Substernal Chest Pain
Causes of Sternal Pain –
- Sternum pain is usually caused by problems with the muscles and bones near the sternum and not the sternum itself.
- Pain felt just behind or below the sternum is called substernal pain and is sometimes caused by gastrointestinal problems,
- Some of the most common causes of sternum and substernal pain are:
- For more detail on specific causes, see lists below.
- 1 Should I be worried if my sternum hurts?
- 2 What is chest pain but not heart problem?
- 3 What does pain in middle of chest mean?
- 4 At what point should I be concerned about chest pain?
- 5 When should chest pain be alarming?
What does substernal chest pain feel like?
Classic angina presents with substernal chest pain that’s described as ‘squeezing’ or ‘pressure-like.’ It often radiates to the arms or jaw and is made worse by exertion or emotion and made better by rest or nitroglycerin. It may be associated with diaphoresis, nausea, weakness or shortness of breath.
Is heart attack pain Substernal?
Typical chest pain is the chest pain expected with a certain diagnosis, such as a crushing substernal chest pain doctors expect to see with a heart attack.
Should I be worried if my sternum hurts?
If the sternum pain is severe, worsening, or accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, or sweating, you should seek medical attention immediately.
What is chest pain but not heart problem?
What is noncardiac chest pain? – Noncardiac chest pain is defined as recurring pain in your chest — typically, behind your breast bone and near your heart — that is not related to your heart. In most people, noncardiac chest pain is actually related to a problem with their esophagus, most often gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),
Can anxiety cause sternum pain?
How anxiety causes chest pain – When you’re anxious, your brain sends a surge of adrenaline and cortisol through your body. These hormones immediately trigger a rapid rise in your heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, many people experience chest pain and sweating, or have a hard time breathing.
The sudden boost of adrenaline can narrow the arteries in your heart and attach to cells inside the heart. This condition, called stress cardiomyopathy, mimics a heart attack, from symptoms all the way down to changes in your heart’s electrical activity. Though stress cardiomyopathy usually heals within a few days or weeks, it may lead to weak heart muscles, congestive heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Levels of adrenaline and cortisol don’t return to normal in people with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Chronically high hormone levels may trigger a panic attack (causing symptoms that feel like a heart attack) and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Why does the middle of my chest bone hurt?
Costochondritis is inflammation where your ribs join the bone in the middle of your chest (breastbone). It can cause sharp chest pain, especially when moving or breathing. It usually gets better on its own over time.
What does pain in middle of chest mean?
Chest Pain Causes Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on May 02, 2023 Chest pain is not something to ignore. But you should know that it has many possible causes. In many cases, it’s related to the heart. But chest pain may also be caused by problems in your lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves, for example.
SharpDullBurningAchingStabbingA tight, squeezing, or crushing sensation
Here are some of the more common causes of chest pain. These heart problems are common causes:, or CAD. This is a blockage in the heart’s blood vessels that reduces blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. This can cause pain known as angina. It’s a symptom of heart disease but typically does not cause permanent damage to the heart.
- It is, though, a sign that you are at risk for a heart attack in the future.
- The chest pain may spread to your arm, shoulder, jaw, or back.
- It may feel like a pressure or squeezing sensation.
- Angina can be triggered by exercise, excitement, or emotional distress and is relieved by rest.
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
This reduction in blood flow through heart blood vessels causes the death of heart muscle cells. Though similar to angina chest pain, a heart attack is usually a more severe, crushing pain usually in the center or left side of the chest and is not relieved by rest.
Sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, or severe weakness may accompany the pain. Myocarditis. In addition to chest pain, this heart muscle inflammation may cause fever, fatigue, fast heart beat, and trouble breathing. Although no blockage exists, myocarditis symptoms can resemble those of a, Pericarditis.
This is an inflammation or infection of the sac around the heart. It can cause pain similar to that caused by angina. But it often causes a sharp, steady pain along the upper neck and shoulder muscle. Sometimes it gets worse when you breathe, swallow food, or lie on your back.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
- This genetic disease causes the heart muscle to grow abnormally thick.
- Sometimes this leads to problems with blood flow out of the heart.
- Chest pain and shortness of breath often occur with exercise.
- Over time, heart failure may occur when the heart muscle becomes very thickened.
This makes the heart work harder to pump blood. Along with chest pain, this type of cardiomyopathy may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and other symptoms. Mitral valve prolapse. is a condition in which a valve in the heart fails to close properly.
A variety of symptoms have been associated with mitral valve prolapse, including chest pain, palpitations, and dizziness, although it can also have no symptoms, especially if the prolapse is mild. Coronary artery dissection. Many things can cause this rare but deadly condition, which results when a tear develops in the coronary artery.
