Why Chest Pain Is Never Normal

Why Chest Pain Is Never Normal

Pain is a distressing, uncomfortable feeling. It’s a signal from your nervous system that something negative is affecting your body — and it’s a highly individualized experience.

Pain often signals that something might be wrong, but it can be tempting to brush off mild or intermittent pain because you might think, “it’s not that bad,” or “it’s probably nothing.”

However, acknowledging your pain is an important part of taking care of your health. Chest pain in particular is never normal, no matter how mild. It can take many forms, and it could indicate any number of health conditions from acid reflux to coronary artery disease.

If you have chest pain, consider scheduling a cardiology appointment to have your heart health checked out. Kunal Patel, MD, and our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute offer comprehensive exams to diagnose chest pain.

Pain is a signal that something isn’t right

The primary purpose of pain is to act as a warning signal. When your body is in distress, pain signals in your nervous system alert your brain about the issue, so you can stop whatever it is that’s harming you.

For example, pain from touching a hot stove tells you to move your hand. But when the pain isn’t related to a physical injury, it’s not always so easy to pinpoint.

Everyone has a unique pain tolerance, and different health conditions cause varying types of pain. The severity of your pain doesn’t always indicate the severity of your condition, so it’s possible to have a more serious health issue that causes little or no pain.

If you notice any type of chest pain as you go through life, you shouldn’t ignore it. Dr. Patel and our team specialize in diagnosing chest pain, and we can help you learn to recognize the signs of serious problems.

Common types of chest pain

Many people immediately think of a heart attack when they think of chest pain. While it’s true that heart attacks do cause pain, there are lots of other types of chest pain too.

Identifying your pain is the first step to seeking care. Chest pain can feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain, and may be accompanied by other symptoms like:

If you feel chest pain, pay attention to its duration, location, and intensity. These details can help your care team identify what’s causing your discomfort.

When to go to the doctor for chest pain

Remember that chest pain is never normal. Any type of chest pain should be examined by a doctor, but the type of pain you’re experiencing may indicate the type of care you need.

A heart attack or other medical emergencies, like a pulmonary embolism, require immediate medical care. If you experience chest pain and symptoms like difficulty breathing or nausea and vomiting, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. 

Mild or short-lived bouts of chest pain without any other symptoms can generally wait for you to schedule a routine heart exam. Dr. Patel and our team are trained to identify cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

We can diagnose heart conditions with a series of tests, such as echocardiograms and stress tests. Once we’ve found the cause of your discomfort, we offer a range of heart care treatments to reduce your symptoms and improve your well-being.

Everyone experiences pain now and then, but protecting your health starts by recognizing when that pain should be checked out by a doctor. To schedule an appointment for chest pain, contact NJ Cardiovascular Institute or book online now.

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