Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Why You Should Never Ignore Chest Pain

Is it heartburn or a heart attack? That might be the question circling your mind when you’re experiencing chest pain. Given that a heart attack may be causing your discomfort is reason enough why you should never ignore chest pain. 

At South Mountain Cardiology, our cardiology specialist, Dr. Nadeem Husain, has extensive experience uncovering the cause of chest pain. Whether it’s heart-related or not, knowing the source of your discomfort can help you get the right treatment.

Here, we want to share with you some of the causes of chest pain, and why it’s a symptom you should never ignore.

Causes of chest pain

Many health conditions cause chest pain. Some are less serious than others. However, chest pain is a common symptom of life-threatening conditions that involve the heart and lungs.

What’s causing your chest pain? Here’s a list of conditions that cause this common but serious symptom: 

Chest pain may develop from any problem that affects the organs or structures located in your chest or upper abdominal area. Heartburn may not be a serious health concern, but if your chest pain is from a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism, then your life may be in danger.

Chest pain symptoms

When trying to figure out what’s causing your chest pain, we want to know more about your pain. The type, location, frequency, and severity of your chest discomfort tell us a lot about what might be going on. 

Chest pain symptoms vary and may present in many ways, such as:

Though we may be able to get a general sense of what’s causing your chest pain based on your symptoms, we conduct diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out our suspicions. Symptoms alone may not provide a complete picture.

Is it your heart?

Heart attacks can cause sudden, unexpected, intense chest pain. However, these obvious symptoms aren’t the norm. 

Heart-related chest pain may develop slowly, starting out as a mild discomfort. Or, you may have mild chest pain that lasts a few minutes and then goes away. Your heart-related condition may cause pain in other areas of your body, like your arms, jaw, or neck. 

Chest pain that occurs during physical activity and goes away when you rest is one of the telltale signs of coronary artery disease. This type of chest pain, known as angina, means your heart muscle may not be getting enough oxygen-rich blood. 

During a heart attack, the arteries are blocked, preventing the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your heart, leading to tissue damage or tissue death. 

Chest pain is a common symptom of many health problems. But because the symptom may be a potentially life-threatening condition involving your heart, it’s not one you should ignore.

If you suspect you or someone you love is having a heart attack, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. 

We also perform a number of diagnostic tests to assess heart health and function that can confirm or rule out heart disease as the cause of your chest pain, including stress tests and echocardiograms. 

Any time you experience chest pain and you’re unsure of the cause, you should seek medical help. If you have concerns about heart health, we can provide the answers you need. Call our office in Tempe, Arizona, or schedule an appointment using our “book online” button today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Telehealth: The Advantages of Telemedicine

Struggles to get to the clinic? Trying to reduce your exposure to COVID-19, as well as other contagious illnesses, and still need to see your doctor? Telehealth is safe and easy — receive quality care from anywhere.