Chest pain is an uneasiness you feel in the chest, which can feel tight, painful or sharp, and can spread to your back, shoulders, neck and arms. It can happen for a number of reasons and you should always take it seriously by getting medical care quickly. Discomfort in the chest can last for a few minutes or hours. In some cases, it can last for 3 months or longer. Chest pain can be a sign of a heart-related problem or due to a common cause that isn’t lethal. As Nigerians, we may be tempted to ignore it due to everyday hustle and bustle, please don’t as there are a number of reasons you shouldn’t.

Causes of Chest Pain
  • Angina, pain caused by obstructions in the blood vessels leading to your heart. It can be activated by physical stress or emotional stress. Angina can feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest and can cause uneasiness in your upper body.

  • Pericarditis, which is an inflammation or infection of the lining around the heart. It can happen after a cold or a throat infection.

  • Anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks and severe apprehension can cause sudden, sharp discomfort in the chest. Some people may have a panic attack after a demanding or emotional event.

  • Heart attack, a blockage of the blood flow to the heart can also cause chest pain.

  • Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle which makes the heart weaker and can cause pain.

  • Lung problems. Respiration problems can cause sudden, sharp discomfort in the chest. And this type of pain can worsen if you take a deep breath or cough.

  • Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle can also cause the chest to hurt.

  • Acid reflux, heartburn, especially after eating, happens when stomach acid sploshes up from your stomach. It can cause a burning feeling or a sudden discomfort in your chest.

  • Pneumonia, which causes chest pain when you breathe or cough.

  • Bronchospasm causes chest tightness and occurs when you have a severe narrowing of your airways making it difficult to breathe.

  • Viral bronchitis can cause soreness around your chest and muscle aches. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the breathing tubes.

Symptoms of Chest Pain
  • Arm pain, or back pain

  • Tightness of the chest

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heaviness

  • Abdominal pain,

  • Tiredness

  • Light-headedness

Treatment For Chest Pain

Your doctor might treat it with medication, non-intrusive procedures, surgery, or a combination of these methods. It is key to note that treatment hinges on the cause and extremity of your chest pain. Your doctor can find out what is causing your chest ache, he will ask you some questions and your answers can help them diagnose its cause. Your doctor will ask questions like ‘‘when did it start?’’, “how long does it take?”, “does it get worse?”, “have you been using any medications”? and other pertinent questions.

You may need a chest x-ray or scan and a blood test, which depends on the answers you give to questions asked. You might be asked to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) test, which is a test that looks at your heartbeat and checks your heart health. Now, only a minor percentage of people with discomfort in the chest are actually having a heart attack. However, it is always better to have a doctor confirm the cause of your sudden chest pain. Seeking medical help may be lifesaving.

Most sudden, sharp pain in the chest are not caused by a heart attack. There are some other causes of chest pain that can be grave. If you have pain in the chest or any other warning sign of a heart condition, get fast medical attention. If you need help finding a prescribed medication for it, is willing to go through the stress for you.

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