Chest Pain as a Sign of Diseases Unrelated to Heart Disease

Any disease is better to prevent than to later treat, that’s why you need to be attentive to any changes in your body. Don’t ignore chest pain since your health and life may depend on it. Acute chest pain can be a symptom of many dangerous diseases including angina pectoris and myocardial infarction. Doctors emphasize and strongly recommend making an appointment with a specialist if you notice the following symptoms:

  • dyspnea
  • swelling
  • change in heartbeat 
  • headache and dizziness
  • loss of consciousness
  • frequent increase in blood pressure

People often confuse chest pain with heart pain while in some cases, this can be a sign of different diseases unrelated to the cardiovascular system.

1. Thoracic Radiculitis

Radiculitis is a condition accompanied by back pain and caused by inflammation of nerve roots in the spinal column. The first symptom of thoracic radiculitis of the lumbar spine is chest pain. People often confuse thoracic sciatica with heart pain. Risk factors of thoracic radiculitis include:

  • congenital pathologies of the thoracic spine (scoliosis, spondylosis)
  • infectious diseases (ODS, syphilis, tuberculosis, etc.)
  • inflammatory muscle diseases (myositis)
  • spinal injuries
  • obesity
  • hypothyroidism
  • diabetes
  • systematic hypothermia
  • sedentary work

2. Digestive Disorders

Chest pain can occur as a result of digestive disorders or heart diseases. Symptoms may be similar. Gastroesophageal reflux caused by the ingestion of stomach acid into the esophagus can cause a burning sensation or narrow under the sternum (chest) which may seem like pain related to heart problems. Esophageal cramps and other diseases of the esophagus muscles can also cause chest pain.

3. Bloating

Bloating can also lead to chest pain but it’s not a cause for concern. According to doctors, this is due to the fact that physical pressure disturbs certain heart functions. Food intolerance, food poisoning, excess carbonation, too much fiber in the diet, and artificial sweeteners can cause bloating. Some digestive disorders can also trigger bloating, they include: 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Chron’s disease

4. Back Problems 

The most insidious of all varieties of osteochondrosis is thoracic. The chest has a mass of nerve fibers which when inflammed may cause severe chest pain. In other words, the intervertebral discs gradually narrow and squeeze the nerve roots in the thoracic spine which leads to pain that resembles a heart attack. 

The main cause of osteochondrosis is an incorrect distribution of the load on the spine which leads to a change in cartilage tissues. People who have metabolic disorders, hormonal and vascular disorders are at high risk of thoracic osteochondrosis. 

Other factors that provoke osteochondrosis:

  • spinal injuries
  • lifting and carrying heavy objects
  • sedentary work 

If left untreated, thoracic osteochondrosis can lead to intercostal neuralgia which is always accompanied by constant severe pain.

5. Viral Infections 

Chest pain can also be caused by viral infections. Similar symptoms can occur with intoxication that developed due to infection, rheumatism or endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves). Such serious complications can also occur due to a flu. 

After physical exertion, people with endocarditis often experience pain behind their sternum. It can spread to the left hand, neck, and lower jaw. In this case, a person should consult a cardiologist.

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Article Author Details

Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people.