What You Need To Know About Upper Chest Pains

Upper chest pain otherwise known as upper chest discomfort, upper chest pressure or upper chest tightness refers to any discomfort feels on the chest. This is the area between the neck and the upper abdomen on the front part of the body. This kind of chest pain may sometimes spread to other parts of the body namely the abdomen and the back.

Though most people associate upper chest pain with heart attacks, this is not always the case. Upper chest can occur due to several other reasons. Most causes of pain in the upper part of the chest fall into three main categories, heart problems, lung problems and digestive tract problems. There are a few of these causes that do not fall in any of the above categories.

Heart problems that result to upper chest pains are several and include:

• Angina. This refers to a condition which results when blood vessels to the heart are blocked reducing the adequate flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.
• Inflammation or infection of the sac around the heart a condition known as pericarditis.
• Thickening of the heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).
• Coronary artery dissection etc.

Other than heart problems, other factors that cause upper chest pain are:


Lung problems: some of the lung problems that can cause pain in the upper chest include pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), pneumonia, inflammation of the lining around the lungs, asthma, pneumothorax that occurs when there’s an injury to the chest among others.
Strain of the muscles between the ribs.
• Panic attacks. This is mostly accompanied by rapid breathing.
• Ulcers of the stomach.
• Shingles.
• Heartburns
• Pulmonary embolism
• Pulmonary hypertension.

Upper chest pains can be treated but how doctors go about this depends on what caused the pain. It is sometimes difficult to determine the cause of this pain and as a result, several tests are carried out to determine the cause. Of these, examples include CT scan, blood tests, X-Rays among others web link. The professional treating this disease may sometimes want to listen to the chest. Chest x-rays may also be conducted to look for any internal problems such as lung collapses or fractures of the ribs. The X-rays are also done to ensure that there are no other injuries associated or identify any that may be present. In some cases, a doctor may need to gather the medical history of the patient to diagnose and treat upper chest pain. Pains in the upper section of the heart are sometimes cases of medical emergencies. It is therefore advisable to seek professional medical care when these pains occur.

When upper chest pains are accompanied by symptoms like fevers and chills, very low heart rate or low pressure, rapid heartbeat and breathing rate, swallowing difficulties, coughing up yellow mucus, dizziness and nausea or pain that spreads to the jaw, arms etc., you may want to call a doctor as the condition may be critical. Upper chest pains are common but the trick to managing them is early diagnosis of the cause and treatment by a professional medical doctor.

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David Smith

David Smith

David Smith is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for http://thefactoryfitnessclub.com. He loves to share his knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.

Website: www.thefactoryfitnessclub.com