Possible Causes of Chest Pain

Most people experience chest pain at one time or another during their life. The pain in a person's chest can range from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing sensation, with different people either shrugging off the pain or panicking that they are experiencing a major medical emergency such as a heart attack. The fact is that chest pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions that can either be non-threatening or quickly fatal.

The potential sources of chest pain are many. One of the most common causes is a problem with a person's heart. Heart-related chest pain usually involves tightness in the chest, pain that radiates to other parts of the body (especially down the left arm), trouble breathing, dizziness, general nausea and the pain coming and going as it varies in its intensity. Lung problems, heartburn, muscle injuries and bone injuries are other common sources of chest pain. Typical symptoms that accompany these types of chest pain include the pain changing in intensity as the person moves, difficulty swallowing, pain when anyone or anything touches the chest, a sour taste in the patient's mouth and pain that intensifies with coughing or breathing deeply.

If you or someone you know is experiencing chest pains, the best thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention. There is a chance the pain is not from anything serious, but there is also a high chance the pain originates from a heart attack or other serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment. Other heart-related causes of chest pain include aortic dissection or the aorta rupturing, angina or a lack of blood flow to the heart and pericarditis or a viral infection irritating the sac that surrounds the heart.

Heartburn is one digestive tract problem that can cause chest pain, as can problems related to gallstones or pancreas esophageal disorders. Chest pain can also originate from a broken rib or inflamed cartilage in the ribcage. Although less likely, conditions such as shingles or even a severe panic attack can also lead to chest pain.