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Chest Pain

Up to 40% of people experience chest pain at some point in their life. The best known reason for chest pain is heart attack, but there are a long list of other causes as well and that’s why you need the experts at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center to find causes and deliver solutions. There are offices in Dearborn, Detroit, and Trenton, Michigan, and a diagnostic and imaging center in Trenton, so call the one nearest you or book an appointment online now.

Chest Pain Q & A

What does chest pain feel like?

Chest pain can vary quite a bit, with the pain ranging from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation. You may experience a sensation of pressure or squeezing as well. Alongside the chest pain, you could have pain in nearby areas like your neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, or back.

What causes chest pain?

Chest pain has many causes, including serious heart problems. Some of the most common causes of heart-related chest pain include:

  • Heart attack: Blood flow to the heart is cut off
  • Angina: Too little blood flows to the heart
  • Aortic dissection: Rupture in the inner layers of the aorta
  • Pericarditis: Inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart

Many non-cardiac conditions can cause chest pain as well, including digestive system problems like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and lung conditions like pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma. Panic attacks and many other issues can lead to chest pain as well.

In general, chest pain in the right side of your chest (away from your heart) is more likely to be a lung problem, while chest pain that gets better as you move around is more likely to be GERD or another digestive problem. All chest pain requires an evaluation and proper diagnosis. 

How is chest pain diagnosed?

Some common initial tests to diagnose chest pain include electrocardiogram (EKG), blood tests, chest X-ray, and computed tomography (CT).

Based upon your initial test results, the ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team may order tests such as echocardiogram, positron emission tomography (PET), nuclear stress test, or coronary catheterization (angiogram).

You could also need other tests based upon the specific disease or condition you’re dealing with.

How is chest pain treated?

Chest pain treatment can vary widely according to the underlying cause. You may need lifestyle changes or oral medication like blood thinners or artery-relaxing drugs. 

In some cases, you could need a procedure to repair a cardiovascular problem or stop progression of a serious condition, which may in turn ease your chest pain. 

A few examples of surgical procedures that can help with chest pain include thrombectomy for a pulmonary embolism, angioplasty and stenting to open a blocked artery, or bypass surgery to reroute blood around a blocked artery.

For help with chest pain, call ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center or click on the provided link now.