Have you ever felt severe pain in your chest that you couldn’t explain? Almost everyone has, and it can send us sprinting to Google to figure out what’s wrong with us, which usually leads to us wondering whether or not we need to dial 911.
However, one medical expert on TikTok clarified that there are a number of completely legitimate causes for chest pain that do not necessitate a trip to emergency.
Dr. Karan Raj posted a video to his @dr.karanr account that went over three “benign” causes of that sharp, stabbing feeling in your chest, and said that in most cases, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
He said: “Costochondritis. Inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone – the sternum.
“Pleurisy. Inflammation of the tissue between the chest and the lung – the pleura. This is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
“Precordial catch syndrome. We don’t really know the cause of this, but it involves irritation of the intercostal nerves, which are the nerves that run through the chest wall.”
Dr. Raj’s video has received over 330,000 views, with many commenters thanking him for calming their anxieties about their chest symptoms.
While another added: “Thank you so much for this! I am completely enlightened.”
And a third said: “As a person that has health anxiety, you gave the best advice.”
However, in response to a comment, Dr Raj stated that if chest issues linger, you should always see your doctor.
The comment read: “I thought I was having minor heart attacks or something. What can I do about it?”
And Dr Raj replied: “Go and see a doctor to get it checked out if it persists.”
What are the causes of chest pain?
According to the American Heart Association, there are various potential reasons for chest discomfort, which could be induced by anything from stress to a chest infection.
Heartburn or indigestion may be to blame if your chest discomfort is accompanied by a feeling of being full or bloated, but pain that develops after exercise could be the consequence of a chest sprain or strain.
A panic attack can be induced by stress and accompanied by perspiration and dizziness, and you may also experience chest aches if you have pneumonia or shingles.
You could also have pericarditis, which causes a sudden, intense, stabbing pain that grows worse when you breathe deeply or lie down, or angina, which has symptoms that are comparable to a heart attack.
When should you call 911?
While most chest pain isn’t an indication of anything dangerous, as Dr. Raj has said, if you suspect you’re experiencing a heart attack, you should seek medical treatment right away.
According to the health body, you should dial 911 right away if you have sudden chest discomfort that:
- spreads to your arms, back, neck, or jaw
- makes your chest feel tight or heavy
- also started with shortness of breath, sweating, and feeling/being sick
- lasts more than 15 minutes
If you have intermittent chest pain, the agency recommends consulting your doctor to ensure it isn’t something dangerous.
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