Chest discomfort is usually a symptom that indicates that there’s something wrong with the heart or another organ near the chest. Problems with the tendons, muscles, nerves or even ribs, esophagus or lungs can cause chest tightness and pain.
People often panic when they experience any chest ache, since most think that the only reason can be a heart attack. Yes, heart attack is a possibility, but there are many other potential causes of your chest problems. Try not to lose control under these circumstances. You don’t want to worsen your condition, for sure, whether it is a heart attack or not.
Symptoms and Causes
Chest discomfort is in most cases experienced as pin and tightening in the chest, or heart palpitations. Patients complaining about chest discomfort frequently have a number of other symptoms, including: breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, yawing, daytime sleepiness, tiredness or sometimes dizziness and even unconsciousness. There might be also a painful feeling in the jaw or in the arms.
Many disorders and diseases may cause your chest problems. Some of the least worrying are: sore muscles, low blood red cells (anemia), altitude sickness, inflammation of chest joints, coxsackie virus infection or even panic attack.
Heart problems are also associated with these symptoms and the conditions that might be responsible for chest discomfort are: angina pectoris, aorta coarctation, aortic dissection, myocarditis, aneurism of thoracic aorta, mitral valve prolapsed or atrial fibrillation.
Lung problems are also a possible cause of chest discomfort. Patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis, cough, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases), tuberculosis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism or hypertension, pleurisy or pneumotorax might also report chest tightness and pain. Asbestos poisoning, aspergilloma, lung cancer, and lung sarcoidosis are possible reasons behind chest problems.
People experiencing carbon monoxide or cadmium poisoning often reported chest discomfort. Patients who have pheochromocytoma, mesotheliom and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are susceptible to chest difficulties.
Some digestive tract problems, such as indigestion, ulcers, gallbladder problems and heartburn may also cause chest pains.
Certain medications’ (heparin, lithium) side effects include chest problems.
Treatment of Chest Discomfort
It is important to identify the cause of your chest discomfort and then start to treat it. Muscle soreness, coughing or heartburn usually get better after some rest, heating or warming up. If you need, take ibuprofen to relieve the pain.
Heart attack symptoms are similar to regular chest pains, but also include: squeezing in the chest and pain that transfers to the left arm, shoulder blades and the jaw. Heart attack may also be followed by sweating, nausea, dizziness and breathing difficulties. If you feel any of these symptoms call 911 and ask for urgent medical help, since you might be experiencing a heart attack. Try to stay calm and focused until the medical help arrives, since the panic may only worsen the situation.