Pain in any part of your chest can be sharp or dull, long-lasting or short-lived. Because your chest houses your heart, you might feel a sense of concern regardless of the features of your chest discomfort.
Chest pain isn’t always a sign of something serious or even heart-related. However, it’s essential to be aware of the possible heart-related causes of chest pain so you can get checked out right away if you experience a problem.
Board-certified internist and cardiologist Jeffrey H. Graf, MD, can monitor your heart health and treat you for chest pain at his private practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Always updating his expertise with the latest research and interventions, Dr. Graf provides top-of-the-line cardiology care.
Recognizing chest pain when it’s severe
Medical providers seek to first rule out the most severe causes of chest pain. While millions of people go to the hospital every year concerned about severe or long-lasting chest pain, it is a minority that turn out to be from a heart attack or unstable angina, which indicates an impending heart attack.
It is best to get medical attention for undiagnosed chest pain just in case it is cardiac in origin. It’s especially important to seek medical attention if your chest pain comes with other potential heart complication symptoms.
Contact Dr. Graf to get checked out if you have chest pain with or without:
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Pain, numbness, and other sensations in your neck, arms, or back
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble breathing
It’s also important to note that not everyone who has a heart complication experiences chest pain as a symptom.
Additionally, chest pain originating in your heart might not be a heart attack. Other causes of cardiac/cardiovascular chest pain include aortic aneurysms, coronary artery disease, pericarditis, and other types of heart disease. Dr. Graf performs a detailed evaluation to identify the causes of any of your symptoms, and he can provide treatment to prevent complications.
When chest pain doesn’t come from your heart
Some chest pain doesn’t originate in your heart but rather comes from other organs or muscles in your chest cavity. The most common cause of all chest pain is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or chronic heartburn.
Despite the name “heartburn,” GERD happens when the lower part of your esophagus weakens and gasses or acid from your stomach flow upward to irritate the esophageal lining. While GERD is less severe than heart complications, you should still mention it to your physician.
You might also develop chest pain from:
- Hiatal hernia
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
The majority of these and other chest pain causes still require medical attention, so in short, you should visit Dr. Graf any time you experience chest pain so he can discover the underlying cause.
Dr. Graf’s office is equipped with advanced diagnostic tools to determine what’s behind your chest pain. Whether it’s heartburn or a chronic health issue, he can evaluate you and make suggestions that will help resolve the issue at hand. Contact Jeffrey H. Graf, MD, today.