Pain in left chest when breathing deeply
15 Causes and When to Seek Emergency Help
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If you have a pain in the left side of your chest, your first thought may be that you’re having a heart attack. While chest pain can indeed be a symptom of heart disease or heart attack, that’s not always the case.
Keep reading to learn more about the causes of pain in the left side of the chest, what the accompanying symptoms might be, and suggestions for actions you can take to address each.
Chest pain, or chest heaviness, in general is a concern for heart attack or other life-threatening condition for which every minute matters. Call 911 or your local emergency services if you or someone near you has unexplained left sided or generalized chest pain along with:
- feeling of pressure or tightening of the chest
- shooting pain, which is especially concerning down the left arm, left side of the neck, and left side of the jaw
- breathing difficulties
- weakness, lightheadedness, or dizziness
- nausea or vomiting
- chest heaviness
Several conditions can cause pain in the left side of your chest. They range from benign to potentially life threatening. If you’re ever in doubt about the potential cause of the pain in the left side of your chest, you should seek emergency medical services immediately.
Below are some common causes of left sided chest pain.
Angina isn’t a disease. Instead, it’s often a symptom of coronary heart disease, though other heart conditions may also cause it to occur. Angina is the chest pain, chest heaviness, discomfort, or pressure you get when your heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen from blood. The pain and discomfort typically include your left arm, left shoulder, left side of your neck, and left side of your jaw. You might also have discomfort in your back.
It’s crucial that the underlying condition is properly diagnosed and treated. Diagnostic testing may include:
- blood tests
- electrocardiogram (EKG)
- stress test
- angiogram/cardiac catheterization
Treatment will depend on the cause, and may include medication, lifestyle changes, and cardiac procedures as necessary.
A heart attack is when the heart muscle is damaged because it can’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Some heart attacks start with mild chest pain that builds up slowly. They can also start quite abruptly, with intense pain on the left side or center of your chest. Other symptoms of heart attack can include:
- tightening, squeezing, or crushing pressure in your chest
- pain in your left arm, though it can also occur in your right arm
- shooting pain in your neck, jaw, back, or stomach
- shortness of breath
- heartburn, nausea, or vomiting
- lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness
Heart attack symptoms in women
Symptoms of heart attack vary from person to person. Both men and women can experience chest pain or discomfort, gassiness or heartburn, shortness of breath, or pain and discomfort in the shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw. However, women are more likely to experience:
- unusual tiredness
If you or someone near you experiences these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. With a heart attack, every second counts. The longer the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, the greater the chances that the damage will be permanent.
Emergency care can begin as soon as medical personnel arrive. After a hospital stay, you may need to continue medication. Lifestyle modifications can include:
- a heart-healthy diet
- some daily exercise
- maintaining a moderate weight
- not smoking
Myocarditis is a rare cause of cardiovascular disease that is caused by inflammation in the heart. Doctors often cannot identify a cause, but when they can, the cause is typically an viral infection.
Chest pain can be an indication that your heart muscle is inflamed. Other symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
Myocarditis can affect your heart’s electrical system, weakening your heart or causing permanent damage to the heart muscle. In some cases, a person can experience cardiac arrest or death.
Mild cases sometimes improve without treatment, but severe cases may require medication. Treatment depends on the cause.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle or enlarged heart. It’s possible to have cardiomyopathy without symptoms, but it can also cause chest pain. Other symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
- dizziness or fainting
- heart palpitations
- swelling of your ankles, feet, legs, hands, or abdomen
Treatment involves medications, cardiac procedures, and surgery. Certain lifestyle changes may help, too. These can include:
- reducing salt intake
- maintaining a moderate weight
- avoiding alcohol
- engaging in light to moderate exercise on a regular basis
The pericardium is the two thin layers of tissue that surround your heart to help keep it in place. When this area becomes inflamed or irritated, it’s known as pericarditis.
