How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular?

How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular
Final Thought – If you want to know how to tell if chest pain is muscular, simply take a look at your physical activities. Pulled or strained chest muscles typically occur shortly after strenuous exercise or sports. However, if your chest pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness or fainting, it may not be muscular. And in those instances, it may be best to seek emergency attention.

What do muscular chest pains feel like?

Heart-related chest pain – Although chest pain is often associated with heart disease, many people with heart disease say they have a vague discomfort that isn’t necessarily identified as pain. In general, chest discomfort related to a heart attack or another heart problem may be described by or associated with one or more of the following:

Pressure, fullness, burning or tightness in your chest Crushing or searing pain that spreads to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back, or varies in intensity Shortness of breath Cold sweats Dizziness or weakness Nausea or vomiting

How long does muscular chest pain last?

How long can a muscle strain in the chest last? This depends on the severity of the strain. If your strain is mild, expect it to resolve within a few days or weeks. Severe strains can take 2 months or longer to heal.

Where is chest muscle pain located?

Overview Chest wall pain is the type that feels like it’s coming from your breast, rib cage, or a muscle in your chest. The chest wall usually refers to the structures surrounding and protecting your lungs, including your ribs and sternum. You may feel pain only when you do certain movements or only if pressure is applied to your chest wall.

You can feel it on one side of your chest or spread across a wide area. If you go to the emergency room for chest wall pain, most doctors will want to make sure your pain isn’t being caused by a heart attack or another serious problem. While a heart attack can cause chest wall pain, more commonly, chest wall pain is caused by other conditions, including muscle, lung, or digestive issues.

How long your chest wall pain lasts and what treatment you receive depends on what’s causing it.

When should I be worried about chest pain?

When to See the Doctor for Chest Pain – When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet. Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain:

A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastboneChest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or backSudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivityNausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweatingVery low blood pressure or very low heart rate

Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucusProblems swallowingSevere chest pain that does not go away

How do you rule out non-cardiac chest pain?

What risk factors are associated with noncardiac chest pain? – Correlation, but not causation, has been shown between noncardiac chest pain and:

High, or tobacco use.,

If you experience chest pain that resembles cardiac chest pain, you should go to the emergency room. On arrival, you’ll receive a complete physical exam that measures all of your, including and, Then you’ll be screened for heart attack or heart disease.

  1. Tests include an — a noninvasive test that records your heart’s electrical activity — and,
  2. Your heart releases certain proteins when a heart attack occurs that will show up in a blood test.
  3. Only when cardiac factors have been ruled out will you be diagnosed with noncardiac chest pain.
  4. Once a cardiologist or your primary care provider has ruled out cardiac causes, you’ll likely be referred to a gastroenterologist next.

They’ll test you for esophagus-based causes, starting with GERD. One way of testing is to send you home with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI), a highly effective medicine for GERD. If the PPI relieves your symptoms, it can also confirm their cause. Other tests may include a, an, an or,

  1. In addition to physical tests, your healthcare provider will take a medical history and ask about your stress and emotional factors.
  2. Effective treatment depends on identifying the cause of your noncardiac chest pain.
  3. Some options include: Acid reflux treatments If your noncardiac chest pain is, like most people’s, from GERD, treatment is usually simple and effective.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) are the most commonly used medicine to treat GERD. PPIs reduce the amount of stomach acid that your glands secrete, which also allows ulcers and acidic corrosion to heal. Treatment usually begins with a high dosage to control your symptoms, then continues with a low dosage for two to four months.

  1. PPIs are about 90% effective in treating GERD and its side effects.
  2. If they are ineffective, it probably means that your NCCP is caused by something else.
  3. Pain blockers The next most common and effective treatment for noncardiac chest pain is a medicine that blocks the pain signals.
  4. These are usually from a class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), used in much lower dosages than they are used to treat depression.

If side effects prevent you from tolerating TCAs, other categories of might work. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have shown some promise in treating NCCP, although they are less well-established than TCAs. Emotional and behavioral therapies Noncardiac chest pain can be related to depression, anxiety or stress.

  • Can help you to work through these problems to reduce the occurrence of chest pain.
  • Can teach you how to change or eliminate the thought patterns that trigger stress or anxiety.
  • Is a guided mind-body therapy that can help you change the way your body responds to certain stimuli, including thoughts.
  • You can also try at home, such as meditation, exercise and relaxation.

