When most people think of chest pain or experience it, they often think the worst and believe it always means a heart attack is coming. However, there are other conditions and acute events that can cause pain in your chest. But, before we go any further, understand that if you having chest pain and don’t know the cause, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Furthermore, the signs of a heart attack for women can be different from those experienced by men. For your general information, here are some causes of chest pain that aren’t a heart attack.
****Keep in mind, just because you may not be having a heart attack doesn’t mean that there isn’t something wrong in your body. Any chest pain needs to be taken seriously and investigated by a professional if there is no logical explanation and it persists.
Causes Of Chest Pain That Aren’t A Heart Attack #1: Chest Muscle Strain
Just like any other muscle in the body, chest and back muscles that support your ribcage and spine can be overused. Furthermore, when you strain the muscles in your chest, it can feel strange and concerning, especially if it’s over your heart. And, as I said before unless you know it’s just a muscle issue, it’s always best to get chest pain checked out by a doctor. If you have been moving heavy things and working out your upper body a lot lately, your muscles in this area are likely to get sore. That said, they should recover fairly quickly with rest and proper care.
Causes Of Chest Pain That Aren’t A Heart Attack #2: Shingles
Shingles is an infection similar to chickenpox but is one that generally affects the adult population. Like chickenpox, it results in an itchy and often painful rash, but before this appears, you may get a tingling and painful feeling in the area of skin where your rash will appear. If this happens in the chest area, you may mistake the feeling for symptoms of a heart attack. It’s important that you visit your doctor right away if you experience this type of sensation and rash. Shingles can be serious and have devastating effects on the body.
Causes Of Chest Pain That Aren’t A Heart Attack #3: Heartburn/Indigestion
Heartburn occurs when stomach content comes up into the esophagus and causes a burning, tight sensation. This is also referred to as acid reflux in some cases. If it comes on unexpectedly, it can be mistaken for heart attack symptoms. Again, if you are not sure, seek medical help to be sure.
For many individuals, this event happens when they eat too much or a certain type of food. Although acid reflux is fairly common, if it becomes a persistent problem, visit a gastroenterologist. They can suggest remedies to help reduce the pain and any damage.
Causes Of Chest Pain That Aren’t A Heart Attack #4: Panic Attack/Anxiety
If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know just how terrifying they can be. Even if you are not in any cardiovascular danger, your brain tells you otherwise. The sensations feel real and can create physical signs that mimic a heart attack. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, neck pain, tingling in the extremities, irrational thinking and speech, and even visual impairment.
Just like a real cardiovascular event, panic attacks can happen without warning. The first one is always the scariest because you have no reference or history that says it will be OK. Anxiety and panic can happen acutely and never bother you again, however, if it becomes frequent, there may be an underlying cause that needs addressing. If this is the case, start with your primary doctor and explain what you’re experiencing. If further help is needed, he/she can refer you to a mental health professional.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.