Chest hurt generally means heart pain for most people because that is where the vital organs are located. Besides the heart, organs such as lungs, stomach, esophagus and diaphragm are covered by the ribs and muscles in a tight hold that protects them from injury and any external pressure. Chest pains can therefore signal a life threatening situation and the causes can be anything from heart failure to lung problems. Getting help for a heart attack or lung injury could save your life.
The cause of chest pain can be traced to chest wall syndrome in people who don’t have any heart or lung problems. This is the most regular cause chest hurts in basic care patients.
Harmless as well as imaginary
Chest (wall) syndrome is absolutely harmless and musculoskeletal in nature. A person who has chest pain has discomfort originating from the structures of chest wall. Skin, muscles and ribs are included in the chest wall. Pain in chest wall is generally caused by inflammation, injury or infection to these structures. Some common causes of chest wall pain are chest contusion, muscle strain and costochondritis.
Symptoms of chest wall pain include cough, difficulty in breathing, chest swelling, and chest bruising and chest tenderness. The treatments for chest wall pain are muscle relaxants, cold compresses, rest and anti pain nonsteroidal inflammatory medications. Sensitive Heart Syndrome, Atypical Chest Pain and Syndrome X are other chest pains that are caused by blockages in the heart that are not visible.
Besides these kinds of causes, chest hurt may also be related to psychiatric conditions and panic disorder. Muscle contractions in the chest wall are likely the cause of chest hurt from panic attacks. After panic attack, the chest wall may feel sore for several hours or days. In these cases, patients can be screened by two item questionnaire suggested by American Family Physician online journal. Medication and relaxation techniques can be used for its easy treatment.
Deadly and dangerous
It doesn’t mean that chest pains altogether should be discounted just because many patients complain of chest hurts that are often harmless. Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the US so far. Aortic dissection, coronary artery spasm, angina, mitral valve prolapsed; Prinzmetals syndrome or Graybiel’s syndrome and Prinzmetalsare are other deadly cardiac causes of chest pain.
Causes of chest pain that are not related to heart are pulmonary embolism, heartburn, pleurisy, pinched nerves, shingles caused by virus, injured ribs, espophageal spasms which are swallowing disorders, lung problems and pancreas or gallbladder problems. Most of these are not quickly dangerous for life but they are as deadly as heart problems when these medical get deteriorated and treatments many not be any more effective. It’s not always easy to tell how one knows when medical help is needed for chest pain. If one is not sure why the chest hurts then it’s best to check it out.