Is Mild Chest Pain Normal

Chest pain can come and go periodically be it every few minutes or over the course of several days. The cause could stem from the heart, digestive system, muscles, or psychological factors.
The underlying cause of chest pain could be something mild like acid reflux. In other cases, the pain could signify something serious, like a heart attack. As such, it is important to recognize the warning signs and related symptoms.

This article will examine some of the potential causes of intermittent chest pain. It will also highlight when to know if the pain is heart-related and when to seek medical attention.

Does the Pain Signal Something Serious?

Chest pain that comes and goes can be related to an issue with the heart, lungs, or gastrointestinal system. In some cases, chest pain coincides with panic or anxiety attacks. Because chest pain cannot be accurately self-diagnosed from symptoms alone, people should visit a doctor if the pain returns, worsens, or is accompanied by other symptoms.

In general, pain lasting for weeks or months is not often caused by something life-threatening. Typically, the issue is related to the skeletal structure or the muscles rather than the heart. Pain related to heart problems are less likely to:

* Last just a few moments
* Be relieved by medication
* Dissipate when breathing deeply
* Affect only a specific area of the chest
* Be relieved by massaging the chest

Causes of Intermittent Chest Pain

Chest pain that comes and goes can have many underlying causes. Even pain related to a heart attack can improve temporarily only to later return. To understand better what is causing chest pain, it is important to examine the symptoms and be aware of the risk factors associated with various medical conditions.

* Gastrointestinal Issues: Several types of gastrointestinal problems can cause pain in the ribs or chest.

Examples include:
Acid reflux – causes burning sensations in the chest.
Gallstones – can lead to sudden, severe pain lasting for multiple hours that goes away and later returns.
Ulcers – cause intermittent pain.

Muscle Pain: Muscle pain due to an injury, tension, or chronic pain syndrome often has related chest pain. Symptoms can vary greatly with pain being dull, sharp, throbbing, shooting, isolated in one location, or radiating outward. Chest pain is more likely to be due to muscle issues if it:

* Improves with massage
* Worsens when breathing deeply or suddenly
* Feels like prior muscle pain

Panic Attack: A scary symptom of panic attacks is the chest pain that can accompany them. For some, the pain feels like a heart attack and like they are dying. Often, these attacks go away after a few minutes or can be remedies with deep breathing.

Respiratory Infection: Respiratory infections, particularly those that cause coughing, can lead to chest pain. Pleurisy, an inflammation of the tissue wrapping outside the lungs, is a condition some people develop after a respiratory infection. Should the patient’s lung or chest pain linger following a respiratory infection, they should seek a doctor for evaluation.

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