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Does sharp pain in the chest always have to be alarming?

When pain in the chest appears, the person usually thinks of the worse first, because this kind of pain, particularly if sharp, is associated with various heart conditions. However, what might be useful to know is that sharp pain in the chest area can be caused by some other conditions as well and not only those that are related to the heart. Situations in which sharp pain in the chest simply has to be taken seriously include those in which fever, cough that produces phlegm and irregular heart rate are present as well. If the pain is present for 24 hours and if ibuprofen does not help or relieve it, the person should not wait anymore, but seek for medical attention. Another important sign that indicates that sharp chest pain requires medical help is spreading of the pain to the left side of the jaw or arm, as well as change of the color of the fingernails or lips. If they turn pale or blue, then it is a sure sign that the pain is related to the heart.

How to know which situations do not require immediate medical attention?

Even though pain in the chest is never a pleasant experience, people need to be aware of the fact that the worst thing they can do is begin to panic. It is important to stay calm because it does not always mean that pain in the chest is associated with the heart and problems related to this organ. For example, if this kind of pain has a tendency to aggravate when breathing in, the person can be sure that heart blockage is not the cause of the pain. The same goes for situations in which this pain can be characterized as stabbing and when it aggravates after pressing the chest or due to the movement of any kind. Also, if the pain in question disappears very quickly, or more precisely, if it does not last longer than a few seconds, the person can be sure that the heart has nothing to do with it. Still, it does not mean that in such situations such pain should not be taken seriously or that it can be neglected, particularly if it appears from time to time, because it does not mean that some other condition (which is not related to the heart but which can be serious as well) is not the cause of sharp pain in the chest.

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