When Should You Worry About Chest Pain?

In this blog, we will talk about when chest pains become concerning and when should you start worrying about them. Chest pains are frightening and painful but that does not mean that you need to run into the emergency room for the slightest tweaks in your chest. 

At the same time and much more importantly you do not want to stay home because you think your chest pain is no big deal. We are going to discuss the different kinds of chest pain that you may suffer from and when to go to the doctor. If you have any doubt while you are experiencing pain, the best thing to do is call 911. 

When Should You Worry About Chest Pain?

You are not wired the same way in your chest as you are wired in your fingers and toes. If you get a cut on your finger, then you will feel pain right over that very spot. It is not like that in the chest. 

You can be having a severe heart problem or a lung problem and you may have pain all over the place with a vague uneasiness and pressure. And since your chest is not wired the same,  the reason for your chest pain is mostly confusing. If you have other problems like diabetes, previous heart disease, lung disease which will cloud your judgement further. 

The three types of chest pain that you do not have to worry about are:

  • If chest pain gets better when you exercise then it is probably nothing to worry about. Almost no severe chest pain is going to get better if you exercise. So if you go for a walk, you get on a rolling machine and your pain gets better then it is nothing to worry about. 

  • If you have a pin point pain in your chest it is almost never a problem. If you have to point out the location of your pain, you should not worry about it. You may still need to see your doctor if the pain continues to stay, it is generally nothing to do with your major organs like the heart or the lungs. 
  • If you have a pain that is a quick shooting pain or an electrical shock that travels from one point to another in your body then that is virtually never a problem to worry about.  You can still see a doctor if it concerns you and get to know more about it, but you need not worry. 

Also Read: Breast Cancer 101

The types of chest pain you should worry about and be concerned about are mentioned below. These pains can be life takers and should concern you regardless of gender and age. You have to take these pains seriously. 

Be Concerned If: 

  • If you have chest pains with shortness of breath is a red alert. You may breathless and have chest pains at the same time like say after walking up the stairs you need to immediately go to the doctor and get it checked. The problem could be with your heart or a combined problem of the heart and the lung and it as a bad sign. Do not wait to see your doctor. 
  • If you have chest pain and you also have swelling in your ankles, feet and your legs. If you are even nearly uncomfortable in your legs you should go to the doctor immediately. That is hard unless proven otherwise. 
  • The chest pain that we should typically worry about is a squeezing pain and a pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest or somebody is giving you a bear hug. This is a classic reason that doctors worry about. Do not hesitate and go see a doctor.
  • If your chest pain gets worse with exercise. The exercise here does not mean running on the treadmill but the chest pain you will have while you carry a grocery bag on a flight of stairs or lift something substantial for a long distance. 

If any form of walking gives you chest pains then that is Angina until proven otherwise. This is a red flag and you need to see your doctor. Chest pain that can kill you is almost never a sharp shooting short term pain.

With the two exceptions, if you are a diabetic all bets are off because one thing that diabetes does is causes neuropathy. Diabetics know what neuropathy feels like which is a numb, tingly discomfort. 

But you can also have neuropathy in chest nerves as well and you might not have any of the classic symptoms at all. If you as a severe or a newly diagnosed diabetic have any discomfort in your nose all the way down to your toes, you have to go to the emergency department to make sure that the pain is nothing to be concerned off. 

Women do not have the classic middle of the chest substernal chest pain. Women can have shoulder pain, they can have upper belly pain, they can have any of these kinds of pain. It does not necessarily mean that you will have a heart attack but you should be extra careful in terms of these pains. 

So if you as a woman have any discomfort from your nose to your navel then you should go see your doctor if it is severe enough. The pain may be in one or both your arms, the jaw, the back, and the neck. 

Other symptoms can be breaking out of cold sweat, feeling nauseous and dizzy. Many times women think that the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable, but in fact, they can be subtler and sometimes confusing. You have to go to a doctor to make sure you are not having a heart attack. 

Tags: Chest Pain Remedies, Chest Pain When Breathing, How To Know If Chest Pains Are Serious, How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular