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Health Tip: Chest Pain Is Nothing to Sneeze At

It's not wise to ignore chest pain

(HealthDayNews) -- Many people get a little chest pain once in a while. Others get a lot of chest pain too often.

Pain in the chest, especially when it involves your heart, is called angina pectoris. Because it could indicate that a heart attack is imminent, doctors consider all serious chest pain complaints to be angina pectoris until proven otherwise.

Fortunately, the majority of chest pain complaints stem from something other than arterial blockages severe enough to cause angina pectoris and a heart attack, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Other causes can include:

  • a pinched nerve in the neck,
  • viral inflammation of the rib and cartilage,
  • diseases of the ribs, the lungs (pneumonia, other infections, cancer, etc.) and their covering (pleurisy and cancer),
  • diseases of the breathing pipe,
  • diseases of the esophagus (food pipe),
  • chest muscle spasm,
  • muscle contusion or injury,
  • arthritis of the spine or almost any joints in the chest area,
  • diseases of the diaphragm (the muscular "tent" that divides the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity into two separate airtight compartments).

If your chest pain feels serious, don't take chances. Check with your physician.

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