Most causes of chest pain aren’t serious heart problems, but sometimes chest pain is an indication of cardiac conditions that need attention. If you have chest pain, you should visit board-certified cardiology and interventional cardiology specialists Rakesh Sahni, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, of Sahni Heart Center in Clark, Red Bank, Fords, and City of Orange, New Jersey. Having chest pain can be a scary experience when you don’t know what’s causing it, and it’s natural to think about your heart. Find out more by making an appointment by phone today. You can also use the online form to book at Sahni Heart Center’s Clark, New Jersey, office.

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What causes chest pain?

There are numerous possible causes of chest pain, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Angina
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pericarditis
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Gallstones
  • Costochondritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injured ribs
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE)
  • Pleurisy
  • Panic attacks

As the causes of chest pain are so numerous and could involve your digestive, musculoskeletal, or respiratory systems, you should visit Sahni Heart Center for an expert diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of heart-related chest pain?

Often the first thought, when you have chest pain, is to worry that it’s your heart. Chest pain is one of the main symptoms of a heart attack, which causes pain that patients describe as crushing or searing.

The pain typically radiates down one or sometimes both arms, and can spread into your back, neck, head, and shoulders.

Heart attack pain is lasting and worsens if you try and do anything physical. It might vary in intensity and come and go, but is likely to get worse. You could also experience a feeling of tightness in your chest, and other symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have symptoms similar to these, you should seek emergency medical attention.

How is chest pain diagnosed?

If you have chest pain, the first step is to rule out a potentially life-threatening problem like a heart attack. You might need to have:

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood tests
  • A chest X-ray
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan)

If these tests detect a serious condition, you receive prompt treatment that can minimize the risks of complications and after-effects as well as saving your life.

If your chest pain isn’t due to an emergency like a heart attack, you might need to undergo further tests, such as an echocardiogram, coronary catheterization (angiogram), CT coronary angiogram, or nuclear stress tests.

It’s critical to have any tests that are recommended to ensure you receive the right treatment for your chest pain.

How is chest pain treated?

The treatment you receive for your chest pain is dependent on what’s causing the problem but could include medications such as:

  • Artery relaxer nitroglycerine
  • Aspirin
  • Thrombolytic clot-busting drugs
  • Blood thinners like heparin
  • Acid-suppressing medications
  • Antidepressants

You might require surgery for some causes of chest pain, for example, angioplasty and stent placement, bypass surgery, or coronary artery graft bypass surgery (CAGB).

Most causes of chest pain aren’t a matter of life and death, but because some can be deadly, you should always have chest pain checked out. Call Sahni Heart Center today to find out more, or book online for an appointment at the Clark, New Jersey, office.