Chest pain is unsettling and can present for a variety of different reasons. While some chest pain is not life-threatening, pain in this region can indicate several serious issues, which is why it’s essential to seek proper medical attention right away.
Life-threatening reasons for chest pain
Chest pain or discomfort when your heart doesn’t receive enough oxygen-rich blood is known as angina. You may feel pressure or squeezing in your chest, which may radiate to your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.
There are two types of angina: stable and unstable. Stable angina usually occurs with activity, excitement, or emotional stress and is relieved with rest. It will begin at a low level, then gradually increase within the next few minutes. On the other hand, unstable angina is unexpected chest pain and can come on at any time, even during sleep.
Neither type of angina is a disease in itself but rather a symptom of an underlying heart problem, most likely coronary heart disease. Unstable angina may signal an impending heart attack, which is why it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Another source of chest pain can arise from a pulmonary embolism. An embolism occurs when a clot (typically from your leg or pelvic veins) lodges in your lung’s pulmonary artery. You may feel a sharp or stabbing pain or a burning, aching, or dull, heavy sensation under the breastbone or on one side. You may also experience shortness of breath. Since the clot cuts off blood flow to your lungs, a pulmonary embolism is potentially life-threatening.
Heart Valve Disease
The heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction. They also ensure the proper circulation of blood throughout the body. If a valve malfunctions, you may develop heart valve disease. You may not experience any symptoms with a diagnosis of heart valve disease for many years, but when you do, you may experience chest pain in addition to shortness of breath, a heart murmur, and chest pain.
Constant pain or pressure in your chest can be a symptom of the coronavirus, especially when it’s accompanied by trouble breathing, fever, chills, nausea, and diarrhea. If you feel this is the reason for your chest pain, Community First ER offers rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing onsite.
Non-life-threatening reasons for chest pain
You may be experiencing chest pain that is not life-threatening. Some of these reasons include:
- Muscle strain
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
We offer peace of mind
If you have any type of chest pain and are concerned it could be life-threatening, we are here for you. Our team of professionals will conduct a thorough exam to determine your pain source and treat it appropriately. Here’s what you can expect from Community First ER:
- No appointment required – If you need us, we’ll be here. You do not need to call ahead; walk-ins are welcome. We are open 24/7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- No wait times – Upon arrival, we will assess your symptoms and get you seen right away.
- Fast service and compassionate care – We realize you are coming to see us under stressful circumstances. Our caring staff will make you as comfortable as possible.
- Transportation to a hospital – Should your condition warrant a higher level of care, we will make arrangements to transfer you via our ambulance or helipad services.
We’re taking above-level COVID-19 precautions
Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 prevent you from seeking life-saving medical care. Your apprehension is understandable; however, we want to assure you we maintain strict infection prevention measures and precautions above and beyond what is recommended by health officials so you can experience peace of mind at our facility. Our coronavirus prevention measures include mask-wearing, checking temperatures upon arrival, regular disinfecting, and creating social distance between patients.
Our commitment to you
At Community First ER, we are committed to providing you the best possible care now and always. We have both adult and pediatric emergency care available. We have a team of medical and surgical specialists that we consult with to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs.
About Community First Emergency Room
Emergency health care, especially in the time of a pandemic, is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us.
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Photo edit based on (Photo Vadimgozhda/Dreamstime.com)