Why Does my Chest Hurt?
Chest pain or discomfort should never be ignored. A number of different health conditions can cause chest pain, some minor and inconsequential and others serious and life-threatening. Making a decision whether the pain is a sign of a serious health problem is a complex one. The majority of chest pain isn't caused by anything serious but it is crucial to get medical advice in order to ascertain it’s nothing serious.
When is Chest Pain a Serious Emergency?
You should immediately call 000 for an ambulance if you have sudden severe chest pain, particularly if:
- The pain makes your chest feel tight, heavy, pressing or crushing
- The pain lasts over 15 minutes
- The pain radiates to your arms, back, neck or jaw
- The pain is more severe and different from what you have experienced before
- You have other symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, coughing up blood
What are the Causes of My Chest Pain?
Multiple medical conditions can cause chest pain. Most chest pain isn’t related to heart problems and isn’t reflecting a life-threatening condition. Accompanying symptoms may help you to interpret the underlying cause of your chest pain. Some of the most common causes of chest pain are mentioned below.
- The pain worsens when breathing in and out, fever (high body temperature), coughing up yellow or green mucus (sputum)
- Burning or squeezing chest pain (heartburn) that occur after eating, bringing an unpleasant, bitter or food taste in the mouth, may last minutes to hours, a feeling of fullness and bloating in stomach
- Starts after injury or exercise, chest is painful to touch, the pain gets better with rest
- The pain is triggered by stress, other symptoms, such as fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, dizziness may accompany the chest pain
- Skin tingling, painful rash that turns into itchy blisters
- Pain, swelling, redness and tenderness of the breast
- Sudden sharp pain that starts in the upper right part of the belly and spreads to the right shoulder and chest
- Pneumonia (lung inflammation due to bacterial or viral infection )
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)(a condition when stomach fluids comes up into oesophagus (gullet), resulting in heartburn )
- Bone or Muscle Problems
- Anxiety (a feeling of worry, nervousness) & Panic Attack/Disorder (repeating episodes of fear that starts unexpectedly and lasts up to an hour)
- Herpes Zoster/Shingles (skin and nerve viral infection)
- Mastitis (breast inflammation typically due to an infection, most commonly during breastfeeding)
- Acute Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)