Chest Pain: Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen. Many people with chest pain think it is a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are not dangerous to your health, while other causes are serious and even life threatening.
Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons or nerves. Pain may also spread to the chest from the neck, abdomen and back. Heart or blood vessel problems that can cause chest pain include a heart attack or angina. The most common symptom is chest pain that may feel like tightness, heavy pressure, squeezing, or crushing pain. The pain may spread to the arm, shoulder, jaw, or back.
Chest pain can also be due to digestive system problems such as gastritis, stomach ulcer, heart burn, acid reflux and gallstones. Lung problems can also cause chest pain.
Other causes of chest pain include strain of the muscles and tendons between the ribs, panic attack which often occurs with fast breathing, and shingles which causes sharp, tingling pain on one side that stretches from the chest to the back and may cause a rash. In children, most chest pain is not caused by the heart.
Medical Emergency: Immediately request an ambulance if you think that you or someone else is having a heart attack. Do not worry if you have any doubts about whether it is a heart attack. Paramedics would prefer to be called out to find that an honest mistake has been made than to be called out when it is too late to save a person’s life.