A note from Cleveland Clinic Noncardiac chest pain can be scary, especially when it feels like cardiac chest pain. Recurring episodes can be frustrating and interfere with your quality of life. Always take chest pain seriously. Finding the cause of your chest pain might take some investigation, but it’s worthwhile.

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How can you tell the difference between cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain?

Can Chest Pain Be Prevented? – Many forms of chest pain can be prevented. This is true for both cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain. For example, cardiac chest pain may be prevented in individuals that choose not to smoke and live a healthy lifestyle that includes low-fat foods, fiber, and exercise,

  1. Individuals that have risk factors for cardiac disease can reduce their risk and concomitant chest pain by following the instructions and medications provided by their doctor.
  2. Reducing atherosclerosis, the most common cause of cardiac chest pain, results in chest pain prevention.
  3. Like cardiac chest pain, non-cardiac chest pain may be prevented by preventing the underlying causes of pain.

For example, avoiding situations that may increase your risk for pneumonia, chest muscle strain, or chest trauma are ways to prevent non-cardiac chest pain. How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular

Does chest pain feel like a pulled muscle?

When we think of chest pain, we usually think about heart attacks, According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely, which can be fatal.

Heart attack pain can last for hours if untreated. A heart attack is the most serious symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease, CAD can produce a type of chest pain called angina. Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest and typically happens when you are physically exerting yourself.

The discomfort can also be felt in your:


Angina pain may even feel like heartburn, but it is short lived and typically doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes. If you’re experiencing chest pain, it’s important to get it checked out, ASAP. Don’t hesitate to call 911, especially if it’s a new symptom that you’ve never had before, the pain comes and goes, or the pain gets worse.

All chest pain should be checked out by a healthcare professional. They can determine if it’s angina, heart attack pain, or something else. Chest pain isn’t always caused by a heart attach. Some causes can be mild, like heartburn, others can be dangerous, like pancreatitis. You might be wondering how someone could mistake the symptoms of acid reflux for a heart attack, but there’s a reason why it’s called heartburn, after all.

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when a person’s stomach contents—including the gastric acids that help break down food—back up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Stomach acid is highly acidic, hence, the burning sensation behind your breastbone; on the pH scale, it scores about a 1 according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) falling somewhere between battery acid and vinegar.

Our stomachs are lined with protective membranes that shield it from the corrosive effects of acid, while our esophagus is not. The occasional reflux is fairly common and probably nothing to worry about, but if you’re experiencing it twice a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Left untreated over time, GERD can cause asthma, chest congestion, and a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which may increase your chances of developing a rare type of cancer, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

It’s possible for someone to mistake a strained chest muscle for something more serious, like a heart attack, said Christine Jellis, MD, PhD, a Cardiology Specialist at Cleveland Clinic. “I had a patient who came in with chest pain, and he was worried he was having a heart attack,” said Dr. Jellis. “After taking his history, I learned he had moved and hadn’t lifted heavy furniture in years.

But he did the right thing, coming in.” Healthcare providers don’t expect people to be able to tell the difference between a heart attack and a pulled chest muscle, said Dr. Jellis, but a good way to check is that if you can press on the wall of the chest and it feels even more painful, it’s more likely to be a musculoskeletal injury than a problem with your heart.

  • Costochondritis is an inflammation of the tissue (cartilage) connecting your ribs to your breastbone, according to MedlinePlus,
  • It’s a common and benign (or non-threatening) cause of chest wall pain.
  • But if it’s new to you, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a medical professional anyway.
  • Although healthcare providers can’t always pinpoint what triggered the condition, the causes can range from viral infections to chest injuries.

Typically, people feel a type of pressure on their chest wall and—similar to a strained muscle—a tenderness when they press on the area. In this case, a healthcare provider will probably start by taking your medical history and doing a physical exam. “A physician is going to want to rule out cardiac and other serious issues first,” said Dr.

Jellis. “It’ll most likely be a diagnosis by exclusion.” If you do have costochondritis, the pain typically goes away in a few days or weeks; taking over-the-counter painkillers can help. The virus that causes chickenpox lingers in your body long after the spots have faded. In fact, the varicella-zoster virus can reactivate in adulthood (usually in people older than 50) as a disease called shingles,

The first symptoms include itching and burning skin. If the area over the chest is affected, someone might mistake this new pain for a heart attack or other cardiac issue, said Salman Arain, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Houston and the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Texas Medical Center.

