Chest Pain

4677 Words Feb 2nd, 2012 19 Pages
CHEST PAIN
Chest Pain Overview
If you are having severe pain, crushing, squeezing, or pressure in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or if the pain moves into your neck, left shoulder, arm, or jaw, go immediately to a hospital emergency department.
Chest pain is one of the most frightening symptoms a person can have. It is sometimes difficult even for a doctor or other medical professional to tell what is causing chest pain and whether it is life-threatening. * Any part of the chest can be the cause of the pain including the heart, lungs, esophagus, muscle, bone, and skin. * Because of the complex nerve distribution in the body, chest pain may actually originate from another part of the body. * The stomach or
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(a) Acid reflux disease (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, heartburn) occurs when acidic digestive juices flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus. The resulting heartburn is sometimes experienced as chest pain.
(b) Esophagitis is an inflammation of the esophagus.
(c) Esophageal spasm is defined as excessive, intensified, or uncoordinated contractions of the smooth muscle of the esophagus. 12. Costochondritis: This is an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs. Pain is typically located in the mid-chest, with intermittently dull and sharp pain that may be increased with deep breaths, movement, and deep touch. 13. Herpes zoster: Also known as shingles, this is a reactivation of the viral infection that causes chickenpox. With shingles, a rash occurs, usually only on one small part of the body. The pain, often very severe, is usually confined to the area of the rash. The pain may precede the rash by 4-7 days. Risk factors include any condition in which the immune system is compromised, such as advanced age, HIV, or cancer. Herpes zoster is highly contagious to people who have not had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against chickenpox for the five days before and the five days after the appearance of the rash. HEART ATTACK A heart attack is caused by coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease. Heart disease may be caused by cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis), blood clots, or spasm of the
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