Heartburn is only one of the many conditions that can cause chest pain. Other causes of chest pain range from life-threatening to minor inconveniences. Of course, a severe and life-threatening cause of chest pain is a heart attack.
For instance, a pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition that can cause severe chest pain. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that travels to the lungs and decreases blood flow to the lungs. It can lead to difficulty breathing and associated chest pain.
Another cause of chest pain is an aortic dissection, which occurs when the main blood vessel from the heart, the aorta, is affected and weak. The aorta can weaken with age, and it might keep expanding because of the blood pressure, which causes a tearing chest pain. In severe instances, the dissection can expand enough that it can burst. Both a pulmonary embolism and aortic dissection are fatal conditions unless emergency medical care is obtained.
A pneumothorax is an acute condition that causes chest pain and also requires immediate medical attention. A pneumothorax is a lung that “collapses” for any reason. This can lead to severe pain and difficulty breathing, and the lung should be reexpanded as quickly as possible.
Other more minor chest pain conditions include pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the heart that can be treated with medication. Also, some skin rashes can cause pain when they occur on the chest. Finally, the chest is made up of many muscles and bones. Costochondritis, or arthritis of the chest wall, can also produce chest pain.
These are only a few of the conditions that can mimic heartburn. Please note that all of these conditions have serious risks and can be life-threatening. It might be difficult for you to identify the cause of your chest pain because the pain resulting from any of the conditions mentioned can be so similar at times. If you experience symptoms, see a doctor to look into the cause.
Conditions Other than Heartburn that Cause Chest Pain: References
By Mortin - Copyright 2010
Last modification 10/02/2010