Tightness in Chest
Chest pain is perceived by many characteristic feelings such as tightness, squeezing, discomfort, or pressure in the chest.
Tight chest feeling by an individual is one of the most common signs that panic the patient and people around. Though there can be many reasons of heavy chest feeling, most people relate chest pain to heart attack.
Heavy chest feeling in itself is not a disease, but a signal from the body with causes ranging from trivial to catastrophic. Heavy feeling in chest should be considered a warning sign from the body, and medical opinion by a physician becomes necessary to rule out any serious disease.
Causes of heavy chest feeling can be acute or chronic
Acute causes of heavy chest feeling are
- Gastritis or esophagitis: Chest pain involving the lower chest and upper abdomen, and increases on swallowing or after eating food.
- Myocardial infarction or heart attack: sudden excruciating chest pain with squeezing and heavy feeling in the chest. Pain may radiate to shoulder and jaw. Sweating or breathing difficulty can accompany with it.
- Fracture of ribs: there is history of trauma in individuals who have heavy chest feeling and pain in the chest.
- Pneumonia and bronchitis: cough, fever, shortness of breath with greenish mucus is sign of respiratory tract infection.
- Asthma: heavy chest with difficulty in breathing, wheezing (audible breathing) and cough are presenting symptoms of asthma.
Chronic causes of heaviness in chest:
- Intercostals myalgia: pain on the edge of breast bone, which increases on deep breathing or coughing.
- Ulcer in stomach
- Tuberculosis of lungs.
Treatment for tightness in chest will depend on the cause, but on a cautious note it is advisable to consult a physician on slightest doubt of heaviness in chest. As he will be able to understand better with the aid of modern medical investigations like X-ray of chest and electrocardiogram.