Chest pain is a major health problem all over the world. Chest pain is not always life-threatening. Chest pain may be caused due to variety of extra-cardiac disorders including dysfunction of muscles and joints of the chest or the cervical and thoracic part of spine.
Chest pain usually originates from any of the organs 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, tingling etc. The nature of the pain is very important in making the correct diagnosis of chest pain.
Chest pain is not a cause of worry if you feel a burning sensation after the meals or while lying down, and if it is accompanied by belching, bloating or an acid taste. These are all symptoms of heartburn. If you experience chest pain every now and then, antacids (an agent that counteracts or neutralizes acidity) should be taken to alleviate the symptoms of chest pain.
If the pain is severe, crushing, squeezing, or pressing, and is accompanied by dizziness, sweating, shortness of breathe, or pain in the jaw, neck arms and shoulders and if it arises from left side of your chest, then it should NOT be taken lightly as it may be the sign of cardiac attack and prove life-threatening.
If you feel short of breathe or the pains get worse while respiration, you could have a collapsed lung, or blood clot that has traveled to the lung-this most often occurs after you have been physically inactive for a long time. These conditions require prompt diagnosis and treatment which should be initiated as soon as possible.
For accurate diagnosis of chest pain, consult your cardiologist. It is best not to rely on chest pain self diagnosis. The most important tests initially done are ECG test (electrocardiogram test) and chest radiograph.
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