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Why You Should Never Ignore Chest Pain

Depending on the severity, you may either be very alarmed or dismissive of chest pain. While in some mild cases, chest pain may be benign, in many situations, it’s a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Chest pain doesn't always feel like a sharp stab — it can also feel dull and throbbing. Sometimes, you may also experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, or sweating. Whatever the case, chest pain should never be ignored.

At Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center in Tomball, Texas, our experienced team of cardiologists specializes in diagnosing and treating heart-related conditions that could be causing chest pain.

Ignoring chest pain can lead to dire complications. Here, we outline the most common causes and why you should see a cardiologist if you're experiencing any pain.

Why does your chest hurt?

When you get chest pain, the source could be your heart, lungs, muscles, ribs, or even your digestive system. However, the most common causes are heart-related conditions, such as angina, heart attack, pericarditis, or myocarditis.

Heart-related chest pain can feel like pressure or tightness, a burning sensation, or a sharp, stabbing pain. With many heart conditions, it feels like a heavy weight or band squeezing your chest. 

You may also feel pain in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It's also common to develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and dizziness, especially during a heart attack. 

Common heart-related causes of chest pain

The most common heart conditions that trigger chest pain include:


Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when there isn't enough blood flowing to your heart. It's typically triggered by physically over-exerting yourself or emotional stress. 

Although it usually lasts only a few minutes, angina is a warning sign you have an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease or a heart attack in the future. 

Heart attack

Sudden and severe chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and lightheadedness are typical signs of a heart attack caused by a block in oxygen flow to your heart.

In women, signs of a heart attack may be slightly different. The pain might feel more like heartburn and spread to the arms, back, neck, or jaw.

If you suspect you or a loved one is having a heart attack, get medical help immediately. Timely treatment at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center can be the difference between life and death.

Myocarditis and pericarditis

These conditions cause parts of the heart to become inflamed. Viral infections typically trigger them, and they can cause sharp, stabbing chest pain.

Untreated myocarditis and pericarditis can weaken your heart and lead to heart failure or arrhythmias. In some cases, pericarditis can resolve on its own. However, you should always contact one of our cardiologists.

Why you shouldn't ignore chest pain

Chest pain can be an early indication of many heart conditions, especially before you develop other symptoms. Detecting a heart attack or myocarditis early can significantly improve your outcomes and save your life.

Ignoring chest pain can lead to complications, even with seemingly minor conditions like angina. Untreated angina can progress to more severe heart disease. 

If you're not experiencing debilitating symptoms, it can be easy to ignore chest pain. However, there are severe health issues that even a minor ache in your chest could indicate. 

Schedule an appointment with us online or call 281-255-2000 today to get to the bottom of your chest pain and receive the best care from our expert team.

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