HEALTHY SLIDE

COMMON CAUSES OF CHEST PAINS

Generally we ignore local body pains until these pains are severe, consistent and restricts our movement hoping that it will heal itself and just go away. Serious problems could be associated with chest pains in contrast to other body parts. Most often, people who experience chest pain are elderly people with heart conditions.

As a matter of fact, many life styles increase the risk of chest pain. Some of these could have a Cardiac (Heart) origin or Non-Cardiac origin. Non-cardiac conditions include musculoskeletal (muscle and skeleton), gastrointestinal (esophagus, stomach and intestines) and lung diseases.

Specifically, for chest pains, immediate care and attention is needed. The chest area contains very essential organs for life. At any point, we can’t afford to have these organs under functioning.

Below are common causes of chest pain:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

This is a long-term effect of stomach content continually rising up the throat. Very often patients taste acid in their mouth and present with heartburn (burning sensation in the central chest area).

  • ESOPHAGITIS

Inflammation of the layers of the esophagus can be very problematic and, in some cases, may lead to esophageal cancer. It can be caused by infections (such as Herpes virus or Candida) when a patient has decreased immune response. It could also be cause by stomach acid reflux, drugs reactions and food allergies.   

  • ACUTE CORONARY SYNDROME

The blood vessels supplying the heart with oxygen are called coronary arteries. The heart muscles begin to die when there is decreased amount of blood through these vessels. One variant of this condition is termed Myocardial Infarction.

  • PULMONARY EMBOLISM

When there’s a blockage in the arteries within the lungs by a clot or any substance with an obstructive capability, Pulmonary embolism is diagnosed. The obstructive substance travels from a distant origin and clogs within the pulmonary (lung) arteries.

  • PNEUMOTHORAX

This life-threatening condition occurs when there’s an unusual accumulation of air within the fluid space(pleural cavity) that separates the lungs from the inner chest wall. This is often due to physical trauma to the chest wall, hospital intervention procedures or infections like asthma and tuberculosis. Smoking increases the risk for Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema, which is also associated with pneumothorax

  • COSTOCHONDRITIS

Cartilages hold ribs together making them compact as well as distensible. Inflammation in these areas cause pain on palpation of the affected area on the chest wall. The pain worsens when the patient coughs, takes deep breaths or during physical activity. Some common causes include physical trauma from strenuous lifting or direct injury. Infections as well as autoimmune (immune system attacking healthy cells) conditions can also cause costochondritis chest pain.

When you experience a chest pain, first be patient and try to realize what caused it. Then try as much as possible not to exacerbate the pain. Finally and most importantly, visit your doctor.