Chest Pain: Why Does it Hurt?

Chest pain can take on a variety of forms, from a sharp stab to a dull ache. Occasionally, it can feel crushing or burning. In some cases, the pain radiates up the neck, into the jaw, and then down one or both arms.

Numerous conditions can result in chest pain. The most serious causes are those involving the heart or lungs. Because chest pain can signify a more serious problem, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention.

Chest pain is not something to ignore. But you should know that it has many possible causes. In many cases, it’s related to the heart. But chest pain may also be caused by problems in your lungsesophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves, for example. Some of these conditions are serious and life-threatening. Others are not. If you have unexplained it, the only way to confirm its cause is to have a doctor evaluate you.

Symptoms

Chest pain can manifest as a variety of different sensations, depending on the source of the symptom. Often, the cause is unrelated to your heart — though this is difficult to determine without consulting a physician.

Chest pain associated with the heart

While chest pain is frequently associated with heart disease, many people report experiencing a vague discomfort that is not always known as hurt. In general, chest discomfort associated with a heart attack or another type of heart problem can be described as one or more of the following:

In your chest, you may feel pressure, fullness, burning, or tightness.

Crushing or searing pain in the back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms.

Pain persists for more than a few minutes, worsens with activity, disappears and reappears, or varies in intensity.

  • Breathlessness.
  • Sweaty palms.
  • Dizziness or a feeling of weakness.
  • Vomiting or nausea.

It can be challenging to tell the difference between heart-related and non-heart-related. On the other hand, that is less likely to be caused by a heart problem is more frequently associated with:

  • A puckering sensation or the sensation of food reentering your mouth.
  • Having difficulty swallowing.
  • Pain that improves or worsens as your body position changes.
  • Pain that becomes more intense when you inhale deeply or cough.
  • When you press on your chest, you feel tenderness.
  • Persistent pain that persists for several hours.

Heartburn’s classic symptoms — a painful, burning sensation behind your breastbone — can be caused by either heart or stomach problems.

Causes of Chest Pain

1. Strain on the muscle

Persistent chest pain can causes by inflammation of the muscles and tendons surrounding the ribs. If the pain worsens with activity, it could be a sign of muscle strain.

2. Ribs injured

Chest pain can causes by rib injuries such as bruises, breaks, and fractures. If a person has a broken rib, they may have heard a crack or experienced excruciating pain at the time of the injury.

3. Esophageal ulcers

Peptic ulcers, which are sores on the stomach lining, are rarely painful. They may, however, cause recurrent chest discomfort.

Antacids, available online and in pharmacies, can usually alleviate the pain associated with peptic ulcers.

4. Acid reflux disease of the gastroesophageal sphincter (GERD)

GERD is a condition in which the stomach contents move back up into the throat. It can cause a sour taste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the chest.

5. Asthma

Asthma is a common respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation of the airways, resulting in chest pain. Additionally, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing may occur.

6. Lung collapse

When air accumulates between the lungs and ribs, a lung can collapse, resulting in severe chest pain during breathing. Additionally, someone who has a collapsed lung will experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and a rapid heart rate.

7. Chondritis costochondritis

Costochondritis is an inflammatory condition of the rib cage cartilage. Chest pain is a possible symptom of this condition. Costochondritis pain may worsen when a person sits or lies in certain positions or when they engage in physical activity.

8. Dysfunctions of the esophageal contraction

Spasms or contractions in the food pipe refers to as esophageal contraction disorders. These conditions can also result in chest pain.

9. Hypersensitivity of the esophagus

Pressure changes in the food pipe or the presence of acid can occasionally cause severe pain. At the moment, experts are unsure of the source of this sensitivity.

10. rupture of the esophagus

If the food pipe ruptures, this can cause severe chest pain. Esophageal ruptures can occur as a result of severe vomiting or an esophageal operation.

11. Hernia Hiatal

When a portion of the stomach pushes up into the chest, this is called a hiatal hernia. This type of hernia is widespread and may present without symptoms. However, if the top of the stomach pushes into the lower part of the chest following eating, GERD symptoms such as heartburn and chest pain may occur.

12. Cardiomyopathy with hypertrophy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart becomes abnormally thickened as a result of genetic factors. Heart thickening impairs blood flow, requiring the muscle to work extremely hard to pump blood.

Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting are all symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

13. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis bacteria can cause symptoms such as a persistent cough, coughing up blood or sputum, or chest pain.

14. Prolapse of the mitral valve

Chest pain, palpitations, and dizziness are all signs of mitral valve prolapse, a condition in which a heart valve is unable to close completely. In mild cases, this condition may present with no symptoms at all.

15. Panic attack

In addition to nausea, dizziness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and fear, a panic attack may cause chest pain.

16. Cardiac pericarditis

Pericarditis is an inflammatory condition affecting the sac surrounding the heart. It can cause severe chest pain exacerbated by deep breaths or lying down.

17. Pleurisy

Pleurisy is an inflammatory condition affecting the membrane that surrounds the lungs. When breathing deeply, it can cause sharp chest pain.

18. Pneumonia

Infections of the lungs, such as pneumonia, can cause stabbing or sharp chest pain. Additional pneumonia symptoms include fever, chills, and coughing up phlegm.

19. Embolism of the lungs

When a blood clot becomes lodged in an artery that supplies blood to the lungs, this is referred to as a pulmonary embolism. It can result in chest pain, difficulty breathing, and bloody coughing. If not treated promptly, pulmonary embolisms can be fatal.

20. Cardiomyopathy

One of the five primary symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain. The others are as follows:

  • Jaw, neck, or back pain lightheadedness or weakness
  • Arms or shoulders ache shortness of breath
  • Women who have suffered a heart attack may also experience unusual fatigue, nausea, or vomiting.

If someone believes they are suffering from a heart attack, they should seek emergency medical assistance. The sooner a person arrives at the emergency room, the sooner treatment can begin.

Prompt treatment increases a person’s chances of survival and may help to mitigate the severity of the heart damage.

21. Myocarditis

Myocarditis occurs when the heart becomes inflamed, causing symptoms similar to those of a heart attack, including:

  • chest pain 
  • fever
  • breathing 
  • fatigue 
  • racing heartbeat

22. Angina

Angina produces a squeezing or pressing sensation in the chest. It occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood. Additionally, a person may experience pain in his or her shoulders, back, neck, arms, or jaw.

Coronary artery disease is a symptom of angina.

23. Dissection of the aorta

Aortic dissection is the dissection of the aorta’s inner layers, the main artery that branches off from the heart. When this occurs, a buildup of blood in the artery can cause it to burst. Aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt medical attention.

24. Dissection of the coronary artery

Sudden, severe pain that appears to “tear” across the chest, neck, back, or abdomen may indicate coronary artery dissection. This uncommon but potentially fatal condition occurs when the coronary artery ruptures.

25.Pancreatitis

One uncommon symptom of pancreatitis is a pain in the lower chest, which exacerbated when lying flat.

26. Hypertension of the lungs

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs is abnormally high. This may cause chest pain in some instances.

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