Chest Pain

CHEST PAIN to HEART ATTACK

not too far

 Its alarming to have a chest pain. It bothers us too often, that we sometimes tend to ignore it. So today I decided to tell a few things in brief about chest pain that everybody should know. This post is intended for general health information and not for self-treatment.

As we already know there are many structures inside the chest like- ribs,muscles ,lungs, food pipes, heart etc. So pain in chest can arise from any of these structures, but each structure usually has some typical characteristics of pain which helps to determine the presumed site of origin. For example when chest pain is due to muscles/bones then there may be some local pain on touching or pressing; in case of lung the pain will be associated with breathing difficulty, cough and expectoration. Similarly when pain arises from the food pipes there will be associated symptoms like – difficulty in swallowing, nausea, vomiting. But the most alarming and serious chest pain is the one arising from heart.

The heart is basically made up of muscles and like any other muscle in the body it needs blood supply. Blood supply to the heart is done by coronary arteries.   There are two occasions when cardiac pain can occur, either it is due to reduced blood supply to the heart due to blockage in the coronary arteries, or due to excessive demand of the heart like thickening of heart muscles. Chest pain arising from the heart is called ANGINA. Angina has a typical character – it is felt as a heaviness, squeezing sensation, tightness or heaviness in the centre of the chest which is often also felt in left arm, jaw,neck, shoulder or back. It is precipitated by physical exertion , emotional excitability and is relieved by rest. Sometimes pain can be more severe and longer lasting when it indicates something more sinister like an heart attack.

If someone feels a chest pain which is bothering him/her then medical attention should be sought. Like I said in the beginning – this article is for general health information and any chest pain needs evaluation by a doctor and prompt and proper treatment.

Thank you

DR. ANUPAM JENA

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