Most people automatically think of heart diseases when they think of chest pain, however, the truth is that chest pain can be caused by several different conditions – a lot of which do not stem from the heart. While it is extremely important to visit a doctor as soon as you start developing pain in the chest to rule out any dangerous conditions, it is also important to remain calm and attentive to your body. So, where could your chest pain be stemming from?
Some vascular diseases such as hypertension can cause chest pain. Hypertension is the most common cause of chest pain, and is caused by elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause small coronary arteries to collapse, causing pain. The pain usually subsides as soon as the blood pressure goes back to normal.
Some GI diseases can also cause chest pain, such as:
- Heartburn occurs when acid refluxes into the esophagus, there is a burning sensation that could be classified as chest pain.
- Hernia happens when part of an organ is displaced, sometimes the stomach can be displaced above the diaphragm causing severe pressure and chest.
- Pancreatitis causes severe pain usually radiates into the left chest. This disease is also accompanied by nausea and fever.
Diseases of the lungs are one of the most common causes of chest pain, some of the most common diseases are:
- Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue that causes severe swelling that can produce pressure and pain in the chest.
- Pulmonary Thromboembolism (PTE) is a blockage in an artery in the lungs usually caused by blood clots, PTE can cause severe chest pain accompanied with shortness of breath and bloody cough.
- Pleurisy is inflammation in the lung’s lining that usually causes severe and sharp chest pain, especially after coughing or taking deep breaths.
- Pulmonary Hypertension occurs when there is an increased vascular resistance in an artery, vein, or capillary in the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension can lead to a long lasting dull pain in the chest.
Cardiac diseases are some of the most dangerous causes of chest pain, some of the most common ailments include:
- Anginas occur when the heart muscle can’t get enough oxygenated blood to function properly causing severe chest pain that often spreads to the shoulders, arms, and neck.
- Pericarditis is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart, this disease causes sharp and stabbing chest pain.
- Aortic Dissection is a condition in which the inner layer of the aorta tears causing extreme and sudden pain that often spreads to the arms, stomach, and legs.
While there are many more diseases and conditions that cause chest pain, it is important to remember that chest pain may not necessarily be a symptom of a heart attack; however, it is imperative to go straight to the emergency room or call 911 if you are experiencing any chest pain.
If you, or a loved one, has been experiencing chest pain or if you have any questions about these or any other cardiological, pulmonary, vascular, or internal diseases please click here to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physicians today!