A heart attack is many people’s first thought when they experience sudden chest pain. However, many health conditions, such as panic attacks that aren’t medical emergencies, can also cause chest pain. However, if the pain radiates to your left arm and causes shortness of breath, it may be a heart attack. If you are looking for relief from Upper West Side Manhattan chest pain, the Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physician have your back.
Pericarditis is a health disorder that results in the inflammation of your pericardium. This can lead to shooting or stabbing pain on the left or center of your chest. The pain worsens with swallowing, breathing hard, or coughing and may improve when leaning forward or sitting up. Pericarditis can occur due to several factors, including autoimmune disorders, trauma, fungal infections, or cancer. It can also be a complication of underlying health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure, or myocardial infarction. Your treatment plan depends on the root cause of pericarditis and its severity.
An aortic aneurysm is a disorder in which your aorta bulges or swells, leading to chest pain. The pain due to this disorder manifests as a ripping, sharp, or tearing sensation that can spread to your abdomen or back. It can also cause a racing heart rate, dizziness, coughing, or trouble breathing. Aortic aneurysm rupture can result in internal bleeding, which may jeopardize your life. If your provider suspects your chest pain is due to an aortic aneurysm, they may recommend medication or surgery to treat it and prevent complications.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease manifests when your coronary arteries are blocked or narrow due to fatty deposits accumulation. This disorder can result in angina, which may feel like a burning sensation, pressure, or squeezing in your chest. The pain may spread to your neck, back, shoulder, and arms and worsen with emotional stress, cold temperatures, or intense physical activity. Coronary artery disease is an advanced form of atherosclerosis that can occur due to a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high cholesterol levels, or high blood pressure. Over time, the plaque may accumulate in your arteries, hindering blood to your heart. This can result in chest pain and, in severe cases, a heart attack.
Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes damage and irritation to your stomach lining, can cause gastritis. Gastritis can also be due to long-term intake of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), chronic stress, or excessive alcohol consumption. This disorder can result in chest pain that worsens after a meal or when lying down and may travel down your back or shoulder. The inflammation and irritation of the stomach lining stimulate the nerves connected to your chest wall, leading to a pain similar to that due to a heart attack.
A panic attack is a mental disorder due to intense anxiety or fear, leading to chest pain and tightness. During a panic attack, your body activates its fight or flight response, stimulating an increase in adrenaline. An increase in this hormone can result in chest pain, sweating, or shortness of breath.
If you experience unexplained chest pain, call the Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physician’s office or book an appointment online for diagnosis.