Chest pain, especially severe chest pain, can be frightening. It’s important to know why your chest hurts so you can recognize when you’re experiencing an emergency situation. Our team at Phoenix Heart wants you to learn about the different causes of chest pain, when you should be concerned about the chest pain you’re feeling, and when to see a doctor.
Why does my chest hurt?
Although most people associate chest pain with heart problems, chest pain has many other possible causes. Some reasons for chest pain include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Peptic ulcers
- Hiatal hernia
- Respiratory issues
- Blood clots
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Pancreatic complications
- Panic attacks
- Pinched nerve
If you aren’t sure why your chest hurts, a specialist at Phoenix Heart can help you pinpoint the cause.
When should I be concerned about chest pain?
Chest pain may present in many ways. For example, you may experience chest pain that:
- Comes and goes over the course of a few days
- Appears for a few hours or days, then goes away for a while
- Never goes away
- Feels very sharp, like a stab
- Worsens with deep breathing, certain movements, or exercise
- Feels like a constant dull ache
- Burns throughout your entire chest
- Affects only one small area on your chest
- Radiates through your neck, arms, or abdomen
Sometimes, chest pain isn’t a cause for emergency medical care. If you experience low-level chronic chest pain, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss possible causes.
If you experience chronic chest pain that is severe, it is likely a sign of an underlying medical condition. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause.
If you experience sudden, severe chest pain, you may be having a medical emergency, and you should seek medical attention right away.
What to do when your chest hurts
First things first: If you ever think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 or emergency medical services right away.
If your chest pain is particularly severe or persistent, you should see a doctor. A cardiac specialist, like the experts at Phoenix Heart, can help you determine the cause of your chest pain. From there, your doctor would recommend further testing
And even if your chest pain turns out to be nothing serious, seeing a specialist can give you some much-needed peace of mind.
If you’ve been experiencing any kind of chest pain, schedule an appointment with one of the cardiac specialists at Phoenix Heart. Call one of our six Arizona offices, send us a message here on our website, or request an appointment online.