Common Causes of Chest Pain


Most people connect chest pain with a heart attack. But although it should be taken seriously, it is not always connected with the heart. Experts claim that 25% of chest pains in USA are not caused by heart attack or other heart conditions. You should visit a doctor to find out what causes the pain. Here are some of the problems which cause chest pain:

Common Causes of Chest Pain

Heart issues

Various heart problems can cause chest pain. A lot of people who have heart problems experience chest pain which spreads towards the shoulders, back, jaw and arm.

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) – appears due to reduced blood supply to the heart muscle. This type of pain is also known as angina. CAD can lead to heart attack.
  • Heart attack– known as myocardial infarction or MI and appears due to death of heart muscle cells. Chest pain caused by heart attack appears together with sweating, nausea and shortness of breath.
  • Myocarditis– This is actually inflammation of the heart. This pain is very similar with the one caused by heart attack. Other symptoms as fatigue, fever and palpitation can appear as well.
  • Pericarditis– this condition causes inflammation of the membrane around the heart. The pain may get worse when swallowing food or breathing.
  • Mitral valve prolapse– This occurs when the mitral valve of the heart cannot close properly. Symptoms are: palpitation, dizziness and chest pain but they appear only if the condition is worsened.

Lung issues

Lung problems can cause chest pain. Usually this pain is severe and worsens when the patient is breathing, sneezing or coughing.

  • Asthma– Chest pain can occur due to asthma attack, when there is inflammation and constriction of the airwaves. The patient is coughing, wheezing and has shortness of breath.
  • Pneumonia– This is a lung infection and the pain comes from deep in the chest. Other symptoms appear as chills, fever and cough.
  • Pleurisy– Also known as pleurisies and is actually an inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest. The pain is severe and worsens when the person is taking a breath.
  • Pneumothorax– This occurs when some part of the lungs collapse often because of some trauma or injury. Besides chest pain which worsens as you breathe it also causes low blood pressure.
  • Pulmonary embolism– This condition occurs when a blood clot gets stuck in one of the blood vessels in the chest. It can also cause palpitation, fever and difficulties in breathing.

Digestive issues

Sometimes chest pain occurs due to problems with stomach or esophagus. Usually most common remedies against these problems are antacids and non- steroidal and anti- inflammatory medicines.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux diseases or GERD– Commonly known as acid reflux, as the acid reflux and other contents of the stomach return in the esophagus. This pain goes with burning sensation.
  • Peptic ulcers– This appears due to painful sores or ulceration in the lining of the stomach. Peptic ulcers usually appear in people who drink a lot of alcohol and smoke.
  • Pancreatitis– This pain occurs due to inflammation of the pancreas, the gland placed behind the stomach which secretes digestive juices and insulin.

Chest pain can be also caused by chest muscle strain, problems with ribs and anxiety.

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