Chest Pain Cause Non Cardiac

Chest pain is an alarming symptom, suggesting a serious condition such as a heart attack. Non-cardiac causes of chest pain are not usually as serious as a heart attack, but they are nonetheless painful and alarming.

Non-cardiac chest pain describes any chest pain that is not heart-related. Non-cardiac causes of chest pain cover a broad spectrum of conditions, ranging from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) to fibromyositis, bone damage and pinched nerves.

While most non-cardiac causes of chest pain are not life-threatening, it is important to have any chest pain examined by a medical professional. Some types of non-cardiac chest pain are very similar in nature to the pain felt during a heart attack. It’s recommended that you never try to second-guess the nature of chest pain: If you have any doubts, get to a medical facility as quickly as possible.

In this section, we’ll review the non-cardiac causes of chest pain. We’ll offer information on causes, symptoms and risk factors and will also discuss treatment options.

Bone Damage

Bone damage is one of the most common non-cardiac causes of chest pain. Bruised, fractured or broken ribs are the most common blunt-trauma injuries to affect the chest.

Bone damage ranges widely in severity. Minor bone damage may heal without medical attention, while severe trauma can result in serious health complications and major bone damage.

Fibromyositis

Fibromyositis is one of the more mysterious non-cardiac causes of chest pain. Fibromyositis is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain and fatigue with no apparent cause.

Fibromyositis does not damage the body, but its ability to impair quality of life makes it a serious cause of non-cardiac chest pain. Fibromyositis treatment include medications, therapy and exercise.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when surrounding bone, muscle or other tissue compresses a nerve. Pinched nerves can develop anywhere in the body and are a common cause of non-cardiac chest pain. Most cases of pinched nerves, while painful, are harmless.

Shingles

Shingles are caused by herpes zoster, the same virus responsible for chicken pox. Chest pain caused by shingles is the result of a painful and blistering rash. Anyone infected with chicken pox runs the risk of developing shingles later in life.

Shingles causes extreme pain that can last for months after the rash clears up and is capable of causing a number of health complications. Shingles treatment is primarily concerned with pain relief.

Psychological Causes of Chest Pain

Most non-cardiac chest pain has a physical cause. Psychological causes of chest pain, however, occur due to mental conditions. Anxiety, depression and panic attack disorder can all result in non-cardiac chest pain that resembles the pain of a heart attack.

Psychological causes of chest pain can cause a vicious cycle, where fear of a panic attack and resulting chest pain causes anxiety and stress that triggers the next panic attack. With the right treatment, it is possible to break the cycle of psychological chest pain.

Resources

Familydoctor.org. (updated November 2005). Shingles. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the Family Doctor Web site: familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/infections/common/viral/574.html.

Hart, A. (2007). Chest Pain: When is it Not Serious? Retrieved November 13, 2007, from the Articles Universe Web site: www.articlesuniverse.com/Article/Chest-Pain—When-Is-It-Not-Serious-/47759.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (15 November 2007). Chest Pain. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the Mayo Web site: mayoclinic.com/health/chest-pain/DS00016.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (25 June 2007). Fibromyalgia. Retrieved November 13, 2007, from the Mayo Web site: mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (29 January 2007). Pinched Nerve. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from the Mayo Web site: www.mayoclinic.com/health/pinched-nerve/DS00879.