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Heart pain: underlying causes and diagnosis

Heart pain: underlying causes and diagnosis


A healthy heart is the foundation of a long and fulfilling life. Pain in the heart can be caused by various causes and diseases.

Why does the heart hurt?

Among the elderly, pain in the heart is the most common symptom. Recently, more and more young people are also faced with this disease. Pain in the heart is not always associated with the disease of the organ itself - the heart. Often this symptom "speaks" about the problems of the stomach, spine, lungs, ribs, chest. Prerequisites can be any chronic illness.

Causes of pain in the heart can be divided into two categories:

Causes associated with violations of the heart itself

  • Myocardial infarction
  • Angina pectoris
  • Ischemia of the heart
  • Wrong blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle
  • Heart disease
  • Excessive load on the heart muscle.

Causes associated with lesions of other systems

  • Violations of the musculoskeletal system
  • Hormonal disruptions
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Vegetative dystonia
  • Diseases of the stomach (ulcer, gastritis)
  • Effect of alcohol, nicotine, drugs
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Malignant or benign tumors
  • Fractures, cracks in the ribs
  • During pregnancy, pain manifests itself due to increased stress on the heart, pressure on the diaphragm
  • After anesthesia, pain in the heart area is a side effect and is rarely associated with heart disease.

To recognize the reason why the heart hurts, you can by the type of pain.



How to distinguish heart pain from non-heart pain

Pain in the heart can be varied. Pain is stabbing, cutting, aching, burning, pressing, compressing, pulling. Pain symptoms can last for some time or instantly "pass."

There is pain during physical activity or stress, or at rest. The pain can be given to different parts of the body, to pass with shortness of breath, attacks of suffocation. With heart pain often numb hand.

To recognize heart pain, you need to know exactly where the heart is located. Cutting pain in the left side of the chest is not a sign of heart disease, because the organ itself is in the middle of the chest. Pain to the left of the heart can also occur due to an uncomfortable posture or position.

Symptoms of pain associated with heart disease:

  • The pain is felt behind the chest and to the left
  • The pain can spread to the entire left side to the armpit.
  • The pain gives in the arm and scapula
  • Appears after stress and physical activity
  • Heart pain lasts up to 20 minutes
  • Constricting and burning pain

Features of non-cardiac pain (not related to heart disease)

  • The pain manifests itself after coughing, taking a deep breath.
  • Constant pain
  • The pain is sharp and stabbing.

Heart diseases and other diseases

The pain in the heart in most cases is taken for heart pain, thereby confused with the true causes of pain. Improper understanding of pain can lead to improper treatment.

How to distinguish heart pain from osteochondrosis of the thoracic and cervical? This disease is often confused with angina. The pains are felt to the left and behind the sternum. The pain is long and severe, can give to the scapula and arm. The pain may increase with careless turning of the head.

Difference from intercostal neuralgia - a sharp pain, radiating to the intercostal space. Pain occurs when inhaling, coughing, sudden movement and hypothermia. Sometimes it is difficult to breathe. The cause of the disease is osteochondrosis.

Heart diseases causing pain: angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, pericarditis, mitral valve prolapse, aortic dissection.

Yet correctly determine the origin of pain in the heart and make a correct diagnosis can only be a doctor. For recurring pains, you should immediately contact the medical facility. Cardiologist deals with heart diseases.

Heart pain diagnosis

What to do to diagnose and examine the heart?

You need to go through the following procedures:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • To make a x-ray examination of the chest organs
  • Make an electrocardiogram and ultrasound of the heart

Heart can hurt when leading the wrong way of life. Then, to establish the work of the heart and to treat pain, it is enough to change the way of life a little - to observe the mode of eating, to alternate sleep and labor activity, walk more and breathe fresh air, get rid of bad habits.

Due to the fact that women are more emotional, they are more prone to heart pain. However, heart disease is more common in men.

For heart pain, you should not “pull” time and wait until a heart attack occurs. It is necessary immediately and in time to consult a doctor.

Nature of pain

  1. Constricting and burning pain . Burning pain usually signals heart disease. Such pain occurs when heart ischemia is suspected, tachycardia, angina pectoris, arrhythmia. The pain can pass with shortness of breath, palpitations, a sense of fear of death.

