Chest pain, and its causes

Chest pain, and its causes

Chest pain is often experienced as a sudden eruption which stays fro few seconds. Its intensity can vary depending upon the cause. In some situations, chest pain can occur regularly at some time intervals. It is a burning or searing sensation sometimes. If the pain is too much or is recurrent then, it is advised to consult a doctor at the earliest. Some of the common causes of chest pain are discussed below.

Causes of chest pain

There are some general and some specific chest pain causes. They can vary in their intensity and time duration and the intervals can also differ.

General causes of chest pain

1.      Panic attack

A panic attack can be a chest pain cause. Panic attacks are short periods accompanied by rapid breathing, increased heart rate sweating and chest pain.

2.      Shingles

They are produced as a reaction to the chickenpox virus, along with painful blisters and chest pain.

3.      Swallowing of food or water

Sometimes, the food gets stuck in the windpipe or it can enter the windpipe. This can lead to sudden mild chest pain, until the food passes down.

4.      Changes in the posture and positions of the body

When we turn sides while sleeping or lying, chest pain can occur in some situations.

Specific causes of chest pain

1.      Lung related causes

  • A blood clot in the pulmonary artery which can break the blood flow.
  • The membrane of the lungs can become inflamed leading to chest pain and coughing
  • Lungs collapse can lead to chest pain due to leaking of air between lungs and ribs.
  • High blood pressure can also lead to chest pain.

2.      digestive causes

  • Stomach acids can escape the stomach and reach to the oesophagus, which can lead to the chest pain.
  • Oesophagus disorders can make swallowing difficult and even painful.
  • Inflammation of gallbladder and gall stones can cause abdominal and chest pain.

5.      Bone and muscles causes

  • The cartilage of ribs especially, breastbone can become inflamed and painful.
  • Sore muscles can lead to muscle pains which might be the cause for chest pain.
  • Broken ribs or bruised ribs can be the reason for chest pain.

6. Heart-related causes

  • A heart attack or a stroke can be the reason for chest pain.
  • Poor blood flow due to blocked arteries can limit the supply of blood to the heart. This can also be a major cause of chest pain.
  • Layers can be formed in the main artery (aorta) of the heart. Blood can enter into these layers leading to chest pain.
  • Sharp pain can be caused because of inflammation of the sack around the heart.

Misinterpretation of chest pain

Chest discomfort can be interpreted as chest pain by some people. Usually, it happens to those with heart problems. Chest pain is misinterpreted in the following situations:

  • Pressure or burning of the chest
  • Pain travelling through neck, arms, shoulders, and jaw
  • A pain lasting for more than a few minutes
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Cold sweats
  • Shortness of breath

Chest pain can be prevented by following a healthy diet and a regular fitness regime. If it becomes unbearable or is the result of certain persisting problems, then visit your doctor for a medical diagnosis.

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