Chest pain- A sign you shouldn’t ignore

Chest pain is a pain that occurs in any part of your chest. It could be in the center of the chest or the back, lungs, ribs, or muscles. The pain can be shooting or dull, intermittent or chronic, and can last from seconds to months.

What you should do when you experience chest pain?

  • If it is a sudden feeling of tightness under the breastbone;
  • A pain that radiates from the chest to the jaw, arm, and back;
  • Sharp pain with shortness of breath;
  • Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or breathing and excessive sweating;
  • Fever with coughing up yellowish-green mucous;
  • Pain persists for more than 15 minutes

Don’t Ignore it or panic. See a doctor immediately. It could be a sign of a heart attack.

The doctor may advise the following –

  • An electrocardiogram
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan
  • Chest/lung X-Ray
  • Stress tests
  • Endoscopy

The sudden crushing pressure in the chest could mean many things. It could be acidity, stress, indigestion or it could be a heart attack symptom or related to issues like that of the lungs, muscles, ribs, nerves, or the esophagus.

Let’s look at the reasons in detail

  • Heart problems – Heart problems like CAD Coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, heart valve diseases and pericarditis can cause chest pain.
  • Lung problems – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder(COPD), asthma, pneumonia, pleuritis can lead to chest pain.,
  • Gastrointestinal problems – Gall bladder problems, pancreatitis, hernia, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux can give chest pain.
  • Bone, muscle or nerve problems – muscle strains, rib problems and shingles cause chest pain too.
  • Cancers in the chest area
  • Stress, anxiety or panic attacks.

The treatment for chest pain will vary as per the intensity and the cause of the pain. Heart attack pain needs immediate attention as it can be life-threatening. However, for non-cardiac conditions, the required medical help can be sought if necessary.

How do you prevent chest pain?

You can reduce the risk of heart-related chest pain with the following preventive measures.

  • Lifestyle management – Exercising, quitting smoking, having the right diet, and reducing stress levels.
  • Medications – To treat high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots, etc.
  • A medical procedure or surgery – Stent, heart valve surgery, and coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Heart Rehab center Cardiovascular disease has multiple physical and emotional implications that limit the social life of patients. They need a customized program that helps them not only to recover from heart disease or surgery but to cope with the condition. Rehab is a comprehensive program that has a multidisciplinary team of doctors, therapists, nurses, and bedside caregivers to help heart patients restore their quality of life.

FAQs

How do I know if my chest pain isn’t serious?

If the chest pain,

  • Is not a sharp pain and there is no feeling of tightness under the breastbone;
  • Doesn’t radiate from the chest to the jaw, arm, and back;
  • Isn’t accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or breathing, excessive sweating; fever with yellowish-green mucous;
  • Doesn’t persist for more than 15 minutes

Then it isn’t serious.

What happens if you ignore chest pain?

However insignificant, chest pain shouldn’t be ignored. If it is a result of heart disease or any serious condition, it can be life-threatening. It is best to discuss the pain with your doctor so that they can help you identify the cause.

What symptoms should you never ignore?

These are the symptoms you should never ignore.

  • A sudden feeling of tightness under the breastbone;
  • Pain that radiates from the chest to the jaw, arm, and back;
  • Sharp pain with shortness of breath;
  • Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or breathing, and excessive sweating;
  • Fever with coughing up yellowish-green mucous;
  • Pain persists for more than 15 minutes.

How long should chest pain last?

Chest pain that lasts for over 15 to 20 minutes needs immediate medical attention. Even if the chest pain is intermittent and goes on for days should be brought to the doctor’s attention.