When we experience chest pain, a sinking feeling often follows. But chest pain does not always mean the onset of a heart attack. Aside from heart-related problems, WebMD reported that chest pain
can originate in the “lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves” and be felt anywhere between “the neck and the upper abdomen.”
According to WebMD, the causes of chest pain that originate in the lungs include:
The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center noted
- A blood clot in a lung that is creating a blockage
- An inflammation in the lung tissue
- A collapsed lung
- High blood pressure in the lung’s arteries
about a dozen conditions that create heartburn-like sensations in the chest, which can often feel like a heart attack. Because the esophagus connects the throat to the stomach, pain often travels up and down the chest.
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The most common of these ailments is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, which essentially forces food and stomach acid back up into the esophagus, similar to what people refer to as acid reflux. Chest pain from GERD is most acute after eating. GERD has also been connected with adult-onset asthma, according to Cedars-Sinai.
Muscular chest pain can occur because of injury, spasm, or strain. Also, inflammation in the muscle tendons between the ribs can cause chest pain. According to the National Institutes of Health
, a common source of chest pain in the ribs is called costochondritis, a condition in which the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone becomes inflamed.
Nerve pain in the chest most often occurs when the nerves get pinched or irritated, according to the Austin Pain Associates
Two causes of chest pain not associated with the heart and other five areas where chest pain originates are panic attacks and shingles, a viral infection related to chicken pox.
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The Merck Manual, a medical reference
for physicians and consumers, says: “Chest pain that lasts for seconds (less than 30 seconds) is rarely caused by a heart disorder. People with very brief chest pain need to see a doctor, but emergency services are usually not needed.”
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