Chest and Back Pain Causes, Treatment, And More Chest and Back Pain Causes, Treatment, And More

Chest and Back Pain Causes, Treatment, And More

 

Even though back pain can be uncomfortable, it is not always a concern. If back and chest pain coincide, it may signify something more serious. Understanding when chest and back pain is crucial, what to do with it, and when it may go away is crucial.

What is Chest and Back Pain?

Various factors can cause pain in the chest and back. Identifying the cause of pain depends on its location, severity, and timing. The pain in your chest and back can be continuous or intermittent. There could be dull, sharp, throbbing, or stabbing pain.

It would help if you were as specific as possible when you tell your doctor about back and chest pain:

  • When you noticed the pain, what were you doing?

  • How long have you been experiencing pain symptoms?

  • If you have any other symptoms, please let us know.

Muscle strains, digestive problems, heart disease, or lung conditions can cause chest and back pain. A healthcare provider should be consulted if you experience new chest and back pain that lasts more than a few minutes or is concerning.

Symptoms of Chest and Back Pain

Chest and back pain can cause the following symptoms:

  • Constrictions in the chest and back suddenly

  • Both sides of the abdomen experience dull chest pain

  • A stabbing or throbbing pain around the trunk

  • A general feeling of discomfort in your abdomen

  • Chest pain that radiates to your back

  • Your chest or back feels like it is tearing

Causes of Chest and Back Pain

There are several causes of chest and back pain. Most of these can be safely handled at home or discussed with your primary care provider. Chest and back pain, however, can also indicate a more serious health problem.

Common Causes

The following may cause aching, sharp, or cramping pain in the upper right stomach or right side of the spine:

  • Problems with the gallbladder: Gallbladder pain, such as pain caused by gallstones, may last for a few minutes or several hours. It may also be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. A fever or yellowing of the skin (jaundice) should be treated immediately if you have a known gallbladder problem.

  • Your chest and back pain may only occur when you cough or breathe out:

  • An injury to a muscle can occur nearly everywhere in the body, but the back and abdomen are the most likely sites. If you give it time to heal, it will usually get better. It is possible to pull or injure a muscle without awareness.

  • Fractured or bruised ribs: Fractured ribs usually only occur due to a significant accident or fall. However, bruised ribs can still cause chest pain and discomfort. Taking deep breaths, laughing, or coughing may worsen rib pain.

  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the lung membranes) typically lasts a few days to a few weeks following a viral illness or infection. Also, pleurisy may cause shoulder pain, a dry cough, and shortness of breath. Since these signs can overlap with symptoms of more severe conditions, you should only assume you have pleurisy once you have been diagnosed.

  • A viral infection, physical exertion, or sometimes for no apparent reason, can cause costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs. The pain usually worsens if you push on or move the area in your chest or back. Over-the-counter medications usually help this within a few weeks.

You may experience chest and back pain while lying down or resting if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pancreatitis: The pancreas aids digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. Inflammation of the pancreas can give rise to pancreatitis. It may cause upper abdominal and chest pain that radiates to the back, a tender abdomen, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Regular alcohol consumption increases the risk of pancreatitis.

Chest and back pain can also be caused by:

  • It causes a painful rash, tingling, or burning on the skin and is triggered by the same virus as chickenpox. There may also be pain or general discomfort before the rash appears. When you have shingles, you will develop a horizontal rash around one side of your chest, abdomen, or back.

  • Anxiety can erupt into panic attacks, which can present with various symptoms. A heart attack may cause chest or back pain and overlapping symptoms.

 

Serious Causes

In combination with chest pain, pain in the left or centre of the back might indicate a heart condition. Get emergency medical attention if you experience chest pain and back pain at the same time.

A heart attack or other serious condition could be causing this.

