Chest wall pain can occur for a number of reasons. A discomfort that characterizes chest pain could have causes that need treatment.
When an individual is affected by chest wall pain, the structures of the chest wall get adversely affected. The chest wall includes the structures, such as the skin, the ribs and the muscles that surround the ribs. It is when the structures get inflamed, infected, or injured that we realize the pain and the discomfort we face. Chest wall pain can be a pernicious condition to endure.
- Any part of the chest can be a cause for the pain. The heart, lungs, or the esophagus could be responsible for the chest pain.
- The nerve distribution of our system is extremely complex; thus, the pain may erupt from any part of the chest.
- The stomach or other disturbances in the abdominal functioning may also cause the chest pain.
- When blood flow to the arteries is blocked, a heart attack is bound to occur. When adequate amounts of oxygen does not reach the heart, damage to the heart muscles cause the heart attack to occur.
- A condition known as Angina may also cause a chest wall pain. Angina is caused due to an imbalance in the amount of blood supplied through oxygen and the oxygen demanded by the heart.
- The blood vessels that supply blood to the heart become convoluted and narrow in nature which causes the pain.
- Pulmonary embolism is also a primary cause; in this condition the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the lungs develops a blood clot.
- The aorta is the most important artery that supplies blood to all the major organs of the body, such as the heart, the lungs, kidneys, and intestines. Due to a tear in the aorta, internal bleeding can take place and interrupt the blood flow to the vital parts of the body.
- The gastrointestinal tract can also sustain a tear or crack due to which air seeps into the abdominal cavity, irritating the diaphragm and causing chest pain.
- Pericardium is a sac that covers the heart. This sac sustains inflammation and can cause acute pericarditis.
- Pneumonia is the disease that affects the lining of the lungs causing chest pain.
- Esophagus spasms, Esophagitis, and Acid reflux are disorders of the esophagus, causing the chest wall inflammation.
- Costochondritis is an ailment that erupts due to pain in the cartilage between the ribs. It could be due to vigorous exercise, any other strenuous activity, or chronic spasmodic coughing.
- Racing Pulse (Palpitations)
- Abdominal pain
- Heart Pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pain may move on to the shoulder blades and the neck or the back.
- Rest is the most important factor that one needs to keep in mind to treat the discomfort.
- Cold compresses are also good at providing relief.
- Warm compresses also do the trick where effective treatment becomes very important.
- Deep breathing exercises keeps and helps one to regulate breathing.
- It would be to your advantage to use a spirometer. It helps to reduce atelectasis, thereby, reducing the risk for pneumonia.
- Narcotic pain medication is apt for moderate to severe pain and meant for short term use only.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain, such as Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, Naproxen, Celecoxib.
- Muscle relaxant medication can also be prescribed by the doctor to help the individual relax and calm his nerves.
- Exercise that involve stretching and encourage flexing muscles may be helpful; however, do not try to overdo the exercise and straining yourself in the bargain. If at all, you feel the pain simmer in the chest region, halt the activity immediately.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a procedure where a mild electric current is passed through white patches glued to the region where pain is extreme. The pain signals are truncated by the current being passed, so that, in the process, the sensation of pain is not transmitted to the brain.
When there is a squeezing and crushing pain that makes you extremely uncomfortable and if the pain advances to your neck or your shoulder, it is advisable to consult a practitioner immediately. If the pain persists for more than a few minutes and you feel it is unbearable, don’t ignore . . . it could turn fatal.