First things first: left chest pain is commonly associated with a heart attack. That is why if the left side of your chest is achy, it is a good idea for you to seek immediate medical attention because every second counts when the ticker is being deprived of much-needed oxygen. This is especially true if you also experience:
Shortness of breath
Shooting pain in the left arm (sometimes in the right arm, too), shoulder, neck, jaw and back
However, it’s not all the time that pain in the left side of the chest is a sign that you are having a heart attack. In some cases, it is brought about by a completely different problem. The steps you need to take as soon as you experience left chest pain depend on what’s causing it. Sometimes all you have to do is calm down, grab some ice cubes or pop an antacid in your mouth. In certain instances, medical attention should be sought.
Other than a heart attack, below are some of the possible reasons why your left chest hurts other.
Simply put, a panic attack is an intense bout of anxiety that lasts for a few minutes. Because it can cause your muscles to tighten, it’s not unlikely for you to experience pain in the left side of your chest and elsewhere. This can make it feel as though you are having a heart attack, which is something that can make matters worse. Calm down until the panic attack is over, and then consider seeking the help of a therapist or psychiatrist.
Acid Reflux or GERD
If your left chest winds up achy after consuming something spicy, greasy, acidic, caffeinated, carbonated or alcoholic, then there’s a possibility that what you are experiencing is due to acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You can rest assured that the symptom is related to the digestive system if it subsides after the intake of antacids. It’s a good idea to pay a gastroenterologist a visit in order to treat acid reflux or GERD. Otherwise, complications such as what’s known as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer may strike in the future.
Are you into sports or working out at the gym? Does your work require you to carry out things using your brute strength? Then there’s a possibility that the pain in the left side of your chest is due to a pulled muscle. Such is especially true if your left hand is the dominant one. More often than not, taking a rest is all you need to do. Taking an OTC painkilling drug and applying a cold compress on the achy area can help, too.
Your rib cage consists of bones and cartilages. There is a medical condition in which the cartilages in the ribcage become inflamed, and it’s what doctors refer to as costochondritis. Pain that it causes is usually experienced in the center of the chest, although there is a possibility for it to show up elsewhere in your chest. Rest and the intake of OTC painkilling medications are the steps that you may take to bounce back from costochondritis.
WARNING: There are many vital organs situated in the chest or near it, and that is why you should always take any form of chest pain seriously. Especially if you are experiencing other unusual symptoms, too, consider seeking medical attention right away.
Make sure that you repost this article online so that your family members and friends may also have an idea on some of the things that can cause the left side of their chest to feel achy.