Can weather changes cause chest pain?
Pain is an S.O.S. signal from our bodies that something is not ok. Any one of us can experience unpleasant ailments related to chest pain.
Mild pain will cause us some discomfort, however, in situations where chest pains are severe, they often prevent us from living our daily lives comfortably. Usually, sharp pains often occur around the heart, on the left side of the chest, or around the sternum.
Fortunately, most forms of chest pain are not life-threatening. The most likely causes may be excessive exercise or a deficiency of minerals or vitamins. Nevertheless, pains in the chest should not be underestimated as they can have a serious effect on our health.
Types of chest pain
Pain is distinguished by its nature, intensity, duration, and location. Did you know that pain is felt differently by women than by men? No matter what kind of pain it is, chest pain always requires an explanation of the cause. Chest pains are also the most commonly reported ailment by patients. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware that pain in this area of the body may be a symptom of potentially life-threatening diseases, which is why so many people ignore the warnings their body gives them.
The most common causes of chest pain
Discomfort and pain in the chest are common symptoms in regards to irregularities in the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, musculoskeletal, or digestive systems.
The most common causes of chest pain are:
✓ diseases of the chest wall involving its various structures
✓ pleural disease
✓ gastroesophageal reflux
Musculoskeletal pain most often affects one side of the chest. The pain can be strong, tingling, stinging, long-lasting, and most often worsens during passive and active movements, and may be accompanied by local tenderness. Musculoskeletal pain can reach and radiate to the shoulder blade, or back, be piercing, and even prevent you from coughing, sneezing, or inhaling.
Gastroesophageal pain often appears on the right side of the chest. This type of pain can radiate and is most likely an indication of gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Shingles, pleurisy, or anxiety can all cause one-sided chest pain. Often, cough and fever accompany unilateral chest pain during inflammation of the respiratory system.
Chest pain in children
In children and adolescents, the most common causes of chest pain are musculoskeletal and lung diseases. Rarely is myocardial ischemia the result of this pain.
What else can pain in the sternum area mean?
Chest pain can have many causes. One thing is for sure, this pain cannot be taken lightly, especially if it is recurring. Stinging and pain around the sternum are often described as jerking or tugging and may be caused by vitamin deficiency, overeating, or stress.
Diagnosis and treatment of chest pain
It is very important to see a medical professional so that the causes of the pain can be located and dealt with. When going to the doctor, we will be asked to provide any and all information regarding our daily life such as diet and exercise, as well as answer questions related to the type of pain we are feeling, when it occurs, its duration, and any other information that may seem irrelevant but may lead to finding out the true cause of pain.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination after the interview and decide if any additional tests are needed. If so, the following tests may be done:
✓ Resting ECG
✓ Exercise ECG
✓ ECHO (ultrasound of the heart)
✓ Chest x-ray
✓ Measurement of the concentration of cardiac troponin in the blood, D-dimers, amylase, lipase
✓ Angio-CT / pulmonary perfusion scintigraphy and USG Doppler of the veins of the lower extremities in suspected pulmonary embolism
✓ Chest / abdominal tomography when suspecting thoracic/abdominal aortic dissecting aneurysm (also when pancreatitis is suspected)
✓ Gastroscopy when peptic ulcer disease / gastroesophageal reflux is suspected.
Pain or stinging in the chest may be caused by or may cause additional stress. We are taught to expect the worst, but we do not need to act out worst-case scenarios in our heads. If the situation is not life-threatening, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your doctor.
- Reading time: 3 min
- Date: 09.06.2022