Pericarditis can cause a sharp stabbing pain on the left side or middle of your chest. You might also have pain in one or both shoulders.
You may experience pericarditis due to infections, heart surgery, heart attack, injury, or medications.
It may be mild and even clear up on its own, but it can sometimes lead to heart abnormalities that can be fatal. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Panic attacks come on abruptly and tend to peak within 10 minutes. Due to chest pain, chest tightness, and other symptoms, a panic attack can simulate a heart attack. In addition to chest pain, some other symptoms are:
- shortness of breath
- rapid heartbeat
- shakiness or dizziness
- sweating, hot flashes, or chills
- feelings of unreality or detachment
- feeling as though you might choke
- intense fear or sense of doom
If you think you’ve had a panic attack, see a doctor. Other health problems, such as heart and thyroid disorders, can produce similar symptoms, so you want to be certain of the diagnosis.
How to ease a panic attack
Panic disorder is a mental health problem that can be treated. Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. If it’s an ongoing problem, there are some medications that might help.
In order to ease a panic attack, you might find it helpful to:
- practice stress management and relaxation techniques
- join a support group
- stay away from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs
- engage in regular physical activity
- make sure you get a full night’s sleep every night
Heartburn is the chest pain and discomfort you get when digestive acid flows up into your esophagus (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux). You might also have:
- a burning sensation in your upper abdomen and chest
- sour or metallic taste in your mouth
- stomach contents flowing up to the back of your throat
Heartburn generally happens fairly soon after you’ve eaten. It can also happen when you lie down within a few hours of eating. It can even wake you from a sound sleep.
Acid reflux can sometimes progress to a more severe form called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The main symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn. In addition to chest pain, GERD can also cause coughing, wheezing, and trouble swallowing.
You can usually ease heartburn with over-the-counter antacids. A doctor can prescribe a stronger medication if necessary. If you have frequent heartburn, it might help to:
- eat smaller meals
- avoid fried or fatty foods
- eat slowly
- avoid alcohol and tobacco
- maintain a moderate weight
- don’t eat food before bed
- avoid other foods that may be a trigger to you
A hiatal hernia is when the upper part of your stomach pushes through the large muscle between your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Symptoms can include:
- chest pain
- abdominal pain
- regurgitation of food into your mouth
You can ease symptoms by:
- eating smaller meals
- avoiding foods that trigger heartburn
- not lying down after eating
- elevating the head of your bed
You may not need any treatment, but see a doctor if symptoms persist.
Chest pain can mean that there’s something wrong with your esophagus. For example:
- An esophageal muscle spasm can mimic the same type of chest pain as a heart attack.
- The lining of your esophagus can become inflamed (esophagitis), causing burning or sharp chest pain. Esophagitis can also cause pain after meals, swallowing problems, and blood in your vomit or stools.
- An esophageal rupture, or tear, lets food leak into your chest cavity, causing mild to severe chest pain. It can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and rapid breathing.
Treatment depends on cause. An esophageal rupture must be surgically repaired.
Chest pain can be the result of pulled, strained, or sprained muscles in your chest or between the ribs. Any injury to your chest can cause chest pain. This includes:
- bruising of your chest wall
- fractured breastbone (sternum)
- fractured ribs
This type of injury may also cause pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
If you believe you’ve broken a bone, see a doctor right away. It can take about 10 weeks to improve and even longer to fully recover. In the meantime, you’ll have to avoid strenuous activity.
Sudden and sharp pain on either side of your chest could be the result of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax). This can be due to disease or from trauma to your chest. Other symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
- rapid breathing or heartbeat
- skin turning blue
- dry cough
Treatment will depend on the cause, but it’s important to seek medical help immediately.
Sharp or stabbing chest pain that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough could mean you have pneumonia, especially if you’ve recently had a respiratory illness such as bronchitis or influenza.