  1. A few days later, however, the telltale rash can appear, followed by blisters.
  2. If you think you have shingles, call a healthcare provider ASAP.
  3. Antiviral medications can lessen the pain and shorten the duration of the symptoms, but only if you take them within 72 hours of the rash appearing.
  4. If it’s too late to take antivirals, a healthcare provider can prescribe a prescription painkiller.

Pericarditis is a condition where there is inflammation in the layers of tissue that surround the heart (called the pericardium). In 80%–85% of cases, pericarditis is caused by a viral infection, as reported in a 2022 review published in Current Cardiology Reports.

  1. Other causes include bacterial infections, which are less common, and fungal infections, which are rare, according to MedlinePlus,
  2. Although there can be other causes as well.
  3. Pain is present in most cases and is described as sharp or stabbing.
  4. The pain is located on the left side or front part of the chest, but it can also occur in the neck, shoulder, back, or abdomen.

It’s more intense with lying down, breathing deeply, coughing, or swallowing, and it improves with sitting up and leaning forward, which is unique to this condition. Although pericarditis is usually harmless, according to Dr. Arain, it can really impact your quality of life.

A healthcare provider may diagnose your condition after ordering a CT scan, EKG, or chest X-ray. Chances are, however, your pericarditis will clear up in a few days or weeks simply through resting or taking over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen, which also helps quell inflammation. Just because a person’s chest pain isn’t related to a heart attack doesn’t mean that it isn’t dangerous.

One example: acute pancreatitis—the sudden inflammation of the pancreas, which is located just behind the stomach, says NIDDK, “Intense abdominal pain can radiate up to the chest,” said Dr. Arain. “And the pain from pancreatitis is usually a deep-seated, intense pain.” Oftentimes, pancreatitis occurs when gallstones (hard, pebble-like pieces of material usually made of hardened cholesterol, according to NIDDK ) trigger inflammation in the pancreas—something that’s more likely to occur in women than men.

  1. If you think you have pancreatitis, get medical attention right away; you’ll probably have to stay in the hospital for a few days to get antibiotics, IV fluids, and pain medication.
  2. A healthcare provider will also want to do blood work and order other tests, like a CT scan or abdominal ultrasound.
  3. Chest pain can have a number of pulmonary (lung) causes.
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Because the lungs and heart are both located in the chest, it can be easy to confuse the origin of the pain. Pleuritic chest pain occurs when the lining of your lungs (the pleura) becomes inflamed. This can cause “sudden and intense sharp, stabbing, or burning pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling,” according to a 2017 article published in the American Family Physician,

While not related to a heart attack, this type of chest pain can also be serious and is another reason you’ll want to get your symptoms checked out by a medical professional. Pulmonary embolism is the most common serious cause of pleuritic chest pain and is life threatening. Pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a blockage in a lung artery.

This blockage can damage the lungs and cause low oxygen levels in your blood, which can damage other organs as well, according to MedlinePlus, Pneumonia can also cause pleuritic chest pain. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause, according to MedlinePlus,

  • Chest pain from pneumonia will occur when you breathe or cough.
  • If you’ve had some type of injury or trauma to your chest, a broken or bruised rib can also cause chest pain.
  • Breathing, coughing, and moving your upper body can be very painful if you’ve injured your rib.
  • Having a panic attack can certainly feel like a heart attack; people often believe they’re dying when they are having one.

In addition to chest pain, symptoms can include a pounding heart, sweating, shaking, nausea, dizziness, and a feeling of going crazy. It’s your body’s fight-or-flight response kicking in, according to the American Psychological Association, Panic attacks tend to crop up suddenly with no warning.

Having a family history of panic attacksA history of childhood traumaDealing with major life changes and ongoing stress (such as a serious illness of a loved one)Experiencing a traumatic event (such as a robbery or car accident)

If you think you’ve experienced a panic attack, it can be helpful to visit a healthcare provider. They can rule out any physical issues with your heart, which can help put you at ease. A provider may also refer you to a mental health professional who can help you treat and manage your symptoms.

Can heart related chest pain last for days?

Symptoms of a heart attack – Typical heart pain is a dull, pressure-like or burning sensation. Some people describe a heart attack as feeling like “an elephant is sitting on my chest.” It is sometimes associated with shortness of breath. Heart pain may radiate to the left arm or neck.

