Chest Pain And Breathlessness: Causes of Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath

Question:

I am suffering from breathing trouble and mild left chest pain from december2009. How can I relieve chest pain and breathing difficulties?

Answer:

  • Chest pain and breathlessness is one of the commonest subjective symptoms that cause alarm to the patient as well as to the treating clinician, as it often gives the sufferer a vision of serious organic disease of heart or lungs.
  • It is also a challenging situation for the clinician to diagnose the problem. Failure to recognize a serious disorder such as coronary artery disease may result in dangerous delay of the much needed treatment.
  • Now let me know your age, what are the associated signs and symptoms along with chest pain and breathing difficulty?
  • Do you have cough during this period, and does the cough increase your chest pain? Probably then this could be due to the muscle spasm caused by coughing as in case of bronchitis.
  • Do you have mental stress in recent times? Then we will have to look for functional cause.
  • Does the left sided pain radiate to the arms or the hand? Is your breathlessness associated with simple work, or climbing stairs, or walking a little? Do you smoke and drink alcohol? If so you may need a thorough check up by a cardiac physician.

Causes of Chest Pain and Breathlessness

There are many causes for this type of symptoms they can be from simple muscular pain to grave heart disease, few of the important causes are:

  • Musculoskeletal: trauma, rib fracture, muscle spasm
  • Functional: anxiety

More serious causes:

  • Cardiac: ischemic heart disease, angina pectoris, valvular heart disease,
  • Respiratory: pleurisy, bronchitis,

Investigation necessary are: complete blood count, lipid profile, ECG at rest and during exercise, X-ray chest. This are the primary investigations required.

Treatment for Chest Pain and Breathing Trouble

When there is breathing and chest pain problem associated together howsoever it may be mild, the first thing is to exclude the cardiac cause and lung disease. For this it is advisable to consult a physician.

Some of the home remedies and tips may be valuable:

  • Garlic with milk on regular basis is very effective in cardiac chest pain; garlic has property of making the blood thin in persons having cholesterol problems.
  • Basil juice and honey in the morning is very useful in avoiding chest pain. It can be useful in treating bronchitis and cough.
  • Consumption of ginger in daily diet also helps to reduce breathing difficulty and cough resulting in chest pain.
  • Stop smoking if you are doing so, it is good for your heart and your lungs.

4 Comments

  1. G said:

    Since I was a child I have been having pain near my chest. Sometimes it moves to the left and right side of the chest. When I was about 14 or 15 years I had a very long stabbing pain through out the night. I went to many doctors and performed many tests but they said am okay. Recently the pain moved to my left chest, back and arm. When I perform exercises my heart seems to tighten and stops when I rest. I also have short breath sometimes. Only garlic stops the pain for a while. I am 18 now. What symptoms are these? What can treat this condition?

    October 10, 2010
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Looking at your age, the problem can be a musculoskeletal, but other causes such as ischemia of heart, valvular disease of heart and lastly anxiety should be ruled out. You should consult a physician for this as you may require further investigations. Meanwhile stop exertion exercises. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

      October 11, 2010
      Reply
  2. Lee said:

    I have never had any back problems before but right after an auto accident I have been having persistent lower back pain. Pain that affects the way I move, how long I sit, lifting 10+ pounds, etc. I had a MRI done which showed mild arthritis and inflammation, other than that MRI is normal. They are referring me to pain management therapy as the pain is intense. I usually lose 1 to 3 days a week due to the pain. I don’t understand why would I just start hurting like this? Also, my entire lower back is tender to the touch, if someone hugs me and their fingers touch certain spots of my lower back very painful.

    April 16, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Herbal oil massage is beneficial in relieving back pain when the cause is muscular strain. Also maintain a good posture. Sit on firm chair, stand erect and avoid stooping. Avoid lifting heavy objects. Many homeopathic medicines are effective in relieving pain and inflammation caused after traumatic injury. Arnica and Rhustox are found to be effective.

      April 18, 2012
      Reply

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