Chest Pain Can Range From Mild to Unbearable Depending on the Cause

Chest pain is the most common symptom associated with a cardiac event. It's easily misdiagnosed and mistreated because it's caused by many problems, from heartburn to cancerous tumors. Many people don't realize that they are experiencing chest pain and thus needlessly undergo tests that could miss the real problem. Chest pain is a common symptom of many heart, lung, kidney and gastrointestinal conditions, as well as diabetes, arthritis and pregnancy. With a better understanding of these conditions, healthcare providers have been able to help patients avoid tests that could result in unnecessary surgery. It is vital to understand that chest pain is not necessarily a signal of impending death. Instead, it serves as an important warning sign for hundreds of conditions. Many people cannot make an accurate diagnosis without a proper understanding of what chest pain means and the wide range of reasons for its occurrence.

Conditions Causing Chest Pain

The cause of chest pain is often a symptom of a problem elsewhere in the body, including an illness, injury or surgery. Some common conditions that can cause chest pain include:

  • Hypertension - Hypertension is a major cause of chest pain. It can be caused by severe medical conditions such as arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, and kidney problems. People who suffer from hypertension may also experience heart attacks and strokes. It would be best if you managed blood pressure through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise or with prescription medication, depending on the severity of the problem.
  • Anxiety - Anxiety is a complex emotional response to stressful situations. All kinds of issues, such as relationship problems, financial concerns, or loss of employment, can cause it. Anxiety can be treated through therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. It is important to note that anxiety can mimic chest pain. In these cases, it may be hard to tell the source of the symptoms. People who suffer from anxiety tend to have certain physical symptoms specific to their problems. They may also have mental and emotional symptoms such as mood swings, worry and panic.
  • Panic Attacks - A panic attack is an intense emotional response to a situation where one feels like one might lose control. Panic attacks can lead to chest pain because they cause rapid breathing, which increases the heart rate and causes more blood circulation to the heart muscle. Panic attacks are usually triggered by anxiety but can also be caused by physical stressors such as a stressful event. They can often be treated with therapy and medication, although they can cause chest pain that mimics a heart attack in severe cases.
  • Heart Attacks - A heart attack causes severe chest pain, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Heart attacks are directly caused by an interruption of the blood supply to the heart. It can also be localized to one part of the heart muscle. Medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes and coronary heart disease can also cause heart attacks. Heart attack symptoms may come on suddenly or over time. The pain is usually in the center of the chest and may radiate to the shoulders, neck, or arms. It is possible to experience these same symptoms without having a heart attack. This is called angina.

Recognizing When Treatment is Necessary and Getting Treatment

If a medical condition causes pain, you must seek immediate medical attention. Treatment may vary depending on the cause of your pain. Some doctors will treat chest pain using whatever treatment is necessary to treat any underlying condition. Other doctors will order tests to find the cause of your symptoms and then treat that condition. When you do have a heart attack, it is essential to seek treatment right away. If you experience chest pain or are concerned that someone else may have a heart attack, call 911 immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. Your medical history will help the physician decide the best course of treatment for you. It is important to note that chest pain can be a symptom of any number of debilitating medical conditions. If your pain is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications and lasts more than 10 minutes, you should seek immediate medical attention. A medical professional can treat chronic chest pain. If you do not experience any chest pain or if it lasts less than 10 minutes, you should also seek medical attention, especially if you have a history of chest pain.

Chest pain is a severe problem that can have many different causes. Therefore, it is essential to get medical attention if you experience this symptom. If you are aware of the possible causes of chest pain, you can better understand what doctors are trying to determine during your treatment.

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This article should not be considered as medical advice. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional advice from a certified doctor or other qualified healthcare provider. Always speak with a doctor before starting, stopping, or changing any prescribed care or treatment plan. provides this reading material as a helpful resource, but it should never be a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical physician, a certified personal trainer, a therapist, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. If in a medical emergency, call a doctor or dial 911 immediately.