Atypical Chest Pain

WHAT IS ATYPICAL CHEST PAIN?

When one experiences chest pain that doesn’t meet the criteria for angina, it’s known as atypical chest pain. Angina chest pain is a pressure or squeezing like sensation that is usually caused when your heart muscle doesn’t get an adequate supply of oxygenated blood. If the chest pain cannot be considered as angina, then that person is said to suffer from atypical chest pain, which unlike typical chest pain, doesn’t occur in the sternum and may radiate to other parts of the body.

HOW IS ATYPICAL CHEST PAIN CAUSED?

People with atypical chest pain experience symptoms that are rather similar to gastrointestinal, respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases. While chest pain is more than often related to a condition affecting the heart, it can also be caused by non-cardiac causes, such as musculoskeletal issues or because of a psychiatric condition. Some other common causes of atypical chest pain include the following:

  • Lung Problems
  • Costochondritis
  • Acid reflux
  • Stress
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE ATYPICAL CHEST PAIN?

Some common symptoms of atypical chest pain are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Profuse sweating

The pain will be pulsating and sharp. It may occur at any time and last from anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. As mentioned, the symptoms are quite similar to those experienced when suffering from gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal or respiratory diseases. If you are facing chest pain that isn’t related to a heart problem, along with the symptoms mentioned above, you should seek medical attention immediately.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE?

If you are experiencing repetitive episodes of chest pain, the doctor will perform a medical evaluation in order to determine whether the chest pain is cardiac or non-cardiac related. Based on the intensity and duration of the pain, your doctor will determine whether the symptoms are similar those of typical chest pain or atypical chest pain. Once the doctor concludes it’s the latter, the course of treatment will be dependent upon the underlying medical condition that is causing the pain. While medications usually control the condition, in severe cases your doctor may recommend undergoing a surgery.