Can cervical problems cause chest pain?

(August 7, 2013)

Severe chest pain can be a major source of concern for just about anyone. This is probably because most of us associate chest pain with heart problems, especially a heart attack. However, there are several other health problems and conditions that could also lead to pain and discomfort in the chest area and not all of them are as serious as a heart attack. Apart from cardiac problems, chest pain can occur due to cervical, respiratory, musco-skeletal and digestive causes too. Given below are some of the most common causes of pain in the chest:

Cardiac problems

  • Myocarditis or inflammation in the heart, caused by infections
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Coronary spasm
  • Aortic dissection
  • Angina
  • Heart attack

Cervical problems

  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervical disc disease
  • Other cervical spine disorders

Respiratory problems

  • Pneumothorax or a collapsed lung
  • Asthma
  • Pleurisy
  • Pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition
  • Pulmonary hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs

Musco-skeletal problems

  • Pinched nerves or injured ribs
  • Sore muscles caused by chronic pain syndromes, like fibromyalgia
  • Costochondritis, caused by inflammation in the rib cartilage

Digestive problems

  • Formation of gallstones
  • Cholecystitis or inflammation in the gall bladder
  • Achalasia, a swallowing disorder
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Esophageal spasm
  • Heartburn

Other problems

  • Cancer (in rare instances)
  • Shingles
  • Panic attacks

Even though most of the causes of chest pain are not as serious as a heart attack, they need to be addressed by a health care provider immediately. Therefore in case you happen to experience more than one episode of chest pain, it is important for you to visit your doctor without any delay. You may need to undergo a series of tests which include an Electrocardiogram, blood tests, chest x ray, stress tests, echocardiogram, angiogram, CT scan, endoscopy and an MRI, to determine what the exact cause of the problem. After a careful evaluation, your health care provider will suggest the most suitable course of treatment.

Submitted by S C on August 7, 2013 at 05:46

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