The experience of left chest pain is generally an alarming situation for anyone. There are, however, several causes for its occurrence, and these can range from very serious health problems to a few minor ones. Some of the most common serious causes of left chest pain are heart attack, aortic dissection, and angina. These often need immediate medical intervention for proper evaluation and treatment. Other cases are frequently due to carditis, heartburn, stress, bruised ribs, and postural changes.
A heart attack, also referred to as myocardial infarction, is usually a result of blocked blood flow or limited blood flow to the heart. It is usually accompanied by elevated heart rate, increased sweat production, paleness, and left chest pain, which may radiate to the shoulders, jaw, and arm. Smoking, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol blood levels are risk factors for heart attack. Those who have a strong history of heart disease in the family are also at increased risk.
When a tear in the aortic wall occurs, blood tends to seep inside the tear, which can create a larger tear. This condition is known as aortic dissection. The left chest pain felt is often severe when this happens. Angina, commonly known as chest pain, happens when there is not enough blood circulation in the heart muscle, thus depriving it of oxygen. It typically presents as left chest pain felt after exertion and is often relieved by resting.
Inflammation of the tissues of the heart is known as carditis. This usually occurs due to infection and other factors. Heartburn, which is the reflux of stomach acids back to the esophagus, is often mistaken for a heart attack. It may be a symptom of other underlying disease like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, and other heart conditions. Usually, it presents as a burning chest pain, which is relieved by sitting in an upright position and by taking antacids.
Stress and chest pain may also occur together. These are often manifestations of emotional and mental problems an individual is facing. Chest trauma may also result in left chest pain due to the presence of a bruised rib in the area. Sudden postural changes may sometimes result in left chest pain that resolves after a short while. This is mostly due to muscular contractions around the chest area.
Left chest pain may also occur in individuals suffering from cough, fever, and episodes of vomiting. Most doctors recommend that individuals should seek medical consultations for their symptoms in order to find out what causes the pain. Blood tests and other diagnostic tools are usually done for diagnosis.