  1. If your pain is on your right side, a heart attack is unlikely.
  2. Heart attack pain may start with chest pressure that comes and goes, sometimes with exertion.
  3. If the pain becomes continuous, seek medical attention immediately and consider calling 911.
  4. If you have chest pain constantly for several days, weeks or months, it is unlikely to be caused by a heart attack.

Heart pain is usually not sharp or stabbing. In general, any pain that gets worse with movement is not from the heart. Chest pain that is aching, sharp or stabbing, may be caused by other conditions such as acid reflux or heartburn, pleurisy or joint and muscle pain.

What causes chest pain if ECG is normal?

How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What could cause chest discomfort or shortness of breath during exercise or other physical activity in women who have had a “normal” stress test? ANSWER: Chest pain or shortness of breath that happens with exertion could be symptoms of a number of medical conditions — even when the results of a stress test appear normal.

  • The two most common stress tests are echocardiogram (or echo) stress tests and nuclear stress tests,
  • An echocardiogram uses sound waves to make up images of the heart beating and pumping blood.
  • For an echo stress, you walk on a treadmill to increase your heart rate, or you may be given medication that increases your heart rate.

As your heart rate rises, the health care team monitors you to see if the heart muscle is pumping as strongly as it should. If there is significant blockage in a blood vessel that leads to the heart ― a coronary artery ― the part of the heart muscle supplied by that vessel won’t pump as vigorously as the other parts of the heart muscle around it.

The stress echo images look at how the heart is pumping at rest compared to after the stress portion of the test. If the heart function is normal at rest but doesn’t pump as strongly after the stress portion, this can also be a sign of underlying coronary artery disease. Echo images done at rest show how strong the heart is pumping and if there is evidence of a previous heart attack.

Additionally, echo images can provide information about the heart valves, the lining around the heart, and if there is high blood pressure in the lungs, a condition called pulmonary hypertension. The echo can also show how efficient your heart is pumping blood around the body (the ejection fraction).

  1. Some individuals have symptoms of shortness of breath due to congestive heart failure.
  2. An echo will show if the heart function is impaired due to a weakened pump ( heart failure with reduced ejection fraction) or a stiffened pump (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).
  3. If your doctor suspects you have coronary artery disease, the other common type of stress test is called a nuclear stress test.

Nuclear stress tests also can be done either while on a treadmill or with medication to stimulate the heart. The test looks at the blood flow to the heart and overall heart function. If there was a significant blockage in a blood vessel to the heart, blood wouldn’t be able to travel as well downstream to the heart muscle, and on the nuclear images we would see the affected part of the heart muscle shows reduced blood flow compared to neighboring parts.

  • Nuclear stress tests provide information about the blood flow to the heart.
  • If there is an area in the heart that shows reduced blood flow compared to the surrounding heart muscle, it’s usually a sign of a critical blockage in a coronary artery.
  • The nuclear stress test also provides information about overall heart function, however doesn’t provide information about the heart valves or lining around the heart (pericardium) the way an echo does.

An echo or nuclear stress test may not reveal certain conditions, such as microvascular angina. That happens when cholesterol builds up in the smallest blood vessels that supply the heart. Nuclear and echo stress tests don’t assess for changes in those tiny vessels.

Some women may have coronary artery vasospasm — a muscle spasm affecting the thin muscular layer of the coronary arteries. This condition can cause chest discomfort with a normal stress test result. A normal stress test result only shows that there is not a significant coronary artery blockage. A smaller blockage could be present that isn’t picked up by the stress test.

Being attentive to risk factors for heart disease (such as high cholesterol, family history, diabetes, tobacco use and high blood pressure) is still important even when a stress test is normal. It’s possible, too, that the cause of chest pain or shortness of breath isn’t related to the heart.

It could be a lung disorder, such as a blood clot to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. Additionally, other causes of chest discomfort include spasm of the esophagus, diseases of the aorta, gastroesophageal reflux disease, musculoskeletal pain, fast heart rhythm abnormalities and costochondritis,

Other causes of shortness of breath include underlying lung disease such as COPD, asthma and deconditioning. Finally, no test is 100 percent accurate. A stress test can be wrong for a variety of reasons. For example, a nuclear stress test may be inaccurate if someone has severe blockages in all three main coronary arteries.

  1. The test looks for differences in blood flow between areas of the heart.
  2. If the entire heart has reduced blood flow, no one area of the heart will look abnormal compared to the rest.
  3. If you’re having chest pain or shortness of breath following a normal stress test, continue to seek medical evaluation.
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Work with your doctor to keep investigating until the source of the symptoms is identified. — Amy Pollak, M.D., Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.

