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This is one symptom which frightens the patient and puts his physician on high alert.

You may have Left chest pain, Right chest pain or Back chest pain. The alert antenna goes up! This is because the chest pain causes can be very serious and accordingly the patient is put through a serious of tests to rule out these serious causes. Tests for chest pain include !!" monitoring, pathology, radiology, #!$, #cho, etc. %owever, there are other causes for chest pain and not all of them are serious. Let us see what are those various causes of chest pain.. The Causes of Chest Pain could belong to the various systems and we will take them up, system wise. &' !ardiovascular system. (relating to the heart and the blood vessels' B' )ulmonary system. (relating to the lungs' !' *igestive system *' The Bony system #' +' The muscular system The ,kin

A) The Cardiovascular Causes of Chest Pain

Angina causes left chest pain and is a result of deficient blood supply to the heart due to narrowing of the lumen of an artery supplying blood to the heart and results in pain in the chest which may radiate to the left shoulder and arm, or the neck, or it may radiate to the back. ,ometimes the pain may be felt only at the back when the ischemia (deficient blood supply' is at the inferior wall of the heart. Heart attack. ( Myocardial infarct). The nature of chest pain and the causes are similar to those of angina e.cept that the severity is more in an attack. This is because, in an heart attack, the e.tent of obstruction is more and the blockage can even be absolute. This can be Life threatening.

Image of Myocardial infarct

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium which is the sac covering the heart. There may also be collection of fluid inside the sac. The pain here, is usually felt in the front and centre of the chest.

Image of pericarditis Aortic tear or aneurysm of aorta: &orta is the main artery in the body which starts from the heart. & tear in the wall of the aorta causes a severe sudden chest pain, which radiates to the back. ,imilarly an aneurysm of the aorta can cause chest pain. This is Life threatening.

Image of Aortic Anneurysm ) The Pulmonary Causes of Chest Pain:

Pulmonary !m"olism is a blockage of the pulmonary artery in the lungs due to an embolus which is basically a clot which has migrated from elsewhere. This pain is severe and sudden. /0 Life threatening.

Image of pulmonary embolism.

Pneumonia is infection in part of the lungs. This pain increases on taking a deep breath. Pnemothora# is a collapse of a part of the lung and is due to introduction of air between the lung and pleura (,ac covering the lung'. This pain is severe and sudden. The seriousness depends upon the e.tent of the lung that is collapsed.

Image of Pneumothorax showing collapse of left lung. Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleura which is the sac covering the lungs. The sac may get filled with fluid. C) The $igestive %ystem Causes of Chest Pain:

&!'$ or gastro esophageal reflu. disease. This results in reflu. of the acidic contents from the stomach into the esophagus giving rise to a burning sensation in the chest. &astric ulcer pain can be referred to the chest. This pain is felt 1ust after meals. &all "ladder (ain due to stones or any other pathology is sometimes referred to the chest. Hiatus Hernia without $#R* can also refer the pain to the chest.

Image showing Hiatus hernia


&aseous $istension of the stomach causes referred pain in the chest. Pancreas: nflammation of the pancreas can cause referred pain in the chest. Achalasia is a condition wherein the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach does not open to let the food pass into the stomach. The food therefore, backs up into the esophagus and the distended and stretched esophagus produces pain in the chest.

$) The ony system Causes of Chest Pain:

Costochondritis: This is a condition wherein a 1oint between the Ribs and the sternum (breast bone' gets inflamed. This chest pain increases on applying pressure on the site of pain with your fingers. (tenderness'. The cause is not yet known and this condition subsides on its own.

!) The Muscular %ystem Causes of Chest Pain: &ny inflammation or muscle tear or tendon tear, as a result of over straining of that part can result in this condition. The pain increases on movement of that part or may even show tenderness. n case of inflammation of the muscles between the ribs, a deep breath may aggravate the pain. )) The %kin Causes of Chest Pain: &ny inflammatory condition like %erpes 2oster on the skin of the chest gives rise to sharp pain over the infected area which stretches from the front to the back. This condition is caused by a virus and gives rise to a rash which spreads from front to the back.