What are chest pains?

Chest pains are a sensation of a discomfort that you feel in any area of the chest. They can be right-sided or left-sided or central in location.  They can be sharp, dull or pressing in nature.  Their onset can be sporadic or related to a specific inciting occurrence. The chest pains can vary in duration and may or may not have other accompanying symptoms.

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What causes chest pains?

Chest pains can be due to a variety of reasons.  The major concern would be if they are cardiac in nature.  Other causes of chest pains may include gastroesophageal reflux, pleurisy, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and anxiety induced.

How are chest pains evaluated?

If the chest pains are acute in onset, severe and persistent it requires immediate emergency attention (i.e. calling 911). However, if the chest pains are more chronic in nature and intermittent then consideration should be given to obtaining a cardiology consultation.  The cardiologist would then determine if there is a potential for there being a cardiac source to the chest pains.  Further cardiac testing i.e, treadmill/bike stress testing can be performed to diagnose a cardiac-related cause.