Other causes of pain are an ulcer or gastritis, hormonal failure, vascular diseases.

  1. Pressing pain . Such pain is also a symptom of heart disease. Pressing pain usually calms down after rest and rest. Excessive stress on the heart can be the cause of the pain. Non-cardiac diseases are also associated with pressing pain - diseases of the stomach and poisoning. With pain, the pulse may increase and heart failure will appear.

If pressing pain has arisen on an empty stomach or after a meal, then the cause is in the gastrointestinal tract. If after exercise - it is a cardiac disease. When heart pain unpleasant sensations last up to an hour.

  1. Sharp stabbing pains . Such pains are not threatening to human health and do not last long. They are not a sign of impaired blood flow. If the pain appears when you cough or sigh, the reason is in diseases of the respiratory system.
  2. The aching pain appears from experiences, frequent depressions, stresses. This can lead to severe cardiac neurosis disease.

Heart pain in children

In children, pain in the heart region is more often piercing and is triggered by a stressful situation. Such pains decrease when the child's attention is switched and after taking sedatives.

Younger students experience pain due to the so-called growing pains. When the mouth of the heart muscle is ahead of the growth of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.

In adolescents, pain is often associated with the development of vegetative dystonia. Stitching may occur in a calm state in the left half of the chest. When VSD observed reduced pressure. Especially manifested in the summer and spring periods. You need to consult a doctor if the pressure is low and the heart hurts.

You should be careful if the child has heart pains due to acute respiratory viral infections or after 2-3 weeks after a sore throat or scarlet fever. These pains can signal the development of viral myocarditis or rheumatism. In these cases, you need to contact your doctor for advice.

The effect of alcohol on the heart

It has long been known to all that alcohol is a poison for the heart. After heavy drinking, hangover occurs, which is accompanied by various painful sensations. Pain in the heart is an alarm.

After drinking, heart pains indicate a violation of the function of the cardiovascular system and lungs. Pain accompanied by shortness of breath, palpitations, and swelling.

Rapid pulse and pressure drops with a hangover syndrome lead to a deterioration of the nutrition of the brain. Increased risk of stroke.

When pain after drinking alcohol can not take a douche, engage in active training, go to the bath or sauna. You need to take activated charcoal to remove toxins from the body.

Folk remedies and first aid at home

Pain in the heart

Treatment of pain in the heart must be under the supervision of a physician. But at home you can provide first aid.

  1. If there is pain after eating food, and it does not give up anywhere and there is no shortness of breath, you can drink some milk or non-carbonated mineral water.
  2. Dull, aching poured acute pain in the right or left hypochondrium - you need to take antispasmodic drugs (no-spa, magnesium sulfate).
  3. With chest pain due to high body temperature, it is sufficient antipyretic drugs, which include paracetamol, analgin, aspirin.
  4. If the pain in the heart area is felt in one place and increases with a change of posture, breathing or movement, or pressure on the area where it hurts, diclofenac and ibuprofen tablets will be effective.
  5. Soothing medications - motherwort, valerian infusion will cope with chest pains on the background of an increased psycho-emotional state. It will also help validol or Corvalol.

Heart pain

Some folk remedies may be effective.

  1. Soothing heart pain and reduce shortness of breath tincture of dry leaves of lemon balm. 2st.l. leaves pour 300mm boiled water. Drink tincture three times a day for half a cup.
  2. When heart pain helps tincture on vodka from walnut. For tincture of 30 unripe nuts, chop finely and pour a liter of alcohol or vodka. Insist 14 days in the sun. Drink tincture three times a day, 20 drops. The course can be continued up to 4 weeks.
  3. Improves the work of the heart chewing lemon peel.
  4. With heart disease will help the root hips. Chop the root, pour over the top. a glass of boiling water and boil on a small fire for 15 minutes. Drink like tea three glasses a day for two weeks.
  5. For external use with heart pain, fir oil is suitable. Rub the oil should be in the left nipple for 3-5 minutes.

Pain in the heart - a serious reason to take care of their health. Only a doctor will be able to accurately determine the cause of pain.


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