What Causes Pains in Chest and Back?
Chest pain appears in many forms, ranging from a sharp stab to a dull pains and hurts you back as well. Often chest pain feels crushing or burning. In particular cases, the pain travels up the neck, into the jaw, then radiates to the back or down one or both arms. Many different problems can cause chest and back pains. The most dangerous causes involve the heart or stomach. Due to the fact that pains can indicate a severe issue, it’s important to seek instant medical aid.
Coronary Artery Disease, or CAD
A clog in the heart capillary that minimizes blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle itself. This can cause pain known as angina. It’s a symptom of heart disease however usually does not cause permanent damage to the heart. It is, though, a sign that you are a candidate for a heart attack eventually in the future. The chest pain might spread to your arm, shoulder, jaw, or back. It may feel like a pressure or squeezing feeling. Angina can be triggered by exercise, enjoyment, or emotional distress and is relieved by rest.
This is an inflammation or infection of the sac around the heart. It can cause pain much like that caused by angina. However, it typically causes a sharp, constant pain along the upper neck and shoulder muscle. Sometimes it worsens when you breathe, swallow food, or push your back.
Coronary Artery Dissection
A range of aspects can cause this unusual however deadly condition, which results when a tear establishes in the coronary artery. It may cause an abrupt severe pain with a tearing or ripping sensation that goes up into the neck, back, or abdomen.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Also called acid reflux, GERD happens when stomach contents return into the throat. This may cause a sour taste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the chest or throat, referred to as heartburn. Factors that may trigger acid reflux include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and spicy or fatty foods. Heart pain and heartburn from acid reflux feel similar partially due to the fact that the heart and esophagus are located near each other and share a nerve network.
When to See the Doctor
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, particularly if it begins unexpectedly or is not alleviated by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms together with back and chest pain:
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back.
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or squashing under your breastbone.
- Nausea, dizziness, quick heart rate or quick breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating.
- Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of lack of exercise.
- Very low high blood pressure or really low heart rate.
Last modified: February 12, 2018