If you develop a sudden pain in the chest the first thing that usually comes to mind is you’re having a heart attack. Even though chest pain is a sign of a heart attack there are many other conditions that can cause chest pain. Chest pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Listed here are some causes of chest pain that are related to the heart as well as conditions that cause chest pain that are not heart related.
With a heart attack there is usually a feeling of pressure, fullness or a crushing pain that lasts for more than a few minutes. You may also experience pain that radiates to your back, jaw, neck and arms, especially the left arm. You may be short of breath, sweaty, dizzy and have some nausea. Everyone is different and may experience all or some of these symptoms. Angina is another cause of chest pain. Angina is a restriction of blood flow to the heart that is can be brought on by physical or emotional stress. The most common symptom is recurring chest pain with a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest. This will usually go away in a few minutes or when you stop the stressful activity. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. You may feel and have a fever along with sharp, piercing chest pain. An Aortic Dissection is when the inner layers of the main artery separate and blood is forced in between them. A sudden tearing like pain in the chest and back is the one of the main symptoms of this. With a Coronary Spasm the artery that supplies blood to your heart starts to spasm. This closes down blood flow to your heart. This can occur during activity or even while you are at rest.
Some of the non-heart related causes of chest pain are heartburn which causes a burning sensation around the breast bone area. You may have a sour taste in your mouth or a feeling of food coming up in your mouth. This usually occurs after a meal and can last for hours. A panic attack can also cause chest pain. It is usually accompanied by an intense feeling of fear, along with rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, extreme sweating and shortness of breath. Pleurisy is an inflammation of the chest cavity which includes sharp chest pain especially when you cough or take a deep breath. Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. Pain may appear sudden and intense and make you feel like you are having a heart attack. The pain of Costochondritis is more localized and you will have tenderness at the sternum or ribs close to the sternum area. A Pulmonary embolism can cause sudden sharp chest pain then gets worst when taking a deep breath or when you cough. This happens when there is a blockage of the lung artery. You may experience shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, anxiety or a feeling of faintness.
These are some of the conditions that can cause pain in the chest. It is best to consult with your doctor if you do experience pain in the chest to make sure that it is nothing serious.