Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

Should You Be Treated for Chest Pains?

  • Category: General
  • Posted On:
Should You Be Treated for Chest Pains?

Should You Be Treated for Chest Pains?

Chest pains are typically an underlying symptom of a more significant medical problem. However, on their own, it’s difficult to determine their root cause, and they can vary in severity. Sometimes, they’re a sign of cardiovascular issues or are simply from acid reflux.

Determining what is causing your chest pains is important, and because they can be closely linked with fatal conditions, they’re not a condition you want to wait to go away on their own. Visiting a medical professional can distinguish what’s causing them and deter them from worsening or leading to a critical health care concern.

What are Chest Pains?

Chest pain is any sharp, dull, burning, aching, stabbing, tightness or squeezing sensation that is felt anywhere around the neck or the upper abdomen. In some cases, your chest pain may be related to the heart, but the pain can also be related to the esophagus, nerves, muscles, lungs or ribs. Some of the primary causes of pain in the chest include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Rib injury
  • Reflux
  • Ulcers
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Asthma
  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Pneumonia

When to Visit a Medical Facility for Chest Pains

Chest pain doesn’t always warrant an emergency room or urgent care visit, but there are times when the pain is severe and overwhelming, and you should go. Seeking medical attention is incredibly important with any pains in the chest that last for more than 15 minutes, especially if they have gradually gotten worse or feel unbearable.

Aside from pain, other symptoms can help inform you whether you should seek immediate treatment:

  • Sudden pain, tightness and squeezing in the chest
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth or abdomen
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Lightheaded or dizziness
  • Sudden sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty speaking, loss of vision or weakness

What Can Chest Pain Be a Sign of?

Chest pain can be a symptom of varying issues, making it difficult to pinpoint its exact cause. However, there are conditions and illnesses associated with chest pain that is important to be aware of. These conditions can be serious and life-threatening if not treated immediately. These include:

Heart Attacks

A heart attack occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. Often, a heart attack will happen suddenly, in addition to symptoms like tightness in the chest, pain that goes down the arms or into the neck and jaw and shortness of breath. Other symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sudden sweating
  • Abdominal pain

Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a developed blood clot blocks a lung artery. The clot makes it difficult for the lungs to get oxygen to the rest of the body and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sharp chest pain with shortness of breath
  • Sudden shortness of breath without pain
  • Coughing up small amounts of blood
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Severe anxiety

Aortic Dissection

Tears in the inner layers of the aorta is an aortic dissection. The aorta is an artery with three layers carrying blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. When it tears, blood rushes through, causing the layers to separate and divert blood from its natural flow. Symptoms include:

  • Severe chest or back pain is often described as a ripping or tearing sensation
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Weakness
  • Loss of vision
  • Heavy sweating
  • Weak pulse in one arm

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care Delivers Quality Medical Care

If it feels like your condition is a true emergency, call 911 immediately. If you're experiencing pain or chest pain, seek medical attention and visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care.

The medical team at Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care will help you determine whether you need to be seen as an emergency room patient or an urgent care patient, and we only bill for the care you need. Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care emergency room is open 24/7. The urgent care is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Appointments are not necessary - walk in, and our health care professionals are ready to help.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care Navarre is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses that deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room in Navarre can provide effective treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays and ultrasound.