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Chest Pain: When Should You Consult A Doctor?

11 months ago

5847  0
Posted on Oct 19, 2020, 6 p.m.

Experiencing a chest pain doesn't necessarily mean having a heart attack. That is because heart diseases can be of several kinds and quite crucial for your health. Not all pains signify a heart attack but they can lead to one. And that is why one must be fully aware of the healthy lifestyle choices and the consequences of such health conditions. Sometimes, these chest pains might not even be related to the heart or the body's cardiovascular system. 

Instead, it can happen for a whole lot of different reasons. But for a layman, these pains are quite challenging to distinguish properly.

Causes of Chest Pain

Before you know when to consult a chest pain specialist, you must know the causes behind such conditions. Therefore, here are a few of the causes of chest pain for your reference:

  • Muscle Strain

Common inflammation of tendons and muscles around your ribs can instantly result in persistent chest pain. Due to the inflammation of the tissues across this region, there is constant tension caused, which might increase the pain with time. In such cases, do consult your physician immediately.

  • Rib Injury

Due to accidents, if you suffer from even a slight injury in your ribs, it can lead to chest pain development with time. If you suffer from any fractures or bruises in the rib region, it can also cause chest pain, which feels like a crack in that area.

  • Ulcers

Another cause of chest pain is peptic ulcer. It occurs due to the formation of sores in the inner lining of the stomach. Although that might not cause any intention pain, it keeps recurring with time and the condition's increasing complexity.

  • GERD

One of the common reasons behind chest pain is gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is the physical condition when the stomach contents tend to move back, causing a burning sensation in the chest region.

  • Asthma

Asthma refers to a common respiratory condition, which causes inflammation of the airways. As a result, the person might suffer from occasional chest pain, coughing, wheezing, etc.

  • Collapsed Lung

Air can sometimes build up in the space that lies between the ribs and the lungs. As a result, the lung can collapse and cause sudden chest pain while you try to take a deep breath.

  • Costochondritis

Costochondritis is caused due to the severe inflammation of the rib cage's cartilage. And, it can get severely worse when the patient sits or is lying on the couch. The pain caused due to this condition worsens with time and requires immediate medical attention.

Other medical conditions that can lead to chest pain include esophageal contraction disorders, esophageal hypersensitivity, esophageal rupture, Hiatal hernia, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, etc. 

When to Contact a Doctor?

Some of the chest pains might not be severe and can be taken care of right at your home setup. But in case the condition worsens, you need to consult the doctor as soon as possible. If you experience any of these following symptoms or conditions, do not wait for long. 

  • When you experience chest pain along with body chills and fever
  • Chest pain that causes definitive problems in swallowing
  • Severe chest pain which causes a lot of discomforts to breathe or even move
  • Feeling a sudden rush in the chest followed by severe pain, tightness, squeezing, pressure, or even feeling like crushing under your breastbone
  • Primarily when the pain spreads to the left arm, jaws, or back region
  • Experiencing any shortness of breath due to prolonged periods of inactivity
  • Dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid heart rate, or excessive sweating
  • Extreme lower heart rate or blood pressure

These are some of the symptoms when you need to call your chest specialist immediately. The symptoms can vary depending on your health conditions and other associated disorders. If you suffer from specific conditions like GERD, then a proper lifestyle change can potentially lower the occurrence of such chronic chest pains with time.

Preventive Measures

Some of the precautions to take for controlling such conditions in the body include:

  • Quitting smoking and opting for proper counseling sessions.
  • Resorting to a daily 30-minute session of light and heavy exercises to keep the entire body fit and healthy.
  • A regular visit to your physician to check the development of these root causes in the body that might lead to chest pains and other diseases.
  • Try consuming alcohol in considerate amounts and keep a check on the food lifestyle.
  • Strictly avoid the consumption of any drugs like marijuana.
  • Try to avoid situations that make you feel unhappy and sad, instead focus on the brighter aspects of your life and motivate yourself towards a happy life.


Even if the chest pain feels severe and chronic, it might not be a heart attack. But that doesn't imply that you can skip the entire event altogether. No matter how little the incident is, you need to seek the advice of a specialist. Also, make sure to choose a healthy lifestyle to control the ill-effects of such conditions in the body.

Article courtesy of Jessica Smith, blogger and health advocate.

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Content may be edited for style and length.

This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

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