What causes chest pain?
Chest pain can appear in many forms, from a sharp stabbing to a dull aching. Some chest pain can radiate to other areas of the body, such as the neck, jaw, and arms.
Numerous factors can cause chest pain, and many of the most life-threatening are those involving the heart and lungs. Some of the causes of chest pain include:
- Injured ribs
- Heart attack
- Sore muscles
- Collapsed lung
- Aortic dissection
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heartburn and digestive disorders
In some cases, chest pain might be brought on by a panic attack and extreme stress where you might also experience a fast heartbeat and breathing, profuse sweating, shortness of breath, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
When should I see a doctor about my chest pain?
Since chest pain can signify a serious underlying problem, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have concerns about your heart health, a new or unexplained chest pain, or if you think you’re having a heart attack, find emergency medical help immediately.
How is chest pain diagnosed?
Dr. Shah uses effective diagnostic testing methods including the following:
During this test, Dr. Shah places electrodes on your skin that record the electrical activity of your heart either while you’re resting or during exercise. Injured heart muscle is unable to conduct proper electrical impulses, allowing Dr. Shah to determine if you have had or are having a heart attack.
A Holter monitor is a portable device you wear to record the electrical activity of your heart over time. The device usually monitors your heart continuously for 24 to 72 hours.
An echocardiogram involves obtaining an ultrasound of your chest to show detailed images of the function and structure of your heart.
A stress test is designed to raise your heart rate with medicine or exercise while performing certain heart tests and imaging to assess how your heart responds.
Dr. Shah also provides angiograms, cardiac catheterizations, CT scans, and MRIs.
The treatment depends on the cause of your chest pain. Dr. Shah provides a variety of medications, such as artery relaxers, and other methods, such as stent placement and bypass surgery. He also recommends lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
If you have chest pain or concerns about your heart, visit Dr. Shah at one of the three Prime Heart and Vascular offices or schedule an appointment online.