Common Causes of Chest Pain

Updated on March 16, 2020

Chest pain takes on many different forms, including a sharp stab, dull ache, or a crushing/burning feeling. Sometimes, the discomfort can radiate to the neck, jaw, arms and other body parts. Many different issues can lead to chest pain, and the most severe causes are linked to the heart or lungs. Since chest pain in Plano can be a sign of a serious medical condition, it is essential to seek prompt medical assistance.

Here are some of the common causes of chest pain:

1.     Angina

Angina is a type of chest pain that results from poor blood circulation to the heart. It is a relatively common condition that affects about 9 million people living in America. Angina is usually caused by accumulation of thick plaque on the interior walls of arteries carrying blood to the heart. The build-up makes the arteries narrower and restricts blood supply to the heart.

If you have Angina, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling like your heart is being pressured by something
  • Pain in other parts of the upper body
  • Feeling dizzy

2.     Pleurisy

Pleurisy is a sharp chest pain that becomes worse during breathing or coughing. It results from the inflammation of the pleura membrane. The membrane comprises the tissue lining the chest cavity’s inner wall and the tissue layer surrounding the lungs.

Some of the symptoms of Pleurisy are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Coughing

3.     Pericarditis

Pericarditis is a type of heart inflammation that is characterized by a sharp or dull pain that begins in the left side or the middle of the chest. The inflammation occurs specifically in the thin, watery sac surrounding the heart. Pericarditis can be caused by heart surgery or viral/bacterial infections. However, in a majority of cases, the cause is not known.

Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain that resembles a heart attack
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever
  • Aches in the muscles

4.     Heart Attack

Chest pain linked to a heart attack is usually characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain or a feeling of tightness. A heart attack happens when one or more arteries transporting blood to the heart are blocked. When oxygenated blood does not reach one or more muscles in the body, you feel substantial pain. And, that is also the case for the heart muscle.

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency, and may include the following symptoms:

  • A sharp, stabbing feeling, or a tightness sensation in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Irregular pulse
  • Abrupt and severe weakness
  • A lump in the throat
  • Numbness in one arm or hand

5.     Collapsed Lung

A collapsed lung (Pneumothorax) happens when air enters in between the chest wall and the lungs. The accumulated air can bring pressure on one of the lungs and prevent it from expanding when you breathe in. If you have pneumothorax, inhaling hurts and becomes hard. You may feel like the discomfort is in your chest, because of the lung’s position.

In addition to the above causes, chest pain can also be caused by:

  • Hypertension
  • Sore muscles
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Dysphagia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Costochondritis
  • Anxiety attack
  • Injured ribs
  • Heartburn
  • Aortic dissection

If you are experiencing chest pain, you should consult a doctor. While not all causes of chest pain are serious, it is better to visit the hospital and find out the exact cause than risk a life-threatening condition.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.