chestpain

What is Chest Pain?


Many people with chest pain fear a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are mildly inconvenient, while other causes are serious, even life-threatening. Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves.

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov
Also known as Chest Pains, chest tightness, syndrome x, chest discomfort, pain, chest, chest pressure, chest tightness or pressure
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Chest Pain information from trusted sources:

Chest Pain

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

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Chest Pain

If you are having severe pain, crushing, squeezing, or pressure in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or if the pain moves into your neck, left shoulder, arm, or jaw, go immediately to a hospital emergency department. Do not drive yourself. Call 911 for emergency transport.

Chest Pain

Chest pain can come on suddenly at any time. You try to ignore it at first, but your chest pain has you scared and worried. Could you be having a heart attack Should you go to the emergency room (ER)

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Chest Pain

Discomfort in the chest that can range from mild discomfort to severe pain is called angina. Although chest pain can have many origins, true angina is a symptom of inadequate blood and oxygen supply to the heart, a condition most often due to plaque in the arteries (also called ischemic or coronary heart disease). The heart requires a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients from arteries on the surface of the heart muscle called coronary arteries. When deposits (plaques) build up within the arteries, the condition is called coronary atherosclerosis (also known as coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease). These plaques contain fats and inflammatory cells, and occur more frequently in smokers, older adults, males, and people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. The plaques narrow the coronary arteries, reducing the arteries' ability to supply the heart with blood. When the heart does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, angina results.

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Pain

Pain is an alarm bell! Natures way of saying something is wrong. Pain is a message from the body that it is having trouble in a particular area. Without pain you would remain unaware of any health problems and would never know when the body needed help repairing itself. Disease, injury, and strenuous activity may cause pain in the affected body part, signaling that damage has been incurred. It also signals you to rest the injured area so that tissues can be repaired and so that additional damage can be prevented. Pain motivates you to seek treatment as well. Some people are born with a rare neurological disorder that makes them insensitive to pain. Unfortunately, they do not experience pain when the incur various injuries such as burns, cuts, and fractures, or if they bite their tongue. Because they are unaware of the pain, they cannot prevent damage or seek fast treatment. Pain can result from a combination of physical and mental pain. Some people can tolerate pain better than others. In some people, pain is cyclical, pain produces anxiety and this anxiety intensifies the pain. Fear of the physical problem and anticipation of the pain can also heighten the pain. People with an uneasy mind will suffer more from chronic pain. If one knows why one is experiencing pain, one can tolerate it better.

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Thoracic CT

Thoracic CT is a computed tomography scan of the chest and upper abdomen.

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Painful urination

Dysuria is the feeling of pain, burning, or discomfort upon urination. Although dysuria frequently indicates the presence of a urinary tract infection (UTI), it can have a variety of causes. Dysuria should always trigger a visit to a health-care professional for evaluation and diagnosis.

Painful swallowing

Swallowing pain refers to a strong feeling of uncomfortable squeezing and burning while swallowing, which may be felt high in the neck or lower down behind the breastbone. Such pain may be a symptom of a serious disorder. See also: Swallowing difficulty

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Contents

Causes
Chest pain has many possible causes, all of which deserve medical attention.

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Home Care
If injury, over-exertion, or coughing have caused muscle strain, your chest wall is often tender or painful when you press a finger at the location of the pain. This can often be treated at home. Try acetaminophen or ibuprofen, ice, heat, and rest.

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Medical advice
Call 911 if:You have sudden crushing, squeezing, tightening, or pressure in your chest.; Pain radiates to your jaw, left arm, or between your shoulder blades.; You have nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath.; You know you have angina and your chest discomfort is suddenly more intense, brought on by lighter activity, or lasts longer than usual.; Your angina symptoms occur at rest.; You 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 a blood clot in your leg.; You have a fever or a cough that produces yellow-green phlegm.; You have chest pain that is severe and does not go away.; You are having problems swallowing.; Chest wall pain persists for longer than 3 to 5 days.

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Preparing for your appointment
Call 911 or emergency medical help or have someone drive you to an emergency room if you experience new or unexplained chest pain or pressure that lasts for more than a few moments. Don't waste any time for fear of embarrassment if it's not a heart attack. Even if there's another cause for your chest pain, you need to be seen right away.

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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.

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Symptoms
A wide range of health problems can cause chest pain. In many cases, the underlying cause has nothing to do with your heart though there's no easy way to tell without seeing a doctor.

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Tests and diagnosis
At the emergency room or chest pain center some large hospitals designate areas just for the evaluation of chest pain you'll probably have your blood pressure, pulse and temperature checked right away. In addition, the doctor will ask a number of questions about your chest pain.

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Treatments and drugs
Cardiac causes If it appears that heart problems are the cause of your chest pain, your doctor may give you medications such as: Aspirin. Aspirin inhibits blood clotting, helping to maintain blood flow through narrowed heart arteries. When taken during a heart attack, aspirin can significantly decrease death rates. You may be asked to chew the aspirin to hasten its absorption. Aspirin is recommended for most people who have had a heart attack.; Nitroglycerin. This medication for treating angina temporarily widens narrowed blood vessels, improving blood flow to and from your heart.; Beta blockers. These drugs help relax your heart muscle, slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure,...

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What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Many people with chest pain fear a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are mildly inconvenient, while other causes are serious, even life-threatening. Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves.

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov