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Chest pain: cardiac or not?

Think of Your Heart chronicles by Dr Martin Juneau, June 3, 2013 - 14:45

For an hour, you have been having a vague discomfort in your chest area. Is it your heart?

It is not always easy to differentiate a cardiac pain from a pain of muscular, pulmonary or digestive origin.

The following information can assist you in determining the cause of your discomfort;

  1. Does the pain increase or decrease when you alter your position? Does the pain change when you take a deep breath? Can you reproduce it if you press on the sensitive area? A positive response to one of the above questions suggests that it is more a muscular pain than a cardiac pain which persists regardless of the position or the type of breathing.
  2. If your chest pain is accompanied by a feeling of nausea or stomach heartburn, you can try taking an antacid. If the pain disappears, there are good chances that the cause was digestive.
  3. Infarction can appear in multiple ways. Any persistent chest pain, accompanied by a feeling of indigestion or not, could be of cardiac origin and warrants an investigation.

In case of doubt, it is best to consult.


With the cooperation of Manon Bélanger, nurse

The Montreal Heart Institute is in no way responsible for the following comments. These comments reflect the views and opinions of the users and not those of the Montreal Heart Institute.

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