Why does my chest hurt
From heart disease to muscle tension to hormonal changes or reflux, there are many reasons for chest pain.
Diseases of the heart
Constricted coronary arteries prevent an adequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle with blood. In the case of angina pectoris, chest tightness and pain occur acutely and are associated with shortness of breath. The pain can also radiate to the jaw, back, or upper abdomen. Coupled with nausea, these symptoms can be typical harbingers of a heart attack in women. But while an angina attack lasts about half a minute, symptoms can last longer in the case of a heart attack.
Chest wall syndrome
This is a common form of chest pain, around every second person with chest pain suffers from chest wall syndrome. Doctors use this term to summarize a number of rare symptoms, such as stinging in the chest, muscle tension that radiates into the chest or pain from the chest to the upper abdomen or tenderness in the chest area.
Air in the chest (pneumothorax) or between the lungs and pleura can cause sudden chest pain and shortness of breath. The complaints often last for several hours. The cause is often torn lung tissue due to a previous injury.
If the acidic gastric juice flows back into the esophagus, e.g. after consuming spicy food, carbonated drinks or alcohol, this is known as reflux. In addition to causing a burning sensation in the stomach or esophagus, reflux is often accompanied by chest pain.
Tense muscles, inflammation in the area of the ribs or spinal column wear can press on the nerve roots, e.g. in the area of the thoracic spine. It is characteristic that pain arises from pressure or movement.
Chest pain in women
Tension in the breasts and tenderness in connection with chest pain is mostly cycle-related in women. Usually this pain occurs before the start of the period and then ends again. The pain can be very intense, sometimes reaching into the upper arm and the breasts can be extremely sensitive to touch. Doctors speak of a benign mastodynia. The pain is usually caused by the hormone estrogen, which promotes water retention in breast tissue. After the rule subsides, the level of estrogen drops again and the pain disappears. Breast cysts also consist of small deposits of fluid in the breast tissue. Cysts are harmless and usually go away on their own. A cyst does not cause chest pain in every woman. The gynecologist can puncture the cyst to remove the discomfort.
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