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What is chest pain?

Pain in the chest is a pain in the front part of the chest, located between the neck and the upper part of the abdomen, which can be a symptom of various cardiac, respiratory, infectious, nervous pathologies, and osteoarticular or muscular injuries. Sometimes, chest pain may spread to the neck, abdomen or back.

It is a very common pain and may cause different intensities depending on its cause or origin.

Prognosis of the disease

Chest pain may be due, in severe cases, to serious and urgent medical conditions as heart attack or heart failure, which are life threatening conditions.

Despite the feeling of strong chest pain, most of the time the causes are not dangerous. But since there are many possible causes of chest pain, it is essential to visit a cardiologist or pulmonologist quickly, to receive immediate treatment if necessary.

Symptoms of chest pain

The most common symptoms of chest pain are a stabbing pain and compressed feeling, although they usually vary depending on the affected organs or tissues:


Medical tests for chest pain

Due to the multiple causes that can cause chest pain, it is sometimes a challenge for the specialist to establish a diagnosis. For this reason, the clinical history of the patient will be essential, to be able to understand their symptoms, previous illnesses and family medical records.

Once the patient's medical history is analysed, and if there is no clear traumatic cause, a chest x-ray and an electrocardiogram will be required to rule out other serious diseases which could lead to risks such as a heart attack.

Depending on the results of these tests, more investigations may be required, such as a coronary CT scan, pulmonary scintigraphy, a Holter monitor or digestive study.

What are the causes of chest pain?

There are multiple causes of chest pain, depending on the organs affected:


Can chest pain be prevented?

Chest pain can be prevented if the underlying cause is treated. This is why a visit to a medical specialist is important – making the correct diagnosis of the problem is the first step to effective treatment and future prevention.

Treatments for chest pain

Treatment for chest pain depends on the original cause:


What specialist treats chest pain?

As chest pain is susceptible to several causes, the treatment of chest pain may be handled by a number of specialists, such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist, gastroenterologist or psychologist.

At first, when the onset of symptoms that cause pain are unknown, it is best to visit your GP, who will study your medical history and symptoms then refer you to the right specialist to treat your particular case.