Go See a Doctor About Your Chest Pain

Does chest pain automatically mean a heart attack? It is easy to think that when you experience chest discomfort but there are different causes of chest pain, and many have nothing to do with the heart muscle. It is also just as easy to think it can’t be a heart attack because you’re healthy and young but that’s not true either. The fact is heart attack symptoms vary from person to person, too. All that indicates you need to see a doctor about your chest pain and not make excuses. Consider four reasons people use to try to avoid going to a doctor when they have chest pain.

 

1. The pain will probably go away.

Pain that fades over time does not rule out heart problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. Often heart-related chest pain does go away for a while and then comes back again later. The pain may also vary in intensity, so it’s still there, but you don’t feel it as much making it easier to ignore.

It’s important to keep in mind that myocardial infarction, the clinical name for a heart attack, is not the only thing that could be wrong with the heart muscle, too, which might explain the change in your pain level.

Chest pain can be from:

  • Angina – An indication of reduced blood flow to the heart and often the precursor to a heart attack.
  • Aortic dissection – The main artery leading up to the heart begins to split apart causing pain. An aortic dissection is just as a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.
  • Pericarditis – Pericarditis means there is inflammation in the sac around the heart.

The only way to rule out these potentially deadly medical problems is to see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

 

2. It can’t be my heart; I’m too young.

Age is a risk factor for heart attacks because older people develop heart disease. There are other reasons that people have heart attacks, though, so the young are still at risk. For example, firefighters have a high risk of heart attack due to physical exertion.

Some other risk factors for a heart attack include:

  • Blood clot either from a medical problem or trauma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Congenital defect
  • Drug use
  • High blood pressure

Age increases your risk but young, physically fit people do still have heart attacks.

 

3. It is probably just gas.

That might be true, but even so, you still need to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. There are digestive issues that can lead to chest pain that can be serious, too, like pancreatitis, gallbladder disease or GERD.

Stomach and heart problems are not the only things that cause chest pain, either. That pain might be due to another life-threatening medical problem such as:

  • Pulmonary embolism – A blood clot in the lungs
  • Pneumothorax – Collapsed lung
  • Pleurisy – Inflammation of the membranes around the lungs
  • Pneumonia – Infection of the lungs

They all require medical treatment.

 

4. I don’t have the time right now.

It does take time to see a doctor but chances are the chest pain is slowing you down more than you realize, anyway. There may be other symptoms with the chest pain that you are not taking into account, too, like:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

There maybe radiating pain, too, in the shoulders, jaw or arms. That pain is distracting and can make it hard to think clearly. On top of all that, there is the underlying sense of panic that maybe you are having a heart attack and you might die or not be able to support yourself and family anymore. Fear is paralyzing whether you realize it or not. By going to the doctor, you can figure out what is causing your pain and go from there.

 

Of course, a heart attack is the worse case scenario when it comes to chest pain. Once you rule out the serious problems, the most likely cause is muscle strain. Contact BackFit today for a complimentary assessment and get the answer you need about your chest pain.