Common Causes and Treatment of Chest Pain That Comes and Goes
Chest pain that comes and goes can be a symptom of heart-related problems or digestion problems. Chest pain can be anywhere in the chest region, between your shoulders and the rib cage. It’s hard to pin point a particular reason of the on and off chest pain without undergoing medical diagnosis.
Patients who have a history of heart or lung disease should look into it seriously as the chest pain can be related to angina. Here we will see some common causes and home remedies for chest pain that comes and goes.
Common Causes of Chest Pain That Comes and Goes
There are many reasons why you frequently experience the chest pain. Some of the most common causes for chest pain that comes and goes all day are explained below.
The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. When the coronary arteries are narrowed down, and blood could not pass through them quickly, it causes chest pain.
If you exert yourself your heart works harder. There is an increased demand for blood and oxygen. If there is a blockage in the coronary arteries, it is difficult for blood to flow through the arteries at the required speed which then results in on and off chest pain.
2. Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease
This is a very general term used for digestion related problems. It refers to acid reflux and oesophagitis (1). Acid reflux is regurgitation of food into the esophagus from the stomach. Oesophagitis occurs when the lining of the esophagus gets inflamed.
The inflammation is caused due to excessive exposure to acids and eroding of the lining. These problems in the digestive tract can lead to severe uneasiness and discomfort in the chest leading to tightness and chest pain that comes and goes.
3. Unstable Angina Pain
This heart-related chest pain can occur even when a person is resting. One may experience a squeezing pressure at the center of the chest which may last for 30 minutes. It can be a symptom of heart attack which should not be ignored. You should seek immediate medical help.
4. Strained Chest Wall Muscle
There are some muscles situated around and between the rib cage which helps it move while breathing. There is a possibility that a muscle here gets strained due to some vigorous activity such as heavy lifting, stretching, persistent cough, or sudden movement. The muscle may get severely stretched or torn. This can lead to chest pain that comes and goes.
Anxiety may be a major cause of chest pain that comes and goes all day in people whose relatives are diagnosed with heart problems or if they themselves have had a heart attack recently.
If one feels fearful, tensed, or worried it may lead to chest pain. Anxiety can sometimes lead to a severe chest pain which is mistaken as angina. Such a chest pain caused due to anxiety is also known as Da Costa’s syndrome (2).
Common Symptoms of Chest Pain
There are certain symptoms which accompany a particular illness. Here are some associated symptoms that show what kind of chest pain you have and what are the underlying causes of it.
Symptoms of heart-related chest pain are:
- Short of breath
- Numbness in the left arm and shoulder
Symptoms of non-cardiac and gastrointestinal chest pain include:
- Frequent burping or belching
- A sour taste in your mouth caused by the regurgitation of acids
- Trouble swallowing
- A burning sensation in the throat, chest or stomach
Knowing the underlying cause of the chest pain can help the doctor treat it effectively.
Can a Chest Pain That Comes and Goes be a Heart Attack?
Chest pain that comes and goes doesn’t always indicate a heart attack. Symptoms of heart attack include indigestion, fullness, and numbness of left hand, jaw. There are some more symptoms of heart attack.
In case you experience these symptoms you should get immediate medical help. Neglecting these symptoms can lead to severe complication and can be fatal. The symptoms include:
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Anxiety and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Pressure, discomfort or heaviness in the chest right below the breastbone
The chest pain due to heart attack lasts for as long as half an hour and doesn’t subside with rest or nitroglycerin. It becomes severe with activities.
Symptoms of Heart-Related Chest Pain vs. Other Chest Pain
Chest pain can be either heart-related chest pain or caused due to other reasons. Here we will see some symptoms that classify chest pain as heart-related or other chest pain.
Heart-Related Chest Pain
Chest pain is common in heart diseases, but people suffering from heart diseases experience discomfort along with pain. The symptoms of heart-related chest pain include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or weakness
- Vomiting or nausea
- Cold sweats
- Pressure, fullness, and tightness in chest
- Crushing or searing pain in the chest that then spreads over to other parts like neck, jaw, arms, back, and shoulders, especially left arm
- Pain that stays a little longer and becomes worse with activity. It goes away, comes back and differs in intensity
Symptoms of Other Chest Pain
The symptoms of chest pain due to reasons other than heart-related illnesses include:
- Tenderness when you push on your chest
- Pain that intensifies when you breathe deeply or cough
- A sour taste or a sensation of food reentering your mouth
- Pain that gets better or worse with the change of body position
- Trouble in swallowing
How to Treat Chest Pain That Comes and Goes?
How to get rid of chest pain? There are many natural treatments to treat chest pain that comes and goes. These remedies will benefit you and provide relief. Following are some effective treatments for chest pain.
1. Kneel on Your Bed
It is an efficient way to solve any gas problems. This process puts pressure on your stomach and relieves you from gas. Follow the below steps to get rid of chest pain:
- Kneel down on your bed
- Head should face down
- Your buttocks should be up in the air
This can help you relieve from gas problem and eventually from chest pain.
2. Drink Some Fluid
If gas in the stomach is the cause of chest pain, then drinking fluids can relieve you of it. Drink hot beverage to improve your digestive system and relieve you from chest pain. Add a piece of ginger and let it steep in it to increase the effectiveness.
3. Ice Pack
Chest pain can be caused due to strained muscles, so applying an ice pack would help. You can make an ice pack of seven to eight ice cubes and place it on your chest. Do this for 10-15 minutes thrice a day. This can reduce the swelling after 48-72 hours and eventually will reduce the chest pain that comes and goes.
4. Garlic and Milk
Garlic has high antioxidant properties which help reduce heart-related chest pain. You can make the garlic milk as follows:
- Take a glass of milk
- Add six to eight chopped cloves of garlic
- Boil the milk
- Drink the milk along with the garlic pieces
- Remember to chew the pieces and not just swallow them
This will give instant relief from the chest pain that you are experiencing.
5. Turmeric and Milk
Like garlic milk, turmeric milk is another remedy to relieve chest pain. Follow the steps below to get the best results:
- Take milk and boil it until warm
- Add half teaspoon of turmeric to it
- Then add two spoons of honey
- Lastly add a bit of black pepper, drink this potion and make sure it is hot when you consume it
This will reduce tension in the muscles in the chest and relieve you from chest pain
The simplest way to deal with chest pain that comes and goes is taking aspirin with water. It gives instant relief from the pain and soothes the uneasiness.
7. A Pinch of Baking Soda
Acidity can also be a constant cause of chest pain. To relieve it you can mix baking soda in hot water and drink it. This solution relieves you of acidity instantly and eventually relieves you of chest pain..
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps in digestion and prevents further digestive problems including gas. You can consume two tea spoons of diluted apple cider vinegar for best results. It will help reduce the chest pain..
These remedies can be very effective if used correctly and can help you get rid of the chest pain that comes and goes. If you don’t get relief from the on and off chest pain even after trying these treatments, you should consult a doctor. Taking medical advice is better before further complications.