Chest Pain – Is it Angina, Heart Attack or Non-Serious?

Almost everyone suffers from some sort of physiological chest pain at one time or another, and the important thing to note is that there are many causes of this condition.

Chest pain can be defined as a pain or discomfort which occurs anywhere along the front edge of the torso between the upper abdomen and the lower part of the neck. This is a distressing condition because of the immediate suspicion in the mind of the sufferer that they are, or are about to suffer a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

It is advisable to consult a medical professional if any of the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Sudden crushing, squeezing, tightening, or pressure in the chest
  • Pain radiating to the jaw, left arm, or between the shoulder blades
  • Nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath
  • Existing Angina condition, which is suddenly intensified, brought on by lighter activity, lasts longer than usual, or occurs whilst resting
  • Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long trip, a stretch of bed rest (for example, following an operation), or other lack of movement that can lead to a blood clot in the leg. As previously mentioned, the physiological sources of chest pain can be many and various, and include the following;
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Esophagus
  • Muscles
  • Ribs
  • Tendons
  • Nerves
  • However, most chest pain sufferers tend to focus on the big question in their minds – that there are just two different classifications – those that relate to the heart (cardiac) and those that do not (non-cardiac).

    Cardiac causes of Chest Pain

    Heart attack

    This is caused by a blood clot that prevents usual flow of blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause a feeling of pressure, fullness or a crushing pain in the chest lasting more than a few minutes. The pain may radiate to other areas such as the back, neck, jaw, shoulders and arms, especially the left arm. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness and nausea. All, some or none of these may accompany your chest pain.


    Fatty deposits can build up in the arteries that carry blood to the heart. This can reduce their width, and this in turn can cause a restriction of the blood flow to the heart, which is usually more noticeable after physical activity or exertion. This type of restricted blood flow to the heart can cause regular, recurrent episodes of chest pain, which is termed Angina Pectoris, or Angina, is often described as a pressure or tightness in the chest. It’s usually brought on by physical or emotional stress. The pain usually goes away within minutes after you stop the stressful activity.

    Other Cardiac Causes

    There are some other complex medical problems, which can cause chest pain.

    Pericarditis – inflammation of the sac surrounding your heart a short-lived condition often related to a viral infection. Pericarditis causes sharp, piercing and centralized chest pain. You may also have a fever and feel sick.

    Aortic dissection – a rare, life-threatening cause of chest pain where inner layers of the main artery leading from the heart (aorta) separate. This causes blood to flow between them, causing a sudden tearing chest and back pain. It is usually caused by a physical trauma to the chest cavity, but can also result from uncontrolled high blood pressure.

    Coronary spasm, also known as Prinzmetal’s angina, can cause varying degrees of chest discomfort. In coronary spasm, coronary arteries – arteries that supply blood to the heart – go into spasm, temporarily closing down blood flow to the heart.

    Non Cardiac Causes

    There are many conditions that are unrelated to the heart, which can be the cause of chest pain. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid breathing
  • Heartburn
  • Pleurisy
  • Rib or muscular injuries
  • Collapsed lung
  • Swallowing disorders
  • How to Reduce your Heart related problems With Ziac

    Ziac is a type of medication known as a beta-blocker. Typically beta blocking drugs are used to treat chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure. They can also help patients who have suffered from an acute heart attack, and have been shown to improve survival rates if taken for this condition. A program of high blood pressure reduction may reduce the chances of patients developing strokes, further heart attacks and kidney problems.