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Chest pain is a condition that tends to occur suddenly. Many people usually neglect it when it occurs just once, but with the recurrence of this pain, they immediately seek medical attention since they fear that it might be a sign of a heart attack. However, pain that appears in the chest may be caused by numerous reasons and not only by some cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms of chest pain

When the chest pain occurs due to cardiac problems, several other symptoms accompany it. Some of them are pressure in the chest, the pain that spreads to the left arm, shortness of breath and dizziness. On the other side, when the chest pain is a symptom of some other condition that has nothing to do with the cardiovascular system, the most common accompanying symptoms are burning sensation in the chest, trouble while swallowing and pain when moving the body, as well as sore taste and pain when breathing or coughing.

Causes of chest pain

The most common cardiac causes that have a chest pain as a symptom are heart attack, angina, aortic dissection, coronary spasm and pericarditis, which is the medical term for the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. There are several problems of the gastrointestinal tract that tend to cause pain in the chest, and some of them are heartburn, hiatal hernia, esophageal spasm and achalasia, as well as gallbladder and pancreas disorders. Achalasia is the problem with swallowing where the foods flow back in the esophagus since the valve in the esophagus has the trouble to open appropriately. Certain musculoskeletal disorders may also be responsible for the incidence of pain in the chest area. Costochondritis, wounded ribs, sore muscles and pinched nerves are some of the musculoskeletal causes that are likely to induce pain in the chest. Costochondritis is also known under the name Tietze syndrome and is characterized by the inflammation of the cartilage that covers the ribs and joints in this area. Pulmonary embolism, pleurisy, asthma, pulmonary hypertension and pneumothorax are the disorders of the respiratory systems that have the chest pain as a symptom. Pulmonary embolism occurs when the blood clot occurs in the pulmonary artery and the blood flow to the lungs becomes obstructed. On the other side, pleurisy is the medical name for the inflammation of the membrane that protects the lungs and the chest cavity.

Other conditions that are considered to cause pain in the chest are cancer, shingles and panic attacks.

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