Chest pain can be emotionally distressing as well as painful. While heart problems are often the first suspects when chest pain strikes, this pain may have other sources. The following are 12 possible causes of chest pain. Be sure to seek medical attention if you suffer persistent chest pain or if the pain is accompanied by fever, chills, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. Call 911 if you experience a squeezing sensation in the chest that spreads to your neck, back, or arm. Other signs you need emergency medical attention are pain accompanied by shortness of breath, confusion, excessive sweating, or low blood pressure.
12. Heart Attack
When suffering a heart attack, early medical attention is key to a strong recovery. The American Heart Association lists five warning signs of a heart attack. One sign of heart attack is pain, tightness, squeezing, or pressure in the chest. The second sign is a sensation of dizziness or lightheadedness that may be accompanied by vomiting. Warning sign number three is pain that radiates to the jaw, back, or neck. The fourth warning sign of a heart attack is pain or discomfort of the shoulder or arm. Lastly, shortness of breath can be a sign of a heart attack. In these circumstances, call 911.
11. Panic Attack
A panic attack can imitate the symptoms of a heart attack, increasing the stress level of those it strikes. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines a panic attack as “an onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes.” This feeling of intense fear is accompanied by several other symptoms, which may include heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Those who suffer from panic attacks may find relief through the use of relaxation techniques, medications, and the avoidance of triggers.