  • Coronary Artery Disease/Heart Disease: Coronary artery ailment, or an infection of the blood vessels of your heart, can result in chest pain, which may or may not spread to your arm, jaw, or back. When blood flow to the heart is decreased, you may feel the pain that comes and goes, known as angina, and there may be an injury to the heart, referred to as a heart attack. Feeling dizzy, intense pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and chills may accompany chest pain caused by heart disease.

  • A pulmonary embolism is a blood vessel blockage that narrows an artery in the lungs. Pulmonary embolisms are medical emergencies that require immediate attention. A sudden onset of chest pain occurs when you take a deep breath. Your back may be affected by the pain. A rapid heart rate and shortness of breath are other signs of pulmonary embolism.

Pericarditis is inflammation of the sac that covers the heart. Viral illnesses or other factors can cause this. When leaning forward, pericarditis pain often feels better, while when leaning back, it feels worse. Shortness of breath, dizziness and rapid heart rate may accompany it. ER Visits: When to Go

If you experience severe chest and back pain that does not improve after a few minutes, pain that worsens over time or is worsened by physical activity, or pain that occurs with other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fever, sweating, or shortness of breath, get to the emergency centre or call an ambulance immediately.

Chest and back pain symptoms that are milder and do not seem like an emergency should be reported to your doctor or health care provider. If your symptoms worsen after hours, don't hesitate to visit an ER.

 

Diagnosing Chest and Back Pain

Do not attempt to self-diagnose chest and back pain. Although many causes are common and don't lead to severe consequences if untouched, it is not always easy to tell. See your doctor or healthcare professional for an appropriate diagnosis and to avoid severe complications.

Your doctor will evaluate chest and back pain in one or more of the following methods:

  • Take your medical record and assess relevant related conditions

  • Perform a physical examination

  • Order an x-ray, CT scan, or other diagnostic imaging Order blood work order an electrocardiogram.

In many instances, a physical exam, history, and electrocardiogram are the primary tests needed, but your healthcare provider will determine the best test for your symptoms.

After the examination and tests, your provider can give you a better prognosis for handling your chest and back pain.

The Treatment of Chest and Back Pain

The treatment for your chest and back pain will vary depending on what is causing it. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to get relief from your symptoms. You may be required to alter your diet or take medication to help control symptoms of digestive disorders.

You may need to make lifestyle modifications, diet alterations, and take medicine to treat heart conditions. For other chest or back pain reasons, your doctor will give clear instructions on treating or managing your condition.

Preventing Chest and Back Pain

Pain in the chest and back cannot always be prevented.

You can prevent symptoms of many conditions by being proactive about your health.

  • Consume a diet high in fibre, fruits, and vegetables and minimal in saturated fat and cholesterol.

  • Exercise regularly and stretch beforehand to avoid pulled muscles or injuries.

  • Manage your stress and take care of your mental health.

  • Drink less alcohol.

  • Smoking should be avoided.

  • Secondhand smoke should be avoided.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • To manage conditions, make sure to complete routine well-visits and appointments.

When to See a Doctor

A doctor should be consulted if you experience new or severe chest or back pain, significantly if it worsens or is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath or dizziness.

If you have chest or back pain, seek medical attention and follow up with your doctor.

How Mobi Doctor Can Help

Mobi Doctor offers online urgent care. In minutes, you can check your symptoms, research conditions and treatments, and text a healthcare provider if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the severity of chest pain?

It is not always a sign of a medical emergency when you experience chest pain. Since it can be the only symptom, a medical professional should always diagnose new or unknown chest pain, significantly if it worsens or is accompanied by other symptoms like loss of breath, sweating, or dizziness.

 

Is COVID-19 capable of causing chest pain?

In addition to chest pain, shortness of breath may also be a symptom of Covid, according to the CDC. Emergency medical care should be sought if your chest pain is severe or accompanied by breathing difficulties.

 

What is the average duration of chest pain?

Chest pain can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours or be chronic. A physician should always evaluate chest pain to avoid complications and ensure that it is being treated effectively.

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