Chest Pain

chest painThis is any sort of pain felt in your upper body, from your shoulders down to your ribs. Some chest pain is serious coming from your heart or the lining of the lungs. Most chest pain is not caused by conditions as serious as heart problems. The most common can include digestive problems, respiratory infections and inflammation, a pulled muscle or even worry

Heart

Chest pain must always be taken seriously as it could mean you are having a heart attack.It could be heart pain if it feels heavy, pressing or like a tight band, or if it spreads to your left arm, neck and back. You may have other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea and sweating. If these symptoms last for more than 15-20 minutes you could be having a heart attack. Call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. The lungs have irritant receptors that cause cough but do not feel pain.

 

Lungs

 Lung diseases can cause pain when there is inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy) or sometimes when there is a collection of fluid in the chest, injury to the chest wall muscles and ribs ( such as through coughing) or swelling of the central glands. Lung tumours may cause pain if they spread into the chest wall, nerves or bones and tend to cause a persistent dull gnawing type of pain.

Angina

Angina is a similar pain but more likely to be brought on by physical effort and the pain is relatively mild. It generally passes a few minutes after you stop exercising, and is relieved by rest, so not likely to wake you if you are asleep.

If using a glyceryl trinitrate spray (which should give immediate relief from the symptoms of angina) does not ease the chest pain, you could be having a heart attack and need to seek help straight away.

Digestive Problems

Chest pain that gets worse when you lie down is almost certainly not heart disease.

br5It’s most likely to be heartburn caused by acid leaking from your stomach into your oesophagus (between the throat and the stomach).  This common complaint is known as heartburn and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and can often be treated by changing your lifestyle and, if necessary, by medication.

If burping eases the pain it could be trapped wind, which can cause incredible pain, especially at night. If you are very bloated wind can press against your diaphragm, making you feel breathless as it takes more effort for your lungs to expand.

Fizzy drinks can be to blame, and if the problem occurs often you may need to change your dietary habits: avoid spicy, fatty and fried foods, processed junk foods, coffee, tea and alcohol – but do drink enough fluids. Eat smaller meals, more often, the last at least three hours before you go to bed.Gallstones, an inflamed gall bladder or irritable bowel syndrome can also give night-time chest pain

Other Causes

 

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