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Chest Pain Reasons: What’s that chest pain you frequently feel?

Dr.Ayushi Bansal 1591 Views
Updated: 16 Jan 2024
Published: 13 Apr 2022
Reasons of Chest Pain

Chest pain causes can catch you off-guard in several forms, which range from acute and short to dull and lasting aches. In some cases, the pain transits up the neck, into the jaw, and then follows around to spread to the back and arms.

Chest pain causes can be quite a few in number, and if you often find yourself asking “Why is my chest paining?”, it’s a question you should definitely not ignore.

Chest pain reasons primarily cause problems in your lungs, oesophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves. Some of these conditions may prove to be momentous and even life-threatening. The others chest pain causes- maybe not so much. If you have unexplained chest pain, the only way to confirm its cause is to have a doctorial examination, and with apt diagnostic measures like a blood test for heart.

Chest pain causes: Related To The Heart 

  • Angina - Angina is said to occur when the blood supply to the heart muscles gets significantly reduced. Sometimes confused with other chest pain reasons like heart disease, angina doesn’t cause permanent damage to heart tissues like a heart attack.
  • Pericarditis - An inflammation of the thin, watery sac that surrounds the heart, Pericarditis may be caused by viral or bacterial infections, causing a stabbing chest pain.
  • Heart Attack - The most fearsome of all chest pain reasons, a heart attack occurs when a blockage in the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle occurs. 

Chest pain causes: Digestive

  •  Dysphagia - Also known as swallowing disorder, Dysphagia causes problems at the top of the throat or down the oesophagus. A swallowing disorder that affects the oesophagus can be another one of many chest pain causes, as well as one behind continuous coughing.
  • Gallbladder/Pancreas Problems - Usually after a long meal, when gallstones block the bile duct, you may experience intense pain in your upper abdomen. This is better known as a gallbladder attack. In some of such cases, you may feel pain spread up to your chest, too. 
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - It is a condition that occurs when stomach acid moves back up the oesophagus and irritates the lining of the oesophagus, causing sharp and persistent pain in the chest.

Chest pain causes: Muscle and bone 

  • Injured/Broken Ribs - A broken and/or bruised rib causes dramatic chest pain every time the upper body is pressed, bent or twisted.
  • Costochondritis - Costochondritis occurs when there is inflammation in the rib-supporting cartilage. It causes chest pain that feels similar to heart attacks. 
  • Sore Muscles - Chronic/prolonged pain syndromes like fibromyalgia can cause persistent chest pain behind the backs of muscle pain.

Chest pain causes: Lung disorders

  • Pulmonary Embolism - A blood clot that gets lodged in lung(s) arteries, a PE makes it difficult to even breathe. Its sensation can form surprisingly fast and worsens with exertion.
  • Pleurisy - An inflammation of the membrane covering the lungs, one of Pleurisy’s side effects is sharp chest pain which worsens with breathing or coughing.
  • Collapsed Lung - Also called pneumothorax, it occurs when air leaks into the space between the lungs and the ribs, making breathing hurtful and ultimately difficult. 
  • Pulmonary Hypertension - Occurring when there is high blood pressure in the lung arteries, it causes acute pressure and stiffness in the chest.  

Chest pain causes: Others

  • Panic Attacks - More than a mental health problem, panic attacks also cause a stabbing chest pain, usually with shortness of breath and a rapidly racing heart
  • Shingles and blisters - After-effect of coming in contact with the varicella-zoster virus, shingles prompt a sharp pain before, within days, a rash appears.

Signs of a medical emergency

While the aforementioned chest pain causes don’t necessarily imply a grave issue, but if you have a sudden and severe chest pain along with one or more of these symptoms, you should get cautioned:

  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pain that branches out to the jaw, arms, or back

If these symptoms last any more than five minutes, you should call an ambulance as soon as possible. But if “why chest pain occurs” is a question you often find asking yourself, a regular blood test for heart is your safest bet for the long run.

* All the info shared above is purely for educational purposes. For any kind of medical advice, we advise you to consult a doctor or visit your nearest diagnostic centre/hospital on an immediate basis.

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