles don't receive blood, which contains rich oxygen. Angina is a symptom of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The pain can take place in your shoulder, jaw, neck and arms also.
  2. Lung problems: People with lung disorders can encounter various types of chest pains. But some common causes are:
    • Pleurisy: It is a type of medical condition, which occurs due to inflammation of the lining of chest and lungs. Due to this, you feel a sharp pain at the time of breathing, coughing or sneezing.
    • Pneumonia: It is a type of lung infection, which causes chest pain.
    • Pneumothorax: It is a type of lung disorder, which occurs when a portion of your chest gets collapsed.
    • Asthma: It is a type of condition, which occurs due to shortness of breath and causes chest pain while coughing, sneezing and breathing.
  3. Gastrointestinal problem: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also a common reason for chest pain such as burning sensation in your heart.
  4. Other causes of chest pain: There are several other reasons of chest pain such as muscle strain, ribs injury, shingles, anxiety and panic attacks. It is always important to visit a physician whenever you encounter any of such chest pain symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.
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