That niggling ache in your chest has you worried. You recently found out that a young colleague of yours suffered from a heart attack and now you think it might be you. It is quite natural to feel this way. But always remember, there are numerous causes of chest pain, and heart disease is just one of them.
Here are some of the other reasons why your chest might be hurting. 1. Muscular chest pain Had you been lifting anything heavy or did you sleep in an odd posture the night before? Because the chest pain you have been experiencing might be related to the muscles in your chest. Chest pain can be experienced if the wall of the chest experiences some form of injury. This could include a torn or twisted ligament, injury to cartilage or a rib fracture. The way to determine if the pain is muscular is that this kind of pain can be reproduced when the area is pressed. This is not the case in cardiac pain. 2. Acid Reflux When we eat food, the st omach releases acid that helps in digestion. In some people, a small amount of this acid crawls back up the food pipe, causing irritation and a burning pain. The pain is typically in the midline of the chest, and if often worse after meals. Acid reflux of this sort is also called ‘GERD’, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. It can be treated by keeping meal sizes small and taking antacids. 3. Pericarditis
The pericardium is a protective casing around the heart. A few conditions can cause this layer to become quite inflamed and red. This can lead to pain in the chest which can sometimes be quite distressing. However, it is reassuring to know that the presence of pericarditis does not necessarily mean you have heart disease. Despite it being an important aspect of cardiology, pericarditis can also be seen in patients who are on kidney dialysis. The pain is worse when lying down and is relieved when sitting up. The pain improved with the use of painkillers. Cardiac investigations may show certain changes. Closing Remarks ‘Heart pain’ or chest pain that occurs in the area around the heart does not necessarily imply the presence of heart disease. There are other causes, the important 3 of which have been listed above.