Stabbing Chest Pain
Stabbing chest pain is one of the leading reasons why people turn to their doctors. Majority of people think that stabbing chest pain exclusively means they are suffering from heart attack. Luckily, this is not always true. Still, if stabbing pain in the chest has occurred the patients are advised to turn to their doctors so that the underlying cause can be identified.
Apart from stabbing chest pain the patient may also complain about a feeling of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and increased perspiration. The pain may be localized or radiate towards other parts of the body, most commonly the shoulder, jaw, neck and along the arms. Additional symptoms make it easier for the doctor to set up differential diagnosis while definitive diagnosis can be only set after certain examinations and test.
Causes of Stabbing Chest Pain
There are numerous medical conditions that may cause stabbing chest pain. Problems with heart are only some of the causes. Still, heart condition may be the ones most responsible for this type of pain. Stabbing chest pain commonly affects people suffering from heart attack, angina, aortic dissection, coronary spasm, pericarditis, myocarditis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In some people stabbing chest pain caused by heart conditions is transitory while in others it lasts for a long period of time. The intensity of stabbing chest pain may also vary.
Furthermore, certain illnesses of gastrointestinal tract may induce stabbing chest pain. Heartburn may, for example, cause stabbing chest pay. Still, this does not occur very often. Additional causes include spasm of the esophagus, hiatal hernia and achalasia. Even problems with gallbladder and pancreas may lead to this type of pain.
Another cause of stabbing chest pain may be related to musculoskeletal diseases. Sore muscles and pinched nerves as well as costochondritis are sometimes responsible for stabbing chest pain.
Lung diseases such as pleurisy, pulmonary embolism, collapsed lungs or asthma may apart from numerous symptoms feature with stabbing chest pain.
And finally, people suffering from shingles of the chest area, certain cancers and panic attack may experience this type of pain.
Treatment for Stabbing Chest Pain
The treatment for stabbing chest pain depends on the underlying cause. Patients suffering from heart conditions are prescribed certain medications which will eventually reduce the pain and bring all the accompanying symptoms under control. This also refers to all gastrointestinal and lung diseases that may be the cause of stabbing chest pain. Shingles of the chest wall require painkillers and the pain may linger for a certain period of time. Patients who are suffering from cancer require stronger pain killer to alleviate the pain. And those suffering from panic attacks require either certain medications or psychotherapy.