Types of Chest Pain on the Left Side That are Not Heart Attack

Chest Pain on the Left Side

I've been asked to address the topic of chest discomfort today and specifically just pain as a cardiologist we see patients with chest pain extremely frequently the most common cause of

 chest pain can in fact be your heart if this has been confidently excluded as a potential cause

for your chest discomfort it's also important to make sure that there's no problem with your

 aorta such as an enlargement of your aorta or even in rare circumstances a tear or what we

call a artic dissection that can be typically confidently excluded with a CT scan in addition

 sometimes in rare circumstances blood clots can travel to the lungs and this is termed a

pulmonary embolism that can also be a potentially very serious cause of justice comfort and

testing predominantly again CT technology can help exclude the possibility of a pulmonary

 embolism once all of these potentially important factors have been excluded as potential

causes for your chest discomfort oftentimes we're left with a patient who has ongoing chest

 discomfort which is extremely concerning to them but not necessarily life-threatening so this

is more of an outpatient evaluation often times where as the after mentioned conditions are

 often addressed in the emergency room so let's assume all life-threatening problems have

been excluded and we're in the office and we're discussing ongoing chest discomfort which may

 or may not be associated with activity you have a normal exam you have a normal electric

 cardiogram and your risk factors for heart trouble are not particularly broad in that

circumstance we think of two other possible causes for chest discomfort one can be a

musculoskeletal cause where you can have pain or discomfort in the muscles or the ribs called

intercostal discomfort there are actually conditions such as fibromyalgia which can cause

musculoskeletal discomfort have very similar symptoms to a cardiac cause be very concerning to the patient but not necessarily be life-threatening but more of a nuisance and negatively

impact your quality of life in that setting I'll often send the patient to see rheumatologist

who's an expert in the Bonin muscles and can often detect this musculoskeletal inflammation

if that leads to no obvious cause for your chest discomfort and proves to be a dead end

 another equally viable option is to see an experienced gastroenterologist esophageal problems

such as esophageal reflux esophageal spasm acid problems in the stomach and the esophagus

 can cause discomfort which is actually quite similar to your heart once all of those doctors

have been seen and you've had the appropriate testing most often we can identify a cause and

 if a cause is not found last but not least you can consider seeing a pain management specialist

pain management specialist can deal with patients with chronic discomfort it's not ideal in the

 sense that we've not come up with the cost to your justice comfort but in fact it can be

targeted to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life so there are some options

don't despair we have excellent experts in a multidisciplinary medical center and if it's not the

 heart or the lungs or the aorta then think about gastrointestinal and rheumatologic thanks a lot for your time. Next What are the Common Causes of Left Lower Quadrant Pain?

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