Each year, nearly 8 million people visit the emergency room for chest pain in the United States. While chest pain is a relatively common condition, it can also indicate more serious, life-threatening conditions. At the office of César R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, Dr. Molina and his care team can provide an expert diagnosis of your chest pain to rule out any serious conditions and start treatment for pain relief. If you’re experiencing chest pain, call Dr. Molina to schedule your consultation or book online.
Chest pain can occur for a variety of reasons, not all of which are serious. Generally, chest pain is separated into a few categories based on cause:
Heartburn is one of the most common culprits behind chest pain, though swallowing issues and gallstones are also common causes. These issues actually affect other areas of your body, such as the esophagus or abdomen, though the pain often radiates to your chest.
Certain lung conditions such as pleurisy, pulmonary hypertension, or a collapsed lung can cause widespread chest pain.
Injuries to the chest area, such as sore muscles or fractured ribs, can lead to lasting chest pain.
Most heart-related pain is quite serious and demands immediate medical attention. Heart attack, angina, and pericarditis are just a few types of heart-related pain.
Chest pain can affect a wide variety of people and whether or not you’re at particular risk usually depends on lifestyle factors. For example, if you play high contact sports or work in a profession that is tough on your body, you might be at greater risk for muscle-related chest pain.
Other factors, such as high cholesterol levels, diabetes, or a smoking habit can all put you at greater risk for heart and lung-related chest pain. These risk factors can also lead into others, such as a poor diet or lack of exercise, making you more likely to develop diabetes.
People with a family history of heart disease or certain medical conditions that cause chest pain tend to be at greater risk for developing these same conditions.
Any symptoms of chest pain you experience will differ slightly depending on the underlying cause:
Most people experiencing heart-related chest pain tend to describe the feeling as a squeezing, tightening, or burning in the chest. Other symptoms might include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate care.
Chest pain associated with causes other than heart issues tend to coincide with a few other unique symptoms. For example, trouble swallowing or the sensation of food re-entering your mouth suggests digestive issues while pain that gets worse with deep breaths or when touching the area might suggest lung or muscle issues.
No matter the type of chest pain you’re experiencing, it’s important to quickly receive a proper diagnosis to determine the cause. For your diagnosis, call the office ofCésar R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, to schedule your consultation or book online.