Chest Pain – Causes, Effects, Diagnosis and Treatment
The causes of chest pain can widely vary. The malfunctioning of the organs within the chest wall cavity makes up the majority of the reasons for severe chest pain. The patients need to seek medical attention right away.
The causes of chest pain widely vary. In most cases, the effects are neither chronic nor severe. The malfunctioning of the organs within the chest wall cavity makes up the majority of the reasons for severe chest pain. These organs include the food pipe, the windpipe, the lungs, the lining of the heart, the lining of the lungs, their muscles and nerves, and the blood vessels along with the thoracic spine.
In the current covid-19 pandemic, the chest pain originating from heart is around 15%. The causes, effects, diagnostics, and treatment of various kinds of chest pain are shared below.
Myocardial infarction and Angina
Chest pain is commonly associated with the acute myocardial infarction which in turn is one of the significant causes of mortality. The characteristics of chest pain vary depending on the kind of affected organ. A person suffering from the pain arising due to myocardial infarction feels pressure in the left chest wall. One may also develop profuse sweating and low blood pressure in acute cases. Nausea, vomiting, hiccups, left arm pain common.
Non-acute myocardial infarction is usually reproduced with physical activity. A person may experience chest pain after running, jogging, walking or performing any other exertion. This pain is essentially the classic angina that arises due to the blockages of blood vessels in the heart.
Chest pain cannot be associated with the heart if it does not get reproduced with the physical activity. Musculoskeletal reasons of chest pain can range between the movement of torso, the arms, and the shoulders. The likely origins can be pitched nerves or pulled muscles. Musculoskeletal chest pain disappears and may never occur again.
Consult a board certified cardiologist
Dissection of Aorta
Blood vessels cause acute chest pain. One significant instance is the dissection of Aorta – the large vessel that extends from heart and connects with other smaller vessels supplying blood to the rest of the body. Dissection of Aorta causes tearing pain often resulting in the loss of sensation in either of the arms. One may also have stroke-like symptoms. Aortic dissection is acute and has a high mortality associated with it.
Pleura and Pericardium
Lining of the lungs in called pleura and lining of the heart is called pericardium. Lungs also cause chest pain when the lining of lungs is inflamed. Lung infection called pneumonia and blood clots traveling through the lungs also cause chest pain. Blood clots in lungs are associated with the shortness of breath and can be fatal. These clots travel from the lower extremities into the lungs.
Infection in the lungs engenders pneumonia, which is also the case during the current pandemic, also causes chest pain and shortness of breath. However, the myocardial infarction and angina remain the more common causes. Fever, cough and sputum production give rise to pneumonia. This lung infections should be treated with the antibiotics.
Pulmonary embolism is another cause of inflammation in the lining of the lungs. The diagnosis of the pulmonary embolism requires CT angiography of the chest. A surgery of heart, lungs, or chest wall may also cause inflammation. The inflammation in the lining of the lungs should be treated with a course of an anti-inflammatory medicine.
Patients who develop chest pain due to inflammation or infection often confuse it with heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat rate. Chest pain with cardiac arrhythmia does not last longer. The patients with chronic cardiac arrhythmia are used to of the rhythm and hence do not complain of chest pain except for when the heartbeat is intensely fast.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
The indigestion in the food pipe causes gastritis, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, which in turn causes chest pain. Gastritis arises by eating oily or spicy food or the one with high fat content. Another cause of gastritis is the consumption of food while staying in recumbent position. Sitting down for a while eliminates the resultant chest pain.
The causes of chest pain can be myriad. The root cause must be diagnosed by studying the minute details of medical history, physical exam and relevant tests to ensure an effective treatment. A patient with chest pain that is not associated with acute myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or aortic dissection is highly likely to recover soon.
Have you developed any of these symptoms?
Effective Testing Methods
The patients need to seek medical attention right away as soon as chest pain is developed so that one may identify if the root cause is potentially fatal or a petty one.
Electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, and echocardiogram are some simple tests that along with the physical exam and medical history enable doctors to go down to the root cause and treat the chest pain accordingly. CT-scan and MRI of the chest are not uncommon diagnostic modalities that provide further information to find the origin of the chest pain.