Chest pain is not something to ignore, and you might instantly think of a heart attack, but chest pain has many potential causes.
It is often related to the heart; however, it may be caused by other conditions, some serious, in your lungs, ribs, oesophagus, muscles, or nerves. If you have any unexplained chest pain, the only way to identify its cause is to have a qualified doctor examine and assess you with a range of tests to eliminate the potential causes until a diagnosis can be reached.
Ironically, chest pain may be felt anywhere from the neck to the upper abdomen. Depending on its cause, chest pain may be described as:
- A tight, squeezing, or crushing sensation
- A bear hug sensation
Why Do Chest Pains Occur
Chest pain may occur as the result of several factors and conditions. Angina or a heart attack are the two most searched causes on the internet, but there are other causes of chest pain that might surprise you. These can include indigestion, reflux, muscle strain, inflammation in the rib joints near the breastbone, shingles, and cracked or broken ribs.
Momentary Chest Discomfort
The feeling — often compared to receiving an electrical shock — that lasts only an attention-grabbing moment is more likely to be caused by:
- An injury such as broken or bruised ribs
- A pulled muscle in your chest wall
- Inflammation in your rib cartilage
With every deep breath or cough, pain pierces your chest. Moving around and changing positions makes it worse. If this describes your symptoms, you might be developing a lung-related issue. This is of a higher likelihood if the pain is focused away from your heart, on the right side of your chest.
Thankfully, these issues are not a heart attack, but they do warrant investigation by a doctor. Some possible causes of lung issue chest pain include pneumonia or U.R.T.I infection, an asthma attack, pulmonary embolism, pleurisy, heart problems, collapsed lung, and pulmonary hypertension.
Discomfort that improves as you move around a bit may be a case of heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, or indigestion. Taking an antacid might relieve the feeling entirely. If not, you might be looking at some other gastrointestinal issue that warrants further investigation.
Which Chest Pains Are Serious
How To Tell If My Chest Pain Is Serious
Chest pain should send you to the emergency room as a precaution if:
· It lasts for at least five minutes.
· The chest pain is coupled with shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, fatigue, or light-headedness.
The pain, pressure or discomfort also may radiate to your:
· Upper stomach
Lasting and unrelenting pain in these areas may signal the onset of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and require immediate attention either by dialling 000 or entering an emergency room directly.
Chest pain may arise and disappear every few minutes, or it can linger for a day. It might strike suddenly with an intense sensation of immediate pain that will vanish after one minute.
The cause of the chest pain could be related to your heart, muscles, broken bones- anything really. Pain in the chest isn’t always because something is terribly wrong; sometimes, it’s just acid reflux or anxiety attacks that don’t need medical treatment as they pass quickly.
If you have any underlying causes, such as heart palpitations that intensify over time- seek the appropriate care immediately before complications from untreated symptoms develop into something more serious like cardiac arrest.
Are Chest Pains A Covid Symptom
Chest pain is a possible symptom of COVID-19 and a possible cause for having a severe reaction to the vaccine, but it does not mean that you have Covid, nor does it mean that you don’t have Covid if you do not experience any of the long list of Covid symptoms and side effects.
WHO is constantly updating its information and symptoms lists as more people are having extreme adverse reactions to the many vaccines in use throughout the world. If you have been COVID vaccinated and then begin to experience chest pain, seek an immediate professional examination.
What Is The Difference Between Angina And Chest Pain
There is no difference per se. Angina is the temporary chest pain or discomfort that happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen. Angina can be a symptom of coronary heart disease. You must visit your doctor and call 000 if you feel a sharp stab, burning sensation, or are suddenly short of breath.
Get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for your angina. If symptoms continue for more than 10 minutes, are severe or get worse, call Triple Zero (000).
Chest Pains, Anxiety And Panic Attacks: What Is The Difference
Pain in the chest could be linked to another kind of attack that has nothing to do with the heart.
A panic attack, or anxiety attack, can mimic a heart attack with symptoms like chest tightness, sweating, shortness of breath, and clammy hands. However, there are some key differences between a panic attack and a heart attack.
Many heart attacks occur after physical strain or exertion. This is not typically a sign displayed by panic attacks.
Panic attacks often induce stabbing pain. Heart attacks have a compressed, squeezing feeling like someone is sitting on your chest.
Pain from heart attacks will frequently radiate to other areas of the body. It usually stays in the chest area when a person is experiencing a panic attack.
Heart attack symptoms vary widely. Heart attack symptoms or angina can vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience no symptoms at all, some experience crushing chest pain and others may feel radiated arm, throat, or jaw discomfort. The discomfort is usually unrelenting and typically lasts more than five minutes.
Deep breathing often removes anxiety-driven panic attacks, as does changing position and drinking warm fluids; however, with a heart attack, the pain is not lessened by applying any of those treatments.
First Aid For Life
First Aid is a life skill that, once learnt, will have multiple benefits. FACE is one of Australia’s leading First Aid Course Experts. Book a course with us today and learn C.P.R. and basic life-saving skills you need to know should angina progress to a heart attack. Visit our FACE Blog page and peruse the range of First Aid topics for motivation or general knowledge.