Other symptoms may include:
- cough, sometimes with mucus
- fever, chills, or shaking
- shortness of breath
- loss of appetite
See a doctor if you think you have pneumonia. In the meantime, get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antivirals. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
Chest pain can sometimes be a symptom of lung cancer. Other and symptoms may include:
- intense coughing, coughing up mucus or blood
- pain in your shoulder or back, unrelated to pain from coughing
- shortness of breath
- recurring bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia
- loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
Symptoms may not appear in early stage lung cancer. In general, the sooner you receive a diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in your lungs. In addition to chest pain, it can cause:
- dizziness or fainting
- shortness of breath
- loss of energy
As the disease progresses, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and racing pulse. Untreated, it can lead to heart failure.
A sudden, sharp chest pain can be an indication of pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a blood clot in your lungs. Other symptoms may include:
- back pain
- bluish tone to lips
- excessive sweating
- shortness of breath
This is a medical emergency that calls for immediate treatment.
Several conditions share symptoms that include chest pain. If you have chest pain for no known reason, consult with a doctor so you can start working toward a diagnosis.
Sudden chest pain accompanied by symptoms such as trouble breathing, pressure on your chest, and dizziness could signal a life-threatening emergency. Get help immediately.
Why does my chest hurt? 26 Causes of Chest Pain & Tightness
Written by Annie Stuart
In this Article
- Heart Problems
- Lung Problems
- Gastrointestinal Problems
- Bone, Muscle, or Nerve Problems
- Other Potential Causes of Chest Pain
- When to See the Doctor for Chest Pain
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 lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves, for example. Some of these conditions are serious and life threatening. Others are not. If you have unexplained chest pain, the only way to confirm its cause is to have a doctor evaluate you.
You may feel chest pain anywhere from your neck to your upper abdomen. Depending on its cause, chest pain may be:
- A tight, squeezing, or crushing sensation
Here are some of the more common causes of chest pain.
These heart problems are common causes:
Coronary artery disease, or CAD. This is a blockage in the heart's blood vessels that reduces blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. This can cause pain known as angina. It's a symptom of heart disease but typically does not cause permanent damage to the heart. It is, though, a sign that you are at risk for a heart attack in the future. The chest pain may spread to your arm, shoulder, jaw, or back. It may feel like a pressure or squeezing sensation. Angina can be triggered by exercise, excitement, or emotional distress and is relieved by rest.
Myocardial infarction (heart attack). This reduction in blood flow through heart blood vessels causes the death of heart muscle cells. Though similar to angina chest pain, a heart attack is usually a more severe, crushing pain usually in the center or left side of the chest and is not relieved by rest. Sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, or severe weakness may accompany the pain.
Myocarditis. In addition to chest pain, this heart muscle inflammation may cause fever, fatigue, fast heart beat, and trouble breathing. Although no blockage exists, myocarditis symptoms can resemble those of a heart attack.
Pericarditis. This is an inflammation or infection of the sac around the heart. It can cause pain similar to that caused by angina. But it often causes a sharp, steady pain along the upper neck and shoulder muscle. Sometimes it gets worse when you breathe, swallow food, or lie on your back.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This genetic disease causes the heart muscle to grow abnormally thick. Sometimes this leads to problems with blood flow out of the heart. Chest pain and shortness of breath often occur with exercise. Over time, heart failure may occur when the heart muscle becomes very thickened. This makes the heart work harder to pump blood. Along with chest pain, this type of cardiomyopathy may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and other symptoms.
Mitral valve prolapse. Mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which a valve in the heart fails to close properly. A variety of symptoms have been associated with mitral valve prolapse, including chest pain, palpitations, and dizziness, although it can also have no symptoms, especially if the prolapse is mild.
Coronary artery dissection. Many things can cause this rare but deadly condition, which results when a tear develops in the coronary artery. It may cause a sudden, severe pain with a tearing or ripping sensation that goes up into the neck, back, or abdomen.
