Chest pain is one of the most common reasons given for emergency room visits, and many of these cases turn out to be innocuous. However, when chest pain is serious, it can quickly escalate into a medical emergency.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether your chest pain warrants a visit to the doctor, learning more about chest pain and what causes it can help you stay safe and informed.
At Indus Cardiology, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Yogesh Paliwal provides preventative cardiology care, and can help you if you have recurring chest pain.
Common causes of chest pain
Your chest is the center of operations for many vital functions, including your heart and lungs. Chest pain can be caused by anything from a pulled muscle to a fatal heart attack, which is why it’s important to take your pain seriously and learn the difference between mild and severe symptoms. Here are some common causes of chest pain to help you learn more.
Many people with anxiety think they’re suffering from a heart attack the first time they have a panic attack. If you have a history of anxiety and just experienced a stressful situation, you might experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and excessive sweating. Try to calm down, regulate your breathing, and wait for the pain to subside. If it persists, contact your doctor.
While we associate digestive issues with abdominal pain, certain conditions can lead to radiating pain or heartburn. If your chest pain began shortly after eating, you might also experience bloating and foul burps. This is a sign that your chest pain is linked to a digestive problem, not a heart condition. Visit a doctor if these issues continue.
Chest sprains/strains typically occur after an injury or intense workout session. The pain might alleviate once you rest the muscle and take a pain reliever. If the pain feels centered on your sternum or rib cage, you might be suffering from costochondritis.
This is what people immediately assume when they experience chest pain. However, many different heart conditions can cause pain, including:
- Pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart sac
- Angina, or poor blood flow to the heart
- Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle
- Heart attack
When to take pain seriously
All forms of chest pain should be taken seriously, especially if you’re concerned for your health. You should call emergency services immediately if you experience:
- Tightness in your chest
- Trouble breathing
- Pain that spreads to your arm, neck, or jaw
- Sweating and nausea
- Persistent pain that lasts more than 15 minutes
These are all symptoms of a heart attack, which can be fatal. If you regularly suffer from chest pain or suddenly experience severe pain, visit Dr. Paliwal as soon as possible. He can help diagnose the issue and make sure your life isn’t in danger.
To learn more about chest pain, talk to the specialists at Indus Cardiology. To get in touch with the team, call the location closest to you or visit the contact page for more information.