It may cause a sudden, severe pain with a tearing or ripping sensation that goes up into the neck, back, or abdomen. These are common causes of chest pain: Pleuritis. Also known as pleurisy, this is an inflammation or irritation of the lining of the lungs and chest.
You likely feel a sharp pain when you breathe, cough, or sneeze. The most common causes of pleuritic chest pain are bacterial or viral infections, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax. Other less common causes include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancer. Pneumonia or lung abscess. These lung infections can cause pleuritic and other types of chest pain, such as a deep chest ache.
Pneumonia often comes on suddenly, causing fever, chills, cough, and pus coughed up from the respiratory tract. Pulmonary embolism. When a blood clot travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs, this can cause acute pleuritis, trouble breathing, and a rapid heartbeat.
- It may also cause fever and shock.
- Is more likely following deep vein thrombosis or after being immobile for several days following surgery or as a complication of cancer.
- Often caused by an injury to the chest, pneumothorax happens when a part of the lung collapses, releasing air into the chest cavity.
This can also cause pain that gets worse when you breathe as well as other symptoms, such as low blood pressure. Pulmonary hypertension. With chest pain resembling that of angina, this abnormally high blood pressure in the lung arteries makes the right side of the heart work too hard.
Asthma. Causing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and sometimes chest pain, asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways. COPD, This includes one or more of three disease: Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive asthma. The disease blocks airflow by shrinking and damaging both the airways that bring gases and air to and from your lungs and the tiny air sacs (alveoli) that transfer oxygen to your bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide.
Smoking is the most common cause. Gastrointestinal problems can also cause chest pain and include: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also known as acid reflux, occurs when stomach contents move back into the throat. This may cause a sour taste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the chest or throat, known as heartburn.
Things that may trigger acid reflux include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and spicy or fatty foods. Heart pain and heartburn from acid reflux feel similar partly because the heart and esophagus are located close to each other and share a nerve network. Esophageal contraction disorders. Uncoordinated muscle contractions (spasms) and high-pressure contractions (nutcracker esophagus) are problems in the esophagus that can cause chest pain.
Esophageal hypersensitivity. This occurs when the esophagus becomes very painful at the smallest change in pressure or exposure to acid. The cause of this sensitivity is unknown. Esophageal rupture or perforation. A sudden, severe chest pain following vomiting or a procedure involving the esophagus may be the sign of a rupture in the esophagus.
- Peptic ulcers.
- A vague, recurring discomfort may be the result of these painful sores in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine.
- More common in people who smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, or take painkillers such as aspirin or NSAIDs, the pain often gets better when you eat or take antacids.
Hiatal hernia. This common problem occurs when the top of the stomach pushes into the lower chest after eating. This often causes reflux symptoms, including heartburn or chest pain. The pain tends to get worse when you lie down. Pancreatitis. You may have pancreatitis if you have pain in the lower chest that is often worse when you lie flat and better when you lean forward.
- Gallbladder problems.
- After eating a fatty meal, do you have a sensation of fullness or pain in your right lower chest area or the right upper side of your abdomen? If so, your chest pain may due to a gallbladder problem.
- Sometimes chest pain may result from overuse or an injury to the chest area from a fall or accident.
Viruses can also cause pain in the chest area. Other causes of chest pain include: Rib problems. Pain from a broken rib may worsen with deep breathing or coughing. It is often confined to one area and may feel sore when you press on it. The area where the ribs join the breastbone may also become inflamed.
Muscle strain. Even really hard coughing can injure or inflame the muscles and tendons between the ribs and cause chest pain. The pain tends to persist and it worsens with activity. Shingles. Caused by the varicella zoster virus, may prompt a sharp, band-like pain before a telltale rash appears several days later.
Another potential cause of chest pain is anxiety and panic attacks. Some associated symptoms can include dizziness, sensation of shortness of breath, palpitations, tingling sensations, and trembling. When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastboneChest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or backSudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivityNausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweatingVery low blood pressure or very low heart rate
Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucusProblems swallowingSevere chest pain that does not go away
© 2023 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Chest Pain Causes
How long should sternum pain last?
In most cases, a broken sternum will heal on its own. It can take 3 months or longer for the pain to go away. The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
At what point should I be concerned about chest pain?
Call 911 or have someone take you to the closest emergency room right away if you have chest pain that lasts longer than five minutes and doesn’t go away when you rest or take medication. Cardiac chest pain can be life-threatening. Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack.
When should chest pain be alarming?
You should also visit the ER if your chest pain is prolonged, severe or accompanied by any of the following symptoms: Confusion/disorientation. Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath—especially after a long period of inactivity. Excessive sweating or ashen color.