Chest pain is a common issue for people with various medical conditions. It ranges anywhere between dull aches and sharp stabs. Other patients report a burning or crushing feeling. Whichever the case, chest pain should not be ignored. You should seek immediate medical attention to establish the cause of your symptom and begin treatment. Consult Bhupinder Singh MD, a board-certified cardiologist, for diagnosis and treatment of these discomforts. Here is everything you need to know about chest pains and cardiovascular health:

Which heart conditions are related to chest pain?

Chest pains could be caused by numerous factors. You could be having a digestive issue, muscle problem, lung-related problems, or it could be panic attacks or shingles. Doctors recommend that you begin by ruling out cardiovascular conditions before proceeding to the others in order. Cardiovascular conditions that are known to cause chest pain include:

  •       Angina: This is chest pain that results after an insufficient flow of blood in a patient's body. There are several types of angina. There is stable angina that occurs after physical activities, unstable angina that occurs suddenly, and angina equivalent, which are more common in women.
  •       Heart attack: Heart attacks also causes mild to unbearable heart pain. It occurs when the flow of blood is blocked from reaching the heart muscle. The blockage is mainly caused by a blood clot inside the artery.
  •       Aortic dissection: This is a condition that occurs when the inner layers of a heart’s main artery, aorta, separate. In turn, patients face a risk of aorta rapture when blood is forced between the separated layers. This condition is life-threatening.

What are the characteristics of cardiac chest pain?

You will not establish the cause of chest pains as soon as it starts to occur. However, some characteristics can help you and the doctor to determine the cause. They include:

  •       Pain Description: Patients who experience chest pain as a result of cardiovascular problems describe the characteristics that cause a feeling of pressure, tightness, heartburn, constriction, squeezing, strangling, and a band-like sensation. Women could feel like an oddly tight bra.
  •       Pain location: Chest pains due to heart problems are felt throughout the chest from the center or lower abdomen. It does not have a specific spot. If your pain focuses on one side, there could be another cause to your problem.
  •       Pain radiation: Angina pain spreads to other parts of the patient's upper body. They may report discomforts in the shoulders, arms, lower jaw, throat, neck, and wrists.
  •       Timing of pain: This pain begins mildly and worsens as time goes by. If it is caused by other factors, it mainly occurs and disappears suddenly. If it remains the same for a considerable amount of time, it is unlikely to be chest-related.
  •       Pain aggravation: Cardiac chest pain aggravates with physical exertion like sexual intercourse and walking up the stairs.

Specialists at Heart and Vascular Care perform a complete physical exam and consider your symptoms to determine the cause accurately. This may include learning more about your lifestyle and previous medical records. They may also perform an electrocardiogram to confirm your condition. Book an appointment today if you have chest pain or related cardiovascular conditions.

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