Chest pain is simply described as any pain, pressure, tightness or discomfort felt anywhere in the chest. Chest pain usually starts from any of the organ present in the chest cavity and then radiates to other parts of the body such as neck, jaws, arms and shoulders.
The pain may be continuous or spasmodic, and of several types: crushing, burning, stabbing, or tingling. The nature of the pain is very important in making the diagnosis.
When the pain is restricted to a particular location of the chest, then it is easier to perform self diagnosis and take necessary steps to prevent further damage before consulting a cardiologist. Chest pain on the left side usually indicates angina pectoris or a non-cardiac condition called fibromyalgia. Chest pain on the right side, however is rarely due to cardiovascular condition and instead may be due to Gastro-intestinal problems such as gallbladder, Oesophageal, Pancreatitis, peptic ulcer disorder and liver inflammation.
Most gastro-intestinal disorders are followed by sharp abdominal pains that moves to chest during its acute stage. The pain is often steady, severe and indicates changes in electrocardiogram. Gastro-intestinal disorder such as gallstones may also trigger chest pains in someone who is already suffering from coronary heart diseases, and can produce resorting chest pain.
Right side chest pain can also be indicative of hepatitis (inflammation of liver) caused by a number of etiologic agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, drugs and chemicals.
For accurate diagnosis of posterior chest pain consult your cardiologist. The most important investigations done initially are an electrocardiogram and chest radiograph. Gallstones are usually detected by ultrasound, while diagnosis of hepatitis is done by blood test and sometimes by a tissue sample from a liver.
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