Chest pain comes in many varieties, ranging from a sharp stab to a dull ache. Some Chest pain is described as crushing or burning. In certain cases, the pain travels up the neck, into the jaw, and then radiates through to the back or down one or both arms.
Many different problems can cause Chest pain. The most life-threatening ones involve the heart or lungs. Because it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of Chest pain, it's best to seek immediate medical help.
A wide range of health problems can cause Chest pain.
Heart-related Chest pain
Although Chest pain is commonly attributed to Heart disease, many people with Heart disease say they experience a vague discomfort for which "pain" doesn't seem to be an adequate description. Includes:
* Pressure, fullness or tightness in your chest
* Crushing or searing pain that radiates to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders and arms — particularly your left arm
* Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back or varies in intensity
* Shortness of breath
* Cold sweats
* Dizziness or weakness
* Nausea or vomiting
Other types of Chest pain
It can be difficult to distinguish Chest pain due to a heart problem from other types of Chest pain. However, Chest pain that is less likely due to a heart problem is more often associated with:
* A sour taste or a sensation of food re-entering your mouth
* Trouble swallowing
* Pain that gets better or worse when you change your body position
* Pain that intensifies when you breathe deeply or cough
* Tenderness when you push on your chest
Chest pain has many possible causes, all of which deserve medical attention.
Examples of heart-related causes of Chest pain includes
* Heart attack
* Aortic dissection
Chest pain can be caused by disorders of the digestive system, including:
* Swallowing disorders
* Gallbladder or pancreas problems
* Muscle and bone causes
Chest pain can also be caused by:
* Panic attack
* Shingles. Caused by a reactivation of the Chickenpox virus, Shingles can produce pain and a band of blisters from your back around to your chest wall.
TREATMENTS AND DRUGS
Treatment will vary, depending on the underlying cause of your Chest pain.
Drugs used to treat some of the most common causes of Chest pain include:
Artery relaxers. Nitroglycerin usually taken as a tablet under the tongue relaxes heart arteries, so blood can flow more easily through the narrowed spaces. Some blood pressure medicines also relax and widen blood vessels.
Clot-busting drugs. If you are having a Heart attack, you may receive drugs that work to dissolve the clot that is blocking blood from reaching your heart muscle.
Blood thinners. If you have a clot in an artery feeding your heart or lungs, you'll be given drugs that inhibit blood clotting to help prevent more clots from forming.
Antidepressants. If you are experiencing panic attacks,antidepressants helps control symptoms. Psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, also might be recommended.
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