- Chest pain can indicate anything from heartburn to a heart attack, so it’s essential to seek medical attention right away.
- Tests like an echocardiogram, coronary angiogram, stress test, and/or blood tests may be recommended to diagnose the source of discomfort.
- If chest pain is mild but consistent or comes and goes, home remedies may help ease the discomfort.
- Remember to pay attention to your body and seek medical attention if you experience any worrisome symptoms.
Chest pain can be a minor annoyance to an incredibly frightening sensation. It’s especially concerning when it feels like the pain is constant. According to the American Heart Association, chest discomfort is a significant symptom of heart disease. But what does the presence of constant chest pain mean? Is it something serious or just indicative of minor discomfort?
Take a look at what you should do if you experience this type of chest pain.
What Does Constant Chest Pain Mean?
The answer depends on the individual, their health history, and any other symptoms that may be present. Generally speaking, constant chest pain can indicate anything from heartburn to angina to a heart attack. If the chest pain is accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, sweating, or other signs of distress, it could be a sign that medical attention is needed immediately. You want to be sure that the cause of your chest pain is appropriately diagnosed and treated.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If your chest pain is mild but consistent—or even more severe but comes and goes—it’s always best to see your doctor immediately. Your doctor can determine the cause of your chest pain and provide treatment recommendations accordingly. They may also recommend various tests that can help diagnose the source of your discomfort. Some tests that you may take are as follows:
An echocardiogram scan will give the doctor images of your heart from different angles. This will help them better understand the structure and functioning of your heart if it’s related to your chest pain.
b. Coronary angiogram
This test is used to determine if there are any blockages or any other abnormalities in the coronary arteries. It can also help your doctor assess your heart’s overall health.
c. Stress test
A stress test is used to evaluate how well your heart is functioning while under stress. It involves your doctor assess your heart rate, blood pressure, and other parameters while you’re exercising.
d. Blood tests
Blood tests can help rule out other potential causes of chest pain, such as an infection or inflammation. If your doctor suspects that the cause of your chest pain is related to a heart condition, they may use specialized blood tests to diagnose it.
Even if they don’t find anything out of the ordinary during an examination or tests, they may still recommend lifestyle changes that could help lessen any discomfort you may be feeling in your chest area going forward. This could include quitting smoking, reducing stress, exercising regularly, and eating healthier.
How Can You Manage Chest Pain In The Moment?
In some cases—especially when you’re unsure whether or not medical attention is necessary—you may want to try some home remedies for managing acute chest pain at the moment. Here are some tips to help you ease the discomfort:
a. Take a deep breath and relax.
The American Heart Association suggests taking several slow, deep breaths. This can help slow your heart rate, which in turn will help lessen the intensity of your discomfort. You can also try relaxation techniques such as guided imagery or progressive muscle relaxation.
b. Adjust your posture.
If you’ve been sitting in one position for a long time, try taking a few moments to change your posture. Sitting up straight or standing can help reduce chest pain.
c. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If you’re feeling chest pain and it’s not going away, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen can help temporarily reduce the sensation. But it’s important to note that this won’t resolve the underlying cause of your chest pain.
d. Apply heat or cold.
Applying heat or cold to the area of your chest where you feel pain can help ease the discomfort. Heat therapy can be especially helpful if your chest pain is caused by muscle tension or inflammation. Cold therapy can be beneficial if you’re experiencing chest pain due to an injury or trauma.
Chest pains can come in varying intensity; however, all should be taken seriously since they could indicate something more severe than mild discomfort. If you experience constant chest pains (or any other worrisome symptoms), it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be administered quickly and effectively. In the meantime, some home remedies and lifestyle changes can help manage chest pain at the moment. Remember to listen to your body to stay healthy and safe.