Why Do We Suffer Chest Pains?

January 5, 2019
Although they can alert us to important problems, chest pains can also appear in stressful situations or even appear because of bad habits

The heart is the organ that works the most in the human body. It beats approximately 115,000 times per day, 80 times per minute and 42 million times per year, even when we’re resting.

The heart is responsible for pumping clean blood, rich in oxygen and diverse nutrients, to each tissue in the body.

In spite of how perfect the cardiovascular system can sound, it’s common for a great variety of things to happen that can affect how it works or indicate a problem.

Among these are chest pains which although may be very common for some people, many people don’t know exactly what they are.

If you want to know more about chest pains, read on.

What exactly are chest pains?

As its description suggests, they refer to an unpleasant sensation of pain or small blows to the heart and chest.

They usually appear without warning and, among other symptoms, cause:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

Why do we suffer chest pains?

Chest pains can be associated with a wide variety of things, however, the most common are:

1. Muscle Tension

The feeling of pain is usually due to muscle tension and this can happen very easily in moments when you take in a lot of air.

To relieve them, the best thing to do is:

  • Keep calm
  • Breathe gently
  • Allow the pain to disappear on its own

2. Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety or stress can be the direct cause of pains and this is because both subject the body to conditions of excessive tension.

It is also common for the chest pains not to appear at the moment of tension, but on the contrary, they happen in a greater number when you’re resting.

3. Hyperactivity

At the same time, when your heart rate is high, you usually breathe more intensely, which can cause chest pains.

4. Pericarditis

Pericarditis is a disease caused by inflammation of the pericardium. This is the layer that covers the heart and is responsible for:

  • Storing the fluid that lubricates and reduces the friction of the heart.
  • Limits the displacement of the heart.
  • Distributes the pressure of the heart.
  • Isolates the heart, thus avoiding possible infection.

Although there are no major risks, this inflammation can be reduced with anti-inflammatory drugs.

5. Arrhythmias

The arrhythmias imply an alteration in the cardiac rhythm, either faster or slower than normal levels, which can cause strong chest pains.

This condition can occur because of:

  • Tobacco use
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Excess exercise
  • Obesity

6. Myocardial infarction

The myocardium is the muscle tissue in the heart that is responsible for pumping blood through the circulatory system by contracting.

The failure or infarction of this tissue can cause strong chest pains because a part of the heart stops receiving the blood it requires to function.

What determines whether someone suffers from chest pains?

Although we can all experience this unpleasant sensation, some factors can increase the chances of suffering cardiac problems.

Among these are:

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Having a high cholesterol level
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Old age

What to do if you have heart problems?

The first thing you need to remember when suffering from chest pains is that you need to stay calm.

The best you can do is:

  • Relax
  • Calm your breathing
  • Massage the area
  • Drink water
  • Wait for the sensation to disappear

If this problem happens regularly, we recommend you go to your doctor.

A specialist will be responsible for checking the health of your heart through an electrocardiogram, and will prescribe medication, if necessary.