Does muscular chest pain come and go?

– Chest wall pain refers to pain inside of the chest. It may affect the muscles, bones, or soft tissue in the chest. In some cases, the pain might involve organs, such as the heart and lungs. Chest wall pain can cause different sensations, ranging from tightness to sharp, stabbing pains.

  • It may also come and go and vary in duration from hours to days.
  • In some cases, chest wall pain may only occur with movement or in response to touching the area.
  • Chest pain can occur with heart disease or a heart attack,
  • However, many instances of chest wall pain are not due to a heart problem.
  • In fact, some estimates suggest that nearly a quarter of the population will experience chest wall pain from something other than a heart problem.

For example, a common cause of chest wall pain is an injury to the muscles, joints, or cartilage.

What is chest pain relieved by rest?

Types – There are different types of angina. The type depends on the cause and whether rest or medication relieve symptoms.

Stable angina. Stable angina is the most common form of angina. It usually happens during activity (exertion) and goes away with rest or angina medication. For example, pain that comes on when you’re walking uphill or in the cold weather may be angina. Stable angina pain is predictable and usually similar to previous episodes of chest pain. The chest pain typically lasts a short time, perhaps five minutes or less. Unstable angina (a medical emergency). Unstable angina is unpredictable and occurs at rest. Or the angina pain is worsening and occurs with less physical effort. It’s typically severe and lasts longer than stable angina, maybe 20 minutes or longer. The pain doesn’t go away with rest or the usual angina medications. If the blood flow doesn’t improve, the heart is starved of oxygen and a heart attack occurs. Unstable angina is dangerous and requires emergency treatment. Variant angina (Prinzmetal angina). Variant angina, also called Prinzmetal angina, isn’t due to coronary artery disease. It’s caused by a spasm in the heart’s arteries that temporarily reduces blood flow. Severe chest pain is the main symptom of variant angina. It most often occurs in cycles, typically at rest and overnight. The pain may be relieved by angina medication. Refractory angina. Angina episodes are frequent despite a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.

Why does my chest hurt above my breast?

What is chest pain? – How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Muscular Chest pain on the left side above a female breast may be due to heartburn, a panic attack, gallbladder disease, gallstones, peptic ulcer and pneumonia. There are numerous vital organs on the left side of the body. Under the left breastbone are the heart, spleen, stomach, pancreas, and large intestine,

When you have chest pain on the left side above your breast, it can be caused by a variety of things. It is important to pay attention to other symptoms in addition to the pain to determine if you should seek medical attention. In some cases, pain in the chest may be angina which is a warning sign for heart disease,

Angina happens because your heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. The pain feels like pressure or squeezing in your chest. The pain can spread from your left chest to your shoulders, neck, jaw, or back. This is similar to a heart attack,

Chest pain Shortness of breath Cold sweat, nausea, and lightheadedness Discomfort, numbness, or pain in one or both arms, neck, stomach, jaw, or back Squeezing sensation, fullness, or uncomfortable pressure in the center of your chest

Should I worry about chest pain that comes and goes?

– If you have chest pain that comes and goes, you should be sure to see your doctor. It’s important that they evaluate and properly diagnose your condition so that you can receive treatment. Remember that chest pain can also be a sign of a more serious condition like a heart attack.

Can heart problems feel like muscle pain?

Musculoskeletal Pain – Sometimes chest pain may be something as simple as a pulled chest muscle. Inflammation in the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone can also feel like a heart attack. If you have sudden chest pain that is causing you concern, you should seek immediate medical treatment to rule out a serious condition.

Can heart related chest pain last for days?

Symptoms of a heart attack – Typical heart pain is a dull, pressure-like or burning sensation. Some people describe a heart attack as feeling like “an elephant is sitting on my chest.” It is sometimes associated with shortness of breath. Heart pain may radiate to the left arm or neck.

If your pain is on your right side, a heart attack is unlikely. Heart attack pain may start with chest pressure that comes and goes, sometimes with exertion. If the pain becomes continuous, seek medical attention immediately and consider calling 911. If you have chest pain constantly for several days, weeks or months, it is unlikely to be caused by a heart attack.

Heart pain is usually not sharp or stabbing. In general, any pain that gets worse with movement is not from the heart. Chest pain that is aching, sharp or stabbing, may be caused by other conditions such as acid reflux or heartburn, pleurisy or joint and muscle pain.