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Chest pain

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Chest pain does not always mean that the patient is having a heart attack. Chest pain can signal many different medical conditions including heart attacks, gas, indigestion, and even broken ribs. Chest pain can be terribly frightening and patients end up in the emergency room prematurely. When experiencing chest pain, regardless of age, race, or expectation, it is always better to be seen by an emergency physician than to neglect to receive medical attention.

CHEST PAIN CAUSES

Chest pain can be caused by angina (fatty acid deposits in the arteries that cause painful symptoms), heart attacks, cardiac issue that are typically not life threatening, panic attacks, heartburn, pleurisy, pulmonary embolisms, lung conditions, asthma, costochondritis, sore muscles, rib injuries, pinched nerves, swallowing disorders, gallbladder disease, shingles, or cancer. Some causes of chest pain require immediate medical attention while other causes may require little to no medical attention.

CHEST PAIN SYMPTOMS

Whether the chest pain is acute and accompanied by other symptoms of a heart attack or the onset of chest pain has created a stressed patient, physicians should always rule out heart attacks at the first signs, including chest pain. X-rays and other imaging techniques, blood tests, stress tests, electrocardiogram, nuclear scan, endoscopy, and MRI imaging can give the physician an accurate view of the heart, its ability to function, and whether or not it is responsible for the chest pain. While it is possible for patients to experience a heart attack with little discomfort or even no symptoms, most cases are obvious and can be determined via patient complaints.
Chest pain
Image: Chest pain

CHEST PAIN COMPLICATIONS

There are few actual complications related to chest pain, although chronic chest pain can lead to chronic distress. Chest pain can be frightening and stressful even when there has been ample reassurance from a physician and medical testing that there is no sign of cardiac problems. Regardless, some patients require a lot of reassurance before they can relax and deal with the painful symptoms in the chest rather than their fear associated with the chest pain.

CHEST PAIN TREATMENT

Chest pain with cardiac causes may be treated as the cardiac issue demands. Aspirin therapies, nitroglycerin therapies, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin receptor enzyme inhibitors, and cardiac therapies can often relive or eliminate chest pain. Other causes can be treated with appropriate therapies. Chest pain associated with heartburn and indigestion can be terribly painful, and treatment with antacids and other treatments. Rib fracture and pinched nerves can be treated with rest and medication to treat the pain. Swallowing disorders often require minor surgery to be corrected. Most cases of chest pain can be corrected provided the cause is identified.


Chest pain can be a very difficult symptom to accurately interpret, and patients who feel they require medical treatment should seek medical treatment to their satisfaction. Chronic chest pain should be treated by a physician who can not only determine the cause but deal with the cause effectively, such as a cardiologist is needed for cardiac causes and a gastroentologist should be acquired for an intestinal or digestive problem.

Chest pain is the most common cause of emergency room visits, and in over 70% of cases, there is no evidence of a heart attack, and in 66% of cases there is no cardiac reason for the pain. Patients are still encouraged to seek out emergency medical care if they feel it is necessary.
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