These are common causes of chest pain:
Pleuritis. Also known as pleurisy, this is an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the lungs and chest. You likely feel a sharp pain when you breathe, cough, or sneeze. The most common causes of pleuritic chest pain are bacterial or viral infections, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax. Other less common causes include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancer.
Pneumonia or lung abscess. These lung infections can cause pleuritic and other types of chest pain, such as a deep chest ache. Pneumonia often comes on suddenly, causing fever, chills, cough, and pus coughed up from the respiratory tract.
Pulmonary embolism. When a blood clot travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs, this can cause acute pleuritis, trouble breathing, and a rapid heartbeat. It may also cause fever and shock. Pulmonary embolism is more likely following deep vein thrombosis or after being immobile for several days following surgery or as a complication of cancer.
Pneumothorax. Often caused by an injury to the chest, pneumothorax happens when a part of the lung collapses, releasing air into the chest cavity. This can also cause pain that gets worse when you breathe as well as other symptoms, such as low blood pressure.
Pulmonary hypertension. With chest pain resembling that of angina, this abnormally high blood pressure in the lung arteries makes the right side of the heart work too hard.
Asthma. Causing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and sometimes chest pain, asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways.
COPD. This includes one or more of three disease: Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive asthma. The disease blocks airflow by shrinking and damaging both the airways that bring gases and air to and from your lungs and the tiny air sacs (alveoli) that transfer oxygen to your bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide. Smoking is the most common cause.
Gastrointestinal problems can also cause chest pain and include:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also known as acid reflux, GERD occurs when stomach contents move back into the throat. This may cause a sour taste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the chest or throat, known as heartburn. Things that may trigger acid reflux include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and spicy or fatty foods. Heart pain and heartburn from acid reflux feel similar partly because the heart and esophagus are located close to each other and share a nerve network.
Esophageal contraction disorders. Uncoordinated muscle contractions (spasms) and high-pressure contractions (nutcracker esophagus) are problems in the esophagus that can cause chest pain.
Esophageal hypersensitivity. This occurs when the esophagus becomes very painful at the smallest change in pressure or exposure to acid. The cause of this sensitivity is unknown.
Esophageal rupture or perforation. A sudden, severe chest pain following vomiting or a procedure involving the esophagus may be the sign of a rupture in the esophagus.
Peptic ulcers. A vague, recurring discomfort may be the result of these painful sores in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine. More common in people who smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, or take painkillers such as aspirin or NSAIDs, the pain often gets better when you eat or take antacids.
Hiatal hernia. This common problem occurs when the top of the stomach pushes into the lower chest after eating. This often causes reflux symptoms, including heartburn or chest pain. The pain tends to get worse when you lie down.
Pancreatitis. You may have pancreatitis if you have pain in the lower chest that is often worse when you lie flat and better when you lean forward.
Gallbladder problems. After eating a fatty meal, do you have a sensation of fullness or pain in your right lower chest area or the right upper side of your abdomen? If so, your chest pain may due to a gallbladder problem.
Bone, Muscle, or Nerve Problems
Sometimes chest pain may result from overuse or an injury to the chest area from a fall or accident. Viruses can also cause pain in the chest area. Other causes of chest pain include:
Rib problems. Pain from a broken rib may worsen with deep breathing or coughing. It is often confined to one area and may feel sore when you press on it. The area where the ribs join the breastbone may also become inflamed.
Muscle strain. Even really hard coughing can injure or inflame the muscles and tendons between the ribs and cause chest pain. The pain tends to persist and it worsens with activity.
Shingles. Caused by the varicella zoster virus, shingles may prompt a sharp, band-like pain before a telltale rash appears several days later.
Other Potential Causes of Chest Pain
Another potential cause of chest pain is anxiety and panic attacks. Some associated symptoms can include dizziness, sensation of shortness of breath, palpitations, tingling sensations, and trembling.
