What causes a sharp pain in the chest?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2013-04-12 11:22:40

Chest pain can arise from anything in the chest from the skin to

the muscles and other connective tissue of the chest wall to the

organs such as the lung and its lining, the esophagus, the heart

itself and the sack around the heart.

Sharp pains are usually from a problem with the muscles, tendons,

ligaments etc. or the lining of the lung. If it is mostly when you

move the arm or torso is it probably from the muscles and ligaments

while sharp pains from the lung lining (pleurisy) usually cause

pain with taking deep breaths.

Cardiac chest pain (from the heart) is classically described as

a tightness or pressure. People often object to calling it "pain"

and are more willing to endorse describing it as "discomfort". "An

elephant sitting on my chest" is a common description. It is often

accompanied by nausea, sweating, shortness of breath and a feeling

of impending doom. Unfortunately, the same nerves that go to the

heart also go to the end of the esophagus and so heartburn can

mimic a heart attack perfectly.

Some distinguishing factors betwen heart burn and heart pain is

that heartburn is usually while at rest, especially wiht lying

down, and often after eating large meals. Walking, belching and

drinking liquids often make it better. Cardiac chest pain is

usually worse with activity.

Ocassionally, especially in women, sharp pains can be coming from

the heart. If the pain is persistent (going on for more than a few

days), severe, worse with exertion or accompanied by dizziness,

shortness of breath, palpitations (rapid heart rates) or fever you

should call your doctor.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.