When to See a Doctor About Chest Pain
Let’s get straight to the heart of it: When do you need to see a doctor for chest pain? There are many health problems that can lead to chest pain and most all of them warrant the attention of a medical provider, even if it’s just for peace of mind.
Our team here at mydoc Urgent Care has extensive experience helping patients get to the bottom of their chest pain. From heartburn to a heart attack, your chest pain is signaling a problem and you should pay heed.
Here’s a look at the many causes of chest pain and why this is one symptom you should never ignore.
Behind the chest pain
As we’ve mentioned, there are many possible reasons why you may be experiencing chest pain, and they cover several different areas of your physical and mental health. To give you an idea, here’s a quick look at some of the more common causes of chest pain:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Gallbladder issues
- Musculoskeletal problems (broken ribs, for example)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Collapsed lung
- Panic attacks
Again, this list is by no means comprehensive, but it should demonstrate the wide range of possibilities when it comes to chest pain.
Defining chest pain
One of the keys to diagnosing your chest pain is to determine what type of chest pain you’re experiencing. While “chest pain” may seem obvious, the discomfort can present itself in many ways, such as :
- Tightness or pressure in your chest
- Shortness of breath
- Searing pain that radiates to your back, neck, jaw, and shoulders
- Pain that comes and goes with activity
- Tenderness in your chest
- Pain when you breathe
Assessing how your chest pain presents itself gets us one step closer to an answer.
Chest pain and your heart health
While movie images of someone clutching their chest while having a heart attack are certainly valid, heart-related chest pain can often be more subtle and signal a brewing problem. For example, if you experience chest pain when you engage in an activity, it could signal a blockage in your arteries.
We review whether you have any other symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, or fatigue that typically accompany heart disease or a heart attack.
Once we have a clearer picture of the type, severity, and duration of your chest pain, we get to work through extensive testing to determine whether there’s a problem in your cardiovascular system. To do this, we turn to:
- Blood work
- Chest X-ray
- Stress testing
- PET scan
- CT scan
These diagnostic tools are designed to rule out or confirm a cardiovascular problem, which can help you get on the road to better health.
The bottom line is that any time you experience chest pain and you’re unsure of its source, you should seek medical help. To get started, contact our Forest Hills, New York office to set up an appointment.