When to See the Doctor for Chest Pain
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain:
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
- Sudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
- Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
- Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Problems swallowing
- Severe chest pain that does not go away
Pain Management Guide
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Chest pain - causes, symptoms and diagnosis, indications for seeking medical attention
Almost everyone perceives chest pain as a potential heart problem. However, there can be many reasons for discomfort. In any case, it is impossible to determine on your own what caused the discomfort. Only a qualified doctor can determine the cause.
Wrong diagnosis, lack of treatment, uncontrolled attempts to anesthetize the place of discomfort often lead to the development of severe pathologies. nine0003
To make sure that the pain is not a sign of a serious illness or to choose a treatment for an identified pathology, it is better to visit a doctor. Causes of pain can be caused by diseases of the heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and neurological problems. If you do not know which doctor to make an appointment with first of all, come to the Kutuzov Medical and Diagnostic Center. We have all the experts who will help you make an accurate diagnosis. Start by making an appointment with a therapist and follow his instructions. nine0003
Such different chest pains
Thoracalgia is a term for chest pain (from the words "torax" - chest and "algia" - pain).
It can hurt, both on one side of the chest, and in the middle, in the upper or lower part. The nature of the pain is:
- Pungent and burning.
- Dull and aching.
- Compressive. nine0025
- Heart and vessels.
- Musculoskeletal system - muscles, ribs and spine.
- Nervous system
- Gastrointestinal tract.
- coronary artery disease, angina pectoris - impaired blood flow in the heart arteries. Often an attack of sharp pain lasts up to 15 minutes. Occurs during physical exertion, stress, excitement, disappears after rest.
- Myocardial infarction - cell death and scarring of the heart muscle. It is characterized by severe pain in the chest on the left and in the middle, which does not go away after 15-20 minutes. Additional symptoms include weakness, fear of death.
- Pericarditis or myocarditis is an inflammatory process in the muscle or lining of the heart. They are characterized by acute or aching pain in the chest when inhaling in the middle of the chest, which are aggravated while eating or lying down. nine0018
- Mitral valve prolapse - in addition to chest pain, it causes shortness of breath, dizziness, up to fainting.
- Pulmonary hypertension - increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, the attack is similar to a heart attack.
- Inflammation or abscess of the lung - the process proceeds with severe pain in the chest (right or both parts of the chest), fever, cough.
- Pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura) - there is pain with a deep breath, usually accompanied by fever, cough.
- Thromboembolism of the pulmonary artery with a blood clot - there is a sharp pain in the chest, tachycardia, difficulty breathing.
- Pneumothorax - accumulation of air in the pleural cavity when the lungs are damaged due to injuries of the ribs, spine. There is pain when inhaling, shortness of breath, dry cough, blood pressure may decrease. nine0018
- Bronchial asthma - acute spasms resolve with chest pain and wheezing, wet cough, bouts of shortness of breath
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - irritation of the esophageal mucosa due to reflux of gastric contents.
- Dyskinesia or perforation of the esophagus - increased pressure in the esophagus due to the slow movement of food or rupture due to injury. nine0018
- Gastric ulcers.
- Osteochondrosis, herniation and protrusion of the intervertebral discs in the thoracic spine, scoliosis cause chest pain, which is aggravated by movement or prolonged immobility. nine0018
- Rib fractures.
- Muscle spasms, sprains, intercostal neuralgia - cause pain in the chest on the right or left, depending on the place where the pathology has arisen.
- Tietze's syndrome or inflammation of the costocartilaginous joints.
- Pain of a neurological nature - from "goosebumps" in the chest to severe pain occurs due to mental disorders, with panic attacks.
- Acute chest pain does not improve after 15 minutes and after rest.
- There is dizziness, shortness of breath, increased sweating, palpitations.
Among the main causes of a disturbing symptom in the chest are diseases, injuries and pathologies:
Let's dwell on them in more detail.
Pain in the chest in the middle or in its left side occurs in various diseases of the heart:
A characteristic feature of heart pain is that it often occurs against the background of emotional or physical stress, accompanied by a feeling of panic, fear of death.
