Pain in the chest is a typical complaint in patients with heart problems, but often it occurs in other conditions that are completely unrelated to the cardiovascular system. This symptom is so common and so general that even experienced doctors cannot always determine what is it hurt. Nevertheless, such sensations are different, and a clear specification of complaints makes it much easier to determine its cause.
When you are going to see a doctor, you should answer for yourself clearly some questions about chest pain. This will help not only save the doctor's time, but also increase the probability of setting the right diagnosis. So, below is a series of questions to which you should pay attention.
1. When the painful sensations first appeared.
It is divided into acute - that is, those that emerged very recently, and chronic - those that bother the person for many days, weeks, and sometimes years. This question is usually not difficult to answer, but it happens that patients who have consulted about acute form, after leading questions in memory, emerge episodes of such pains a year or two ago. Under acute pain is not meant the nature of it and not your sensations, namely the limitation period.
2. The place where it hurts.
The thorax is a fairly large part of the body, inside it there are certain organs such as the lungs, large arteries, esophagus, a lot of nerve trunks and endings, so a clear definition of the painful area is extremely important. So, for example:
• It almost always indicates that there is a musculoskeletal problem;
• Diffuse form in the middle of the chest can allow one to suspect heart disease;
• Back pain can be associated with the problem of the spine;
• On the right side is not characteristic of the heart.
Sometimes people can mistakenly call it complaints that actually occur in the upper part of the abdomen or neck. Of course, that when you visit a doctor you will indicate by hand where it hurts, but if you are looking for information in the medical literature and the Internet, then you need to know the exact name of the area in which pain arises.
Chest pains for few seconds, in the vast majority of cases, are not associated with the heart. If it lasts from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour can be associated with atherosclerosis of the blood vessels. If the duration is several hours without stopping, then this usually indicates that the problem is not in the vessels. It can be associated with disease of the spine and lungs. On the other hand, in a heart attack it can also last for hours, but with it the patient's condition should be very heavy.
4. The nature of pain in the chest.
• Stitching pains - are found mainly with problems with the spine and are associated with traumatism of the nerve roots.
• Pressing form is always suspicious of angina.
• Burning - requires the exclusion of such a disease as angina, although in fact it is often found that it is just heartburn.
• Discomfort in the chest - this kind is most dangerous, since many patients do not consider it pain at all, but in reality this discomfort can be a sign not only of angina pectoris, but even of MI.
5. Provoking factors.
• If it is associated with eating and swallowing - suggests a disease of the stomach and esophagus.
• If it is related to the position of the body or the raising of hands is almost always associated with the pathology of the musculoskeletal system.
• If it occurs when walking, running or any other physical or emotional stress is very suspicious of angina.
• Associated with breathing is usually a consequence of problems with the spine or lung disease involving the near-pulmonary bag - the pleura.
• Associated with high blood pressure is usually due to overload of the heart and stretching of large arteries.
6. Factors contributing to chest pain relief.
• Pain that decreases after drinking or eating, of course, will not be associated with serious disease.
• After physical stress is an alarming symptom, indicating that the heart was suffering from a lack of oxygen - ischemia.
• If it facilitated by a change in body position - indicates a problem with the spine.
• When the torso is tilted forward is characteristic of the inflammation of the pericardium sac, a pericardium.
7. Does it hurt other parts of the body?
Sometimes it can cause pain in other parts of the body - irradiate. It is not always easy to determine where the main source is, but nevertheless this is an important factor. The left arm, the left part of the neck and lower jaw (sometimes in the teeth) and the area between the shoulder blades should always be alerted in terms of ischemia.
8. What medications help to reduce chest pain?
Of course, the "normal patient" will never go to the doctor without trying a few different pills, as well as not taking advantage of the advice of friends and neighbors. Sometimes people buy such medications in safe online pharmacies but also it is important not only to remove consequences but the reason. Paradoxically, this information is also useful. For example:
• The effect of taking drugs that reduce the acidity of the stomach will show its relationship with the disease of the digestive tract;
• If it almost immediately disappears or decreases after taking nitroglycerin then it indicates a probable problem with the arteries.
• If it is well removed with drugs from the group of anti-inflammatory drugs will speak in favor of musculoskeletal problems.
9. The severity.
It seems easy, because the more pain, the faster you need to go to the doctor and it's hard to argue. But it also happens that unbearable severe chest pain can be the result of an inoffensive osteochondrosis, while as a minor discomfort it can be the first sign of an MI, so you cannot even say anything unambiguously.
Thus, we came to the conclusion that not everything is so clear: it is important to assess the pain by all the above criteria and compare it with the age, the patient's sex, the presence of such risk factors as high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, communication with another symptoms and already known diseases. This task requires special knowledge, training and experience. Only after such a comprehensive analysis the doctor can make a conclusion about the probability of a diagnosis. Then the doctor will appoint an appropriate qualifying examination to determine exactly the causes or, at least, to exclude life-threatening conditions. Usually in practice they do so - exclude the most dangerous, and then without haste and panic continue the examination, knowing that the patient's health and life are not threatened.
So you saw for yourself that with this, like a common symptom at first glance, it's not so simple, and without an expert you will not always be able to deal with this problem.