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When Should I See a Doctor for Chest Pain?

When Should I See a Doctor for Chest Pain?

Is the chest pain you're feeling just indigestion from a spicy meal, or is it a sign of something more serious that requires medical evaluation?

Chest pain (angina) is a common symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease, which kills more than 360,000 people each year. If you’re experiencing persistent chest pains or other signs of heart disease, it’s time to see a board-certified physician like Sam Morayati, MD, here at Burlington Medical Center in Burlington, North Carolina.

Here's everything you need to know about chest pain, including what causes it, how it’s treated, and when you should see a health care provider. 

What causes chest pain?

A variety of issues can cause chest pain, including inflammation of the chest wall nerves or rib cage cartilage, peptic ulcers or GERD, esophageal spasms, and, rarely, pancreas or gallbladder inflammation. An injury to the chest, a pulled muscle, a lung problem, or acid reflux can all cause chest pain.

The causes that concern us the most are either a blockage in a heart artery or a problem with one of the heart's valves. High blood pressure can cause chest pain and should be taken seriously.

Patients should see a doctor if any of these causes are suspected. It can be difficult to tell the difference, but Dr. Morayati can assist you. 

Finding out if there’s heart trouble

Heart-related chest pain is usually gradual and lasts minutes rather than seconds. It's frequently accompanied by other concerning symptoms like shortness of breath and light-headedness.

Cardiac chest pain can also radiate to the neck, jaw, or left arm; it rarely changes with position and if there’s a blockage, the chest pain usually gets worse with physical exertion. 

When to see a physician for chest pain

If you're concerned about your chest pain, see a doctor. Chest pain isn’t something to ignore or put off. You may experience a variety of symptoms that aren't typically associated with heart disease, such as:

Chest pain can be caused by a variety of factors, but if you develop chest pain, especially while exercising, it’s important to see a doctor.

Unless there is a clear and harmless cause, all symptoms of chest pain should be evaluated by a physician. Early stages of a heart disease are commonly mistaken for gas, indigestion, or heartburn.

Chest pain that persists or worsens, increases in intensity or frequency, or is associated with any of the above symptoms should be evaluated as soon as possible.

Treating chest pain

If Dr. Morayati suspects that you have unstable angina or that heart trouble is behind your chest pain, he may order the following tests:

Once diagnosed, your treatment plan may include:

These treatments reduce the risk of heart attack and help reduce pain and discomfort.

Don’t ignore chest pain. Contact our office to schedule a visit with Dr. Morayati or book your appointment online today. Make your health the number one priority!

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