This is a common cause of chest discomfort. Main causes and characteristic symptoms:
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
Major diseases that cause pain in the esophagus or may spread from the abdomen to the chest area:
Gastrointestinal diseases are characterized by pain that occurs before, after or during meals, and may be accompanied by heartburn and other symptoms.
Injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Thoracalgia appears due to injuries, diseases of the spine, aggravated after physical exertion. Main causes and symptoms:
Pain in the right or left side of the chest may also have other causes: neoplasms in the lungs or breast, shingles and other diseases. nine0003
The doctor's task is to make a diagnosis in time and correctly. This will help: heart examinations, ultrasound, radiography and other diagnostic procedures.
Medical emergency needed if:
In other cases, it is also advisable not to postpone the consultation with the doctor for a long time. Who to contact - a cardiologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist - depends on the symptoms. But this is not always possible to determine independently. In this case, start with a consultation with a therapist who will help you understand the issue and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist. nine0003
In other cases, it is also advisable not to postpone the consultation with a doctor for a long time. Who to contact - a cardiologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist - depends on the symptoms. But this is not always possible to determine independently. In this case, start with a consultation with a therapist who will help you understand the issue and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist. Be healthy!
Diagnosis of any disease requires modern equipment and vast medical experience. Especially when it comes to chest pain. nine0003
Our clinic offers its patients a full range of medical examinations on high-precision equipment. Our doctors select the most informative and safe diagnostic methods.
Turning to us, you can be sure that the cause of the pain will be established as quickly and accurately as possible. High-tech diagnostic devices allow you to monitor the work of all organs and systems without causing you unnecessary discomfort.
We value the time of our patients, so all consultations and procedures are by appointment. By booking an appointment, you can be sure that the doctor will be waiting for you. Come to the clinic to find out the cause of pain and discuss treatment options. nine0003
Chest pain treatment prices
|Reception (examination, consultation) of a general practitioner primary|| 2200 ₽ || |
|Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with a general practitioner|| 1900 ₽ || |
Pilenitsyn Andrey Yurievich
Experience: 24 years old
Cardiologist of the highest qualification category, general practitioner
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reasons in Irkutsk at Expert Clinic
It can be a sign of life-threatening conditions, so it is important to know its main characteristics in order to seek medical help in a timely manner. Pain in the region of the heart. What is she like? Is it always an indicator of heart pathology?
Natalya Alexandrovna Shelest, a cardiologist at the Expert Clinic, Irkutsk, tells about the characteristics of pain in the region of the heart and the possible causes of their occurrence. nine0003
— Natalya Alexandrovna, is chest pain always a sign of heart disease?
— No, not always. Pain in the chest, along with diseases of the cardiovascular system, can also manifest diseases of the bones, joints, muscles (Tietze's syndrome, anterior scalene syndrome, fibromyositis, dorsopathy), changes in the lungs and pleura (pleurisy, spontaneous pneumothorax, pulmonary infarction, tumors ), organs of the digestive tract (esophagitis, cardiospasm, diaphragmatic hernia, gastric and duodenal ulcers, cholecystitis), some neurological disorders (shingles, neurocirculatory dystonia), diseases of the mammary gland. nine0003
Among the pathologies that cause chest pain, there are both life-threatening, requiring immediate intervention (in particular, myocardial infarction, dissecting aortic aneurysm, thromboembolism of the pulmonary artery and its branches, pneumothorax), and less serious pathologies - for example, anterior chest wall, anxiety-depressive state. They, of course, also require correction, but they are not classified as emergency conditions.
— For what reasons can true pains appear in the region of the heart? nine0200
— The cause of such pain may be an increase in blood pressure, increased heart rate, heart rhythm disturbance, excessive physical and emotional stress. Alcohol abuse, smoking, heavy meals, drug use can also cause heart pain.
