Types of Chest Pain
|December 12, 2012||Posted by admin under Angina, Chest Pain, Heart Disease|
There are many types of chest pain and the pain can come from many underlying issues, so “chest pain” alone really isn’t enough to help doctors identify the cause.
Chest pain accompanies other symptoms, occurs at different times of the day and travels to different locations. All of the variables help the doctor narrow down the possibilities and identify types of Chest Pain and the cause of the chest pain more rapidly.
Depending on the reason for the pain, the swift identification can be life saving. Collecting all the symptoms including whether there is chest and arm pain, chest and neck pain, chest pain at night or a chest pain headache helps to narrow down the cause.
Timing of Chest Pain
Reoccurring chest pain often follows a pattern. Pericarditis is a types of chest pain that frequently follows that pattern. It is an inflammation of the heart’s lining. The pericardium, lining of the heart, sometimes inflames from autoimmune disease, some drugs, kidney failure, hypothyroidism or infection that is ether local or generalized. I can occur also after heart surgery.
If the lining is inflamed, certain actions make the pain worse. These may include lying down or even eating. Sometimes even making the heart rate increase causes the pain to occur. If you notice chest pain at night, it could come from pericarditis or other non-heart related diseases.
Another more common cause of chest pain at night is GERD. GERD or acid reflux causes pain to radiate from the stomach and into the area of the throat and chest. It often occurs when you bend over, after a large meal or lifting, besides occurring when lying down especially when lying on the back. Nighttime GERD attacks tend to mimic cardiac conditions more than those that occur during the day.
Sometimes panic attacks occur at night when the person has the quiet to notice symptoms. Normally each person has different symptoms of panic attacks. Some include chest pain at night but there are also other symptoms such as sweating, choking, heart palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, detachment, fear of dying, fear of losing control, numbness, or even hot flashes or chills.
Chest and Neck Pain
Chest and neck pain can be a sign of a coronary event but also have other, non-coronary, causes. Acid reflux, ulcers and other gastrointestinal causes can create pain that radiates to the neck. Occasionally, a gallbladder attack creates pain that seems to start in the upper right area of the abdomen and sometimes spreads to not only the neck area but also the arms and shoulders.
A dislocation of a rib or muscle spasm due to a misalignment of the back also can create chest and neck pain. This type of pain radiates throughout the body. Sometimes taking a deep breath or specific types of movement starts the pain. If the muscles spasm enough, it can create shortness of breath also.
Chest and Arm Pain
Many of the same symptoms that create pain that radiates from the chest to the neck also create chest and arm pain. The most severe cause, of course, is a cardiac event. Chest and arm pain can also come from problems with the muscles. Pulled or strained muscles can cause both chest and arm pain and is normally of no consequence. This types of chest pain, however, normally occurs when the victim changes position or moves either the arm or entire body.
Shingles and a pressed or impinged nerve can also create not only chest and arm pain but also chest and neck pain or simply pain in the chest. If a disc in the spine slips out of the area it belongs it may pinch a nerve and create the sensation of a coronary, including chest and neck pain, chest and arm pain and other symptoms similar to a coronary event.
Chest Pain Headache
Occasionally, the same cause of chest pain causes a chest pain headache. Again, a pinched nerve may be the cause of both or it can be something far more serious. Generalized infection that causes pericarditis also can create infection in the blood that creates a headache. If this occurs, it is a serious condition and requires medical attention to prevent further complications.
Musculoskeletal conditions that create chest pain also can create a chest pain with headache. When the body is out of line, it tugs the muscles and forces them to move improperly, this tugging often create both chest pain and headaches.
A very serious cause of chest pain with headaches is uncontrolled high blood pressure. However, sometimes the cause of chest pain is from the direct cause of headaches. In this case, chest pain headaches or chest pain accompanied by facial pain is relieved when the facial pain or headache receives treatment.
While there is no recent study on why this occurs, it does make sense that the two are interrelated. Often people experiencing a cardiac incident will also have a chest pain headache at the same time. Finding the cause of one symptom often relieves the other. Panic attacks also cause both chest pain and headaches.
Regardless of the location of other symptoms or the time of day, it’s always best to rule out any severe causes of chest pain such as a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia or other severe disease. Once those are no longer concerns, look to other types of Chest Pain and causes from seemingly unrelated parts of the body to narrow down the reason for chest pain.