Chest pain

Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.

Chest pain is one of the most common reasons people call for emergency medical help. Every year emergency room doctors evaluate and treat millions of people for chest pain.

Fortunately, chest pain doesn’t always signal a heart attack. Often chest pain is unrelated to any heart problem. But even if the chest pain you experience has nothing to do with your cardiovascular system, the problem may still be important — and worth the time spent in an emergency room for evaluation.

Type of Causes

Cardiac causes
Digestive causes
Musculoskeletal causes
Respiratory causes
Other causes

# Panic attack. If you experience periods of intense fear accompanied by chest pain, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing (hyperventilation), profuse sweating and shortness of breath, you may be experiencing a panic attack — a form of anxiety.

# Shingles. This infection of the nerves caused by the chickenpox virus can produce pain and a band of blisters from your back around to your chest wall.

# Cancer. Rarely, cancer involving the chest or cancer that has spread from another part of the body can cause chest pain.

Symptoms
* severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
* pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
* chest pain that increases in intensity
* chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
* chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
o sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
o shortness of breath
o nausea or vomiting
o dizziness or fainting
o unexplained weakness or fatigue
o rapid or irregular pulse

Although chest pain is the key warning sign of a heart attack, it may be confused with indigestion, pleurisy, pneumonia, or other disorders.

Seek Treatment if you experience

* Sudden crushing, squeezing, tightening, or pressure in your chest.
* Nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath.
* They know they have angina and their chest discomfort is suddenly more intense, brought on by lighter activity, or lasts longer than usual.
* Angina symptoms occur at rest.
* They have sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long trip, a stretch of bedrest (for example, following an operation), or other lack of movement that can lead to formation of a blood clot in the leg.
* Chest-wall pain persists for longer than 3 to 5 days.

A person’s risk of heart attack is higher if they have a family history of heart disease, smoke or use cocaine, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Prevention

Make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent chest pain from heart disease:

* Achieve and maintain normal weight.
* Control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
* Avoid cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke.
* Eat a diet low in saturated and hydrogenated fats and cholesterol, and high in starches, fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
* Get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week.
* Reduce stress.