— If a patient complains of pain in the heart when taking a deep breath, what can this mean?
— First of all, about diseases of the musculoskeletal system — intercostal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, inflammation of the sternocostal joints (Tietze's syndrome), chest injuries. The appearance of pain in the region of the heart in these pathologies is due to irritation or infringement of the intercostal nerves, excursion (movement) of the chest as a result of the act of inhalation and exhalation, and a change in body position. nine0003
A number of pulmonary diseases, such as pneumothorax, pleurisy, pneumonia, can also be accompanied by pain when inhaling, often additional symptoms are fever, shortness of breath and tachycardia.
— And if pain in the heart appears at rest?
- In this case, there is a high probability of developing a serious pathology, in particular, dissecting aortic aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, cardiac tamponade.
Sometimes banal muscle pains in the chest can also disturb a person at rest due to excessive static loads or incorrect body position. nine0003
— Which doctor should I contact if I have pain in the heart area?
- If heart pain occurs for the first time, taking you by surprise, and is accompanied by a deterioration in well-being, the person should immediately contact any doctor in the vicinity and explain what is bothering him. Regardless of qualifications and specialization, each doctor is able to navigate what to do in a particular case, provide first aid if necessary and refer to the right specialist. nine0003
If the patient can get to the clinic, you should contact a general practitioner. It is he who will decide on the necessary stages of medical care, including in consultation with narrow specialists - a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, surgeon and other doctors.
— What characteristics of chest pain require emergency medical attention?
— Chest pain should always be treated with caution. It is important not to miss conditions such as acute coronary syndrome, an attack of angina pectoris (popularly "angina pectoris"). They are characterized by paroxysmal compressive, bursting, pressing, burning pains behind the sternum and / or in the left half of the chest (precordial region), can spread to the axillary and subscapular region on the left, to the left arm and shoulder, to the left half of the neck and lower jaw, last no more than 10 minutes, may be accompanied by a feeling of lack of air, shortness of breath. It should be remembered that most often these symptoms appear on the background or immediately after physical or emotional stress. There is a rapid effect of taking nitroglycerin within 5 minutes. nine0003
If these pains last more than 20 minutes and worsen when the load is resumed, it is imperative to call an ambulance. A dangerous condition is also considered a combination of these pains with a decrease in blood pressure, a decrease (less than 50 beats per minute) or an increase (more than 120 beats per minute) in heart rate, with interruptions in the heart rate, profuse cold sweating, pallor of the skin, severe weakness, nausea, fainting, or even loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are present, the patient needs emergency medical attention. nine0003
— How is heart pain diagnosed?
- First of all, we evaluate vital functions - we determine whether the patient is conscious, what are the indicators of respiration, hemodynamics (blood circulation). If there are signs of respiratory failure, very low or high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances, then emergency assistance is needed: an ambulance call and urgent hospitalization.
The second stage of diagnosis is the identification of risk factors for coronary heart disease. In the presence of pain of the type of angina pectoris, the patient is given a nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue, an electrocardiogram (ECG) is taken, and the clinical effect of the drug taken is evaluated. If there is a suspicion of pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, dissecting aneurysm, it is necessary to take an ECG, conduct echocardiography, determine markers of myocardial damage, take an x-ray of the chest, and assess blood oxygen saturation. nine0003
At the next stage of diagnosis (after exclusion of life-threatening pathologies), they proceed to the search for other causes that can cause pain in the region of the heart. In this case, complaints are detailed, a more thorough examination is carried out, an algorithm for laboratory and instrumental studies is developed: blood tests, holter ECG, daily monitoring of blood pressure (BP), radiography of the chest and spine, ultrasound of the abdominal organs, fibrogastroduodenoscopy, if necessary CT scan. nine0003
— Natalya Alexandrovna, tell our readers about the tactics of treating pain in the heart area.
- Pain in the region of the heart can occur with a variety of pathologies, both cardiac and non-cardiac.