When I was 20 years old I had this same heart pinching pain myself. It comes and goes and stays for 1-2 seconds. Sometimes it comes once a week and sometimes every day. It is sharp in quality and when it comes, it is aggravated by deep breathing. I was so scared I may have a heart condition and after a few episodes I went to the doctor and I asked for an ECG and Echocardiogram. My heart was completely normal and I was advised to take some beta blockers (to relieve anxiety and slow down the heart rhythm) which I never did.
I have a golden rule I have always used in my practice
As mentioned above chest pain can be idiopathic. But it is always better to be paranoic than sorry, especially with chest pain.
Pneumonia is a common cause of pleuritic chest pain. Chest pain is usually not the only symptom, it is often accompanied by fever and cough, so usually it is not confused with heart issues.
Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura which consists of two membranes that surround the lungs. Pleurisy occurs be caused by a wide variety of conditions. The most common causes of pleurisy are: viral infection which is the single most common cause, pneumonia is also commen, tuberculosis especially in HIV patients. It is also could be caused by a tumor. Pleurisy management involves treating the underlying condition and pain killers.
Pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage usually is caused by a clot that moves to the lung from the leg. A clot that forms in one part and moves with the blood to another part of the body is known as an embolus. Pulmonary embolism is a serious condition that can damage part of your lung because of a lack of blood flow to your lung cells. Also because the blood flow is blocked this may lead to pulmonary hypertension, increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries those that still patent. Due to the blocked lung artery the oxygen levels in your blood decrease.
Pneumothorax defined as accumulation of air in the pleura between the lungs and chest wall. This air forms a pressure that collapses a portion of the lung. This is what you see in action movies when the patient is usually stabbed with a syringe in the chest. A pneumothorax can be caused by a chest trauma. Sometimes, pneumothorax presents with sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.
Pericarditis is a condition that causes sharp chest pain. It is an inflammation of the membrane located around the heart. This membrane is called the pericardium. In pericarditis, the layers of tissue become inflamed, thickened and rub against the heart. This causes chest pain. Viral infection is universally the most common cause of pericarditis, autoimmune disease is also a potential etiology.
Mitral valve prolapse is a very common condition. Usually mitral valve prolapse is asymptomatic but sometimes it can present with chest pain.
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage located between a rib and the sternum. To diagnose this condition try to press on the chest wall on that area that hurts, if this aggravates the chest pain it is most likely caused by costochondritis. Most often costochondritisis idiopathic. Most often the cause is not found in this case treatment consists of pain relievers and waiting until costochondritis gets better on its own.
Other less common causes of pleuritic chest pain are old trauma, rib fracture, tumors of the spinal cord, gallbladder disease, peptic ulcer and cholecystitis.
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