Chest Pain Specialist

Annandale Primary Care

Primary Care Practice & Aesthetics located in Annandale, VA

If you or a loved one is suffering from chest pain, you should call the providers at Annandale Primary Care right away. Chest pain can indicate a dangerous underlying medical condition that requires immediate attention. If you live in or around Annandale, Virginia, call Annandale Primary Care today or request an appointment online.

Chest Pain Q & A

What is chest pain?

When your heart muscle doesn’t get a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood, you often experience angina, or chest pain. Many different issues can lead to chest pain, the most serious involving your heart or lungs.

What are the symptoms of chest pain?

Chest pain can manifest itself in several ways. Sometimes it can feel like a sharp stab or a dull ache, other times it can feel like indigestion or just a vague discomfort. Some patients experience pain up to their neck, into their jaw, and back down to one or both arms. Your pain depends on what’s triggering your symptoms.

Symptoms associated with a heart attack can include the following:

  • Pressure, fullness, burning or tightness in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Crushing or searing pain
  • Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, worsens with physical activity, or varies in intensity
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold sweats

Chest pain that's less likely to be due to a heart problem typically causes symptoms such as:

  • A sour taste in your mouth
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Pain that varies when you change your body position
  • Pain that intensifies when you breathe deeply or cough
  • Chest tenderness
  • Pain that persists for several hours

What can cause your chest pain?

Various medical issues can cause you to experience chest pain. Heart-related causes can include:

  • Heart attack
  • Angina
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pericarditis

Digestive causes include:

  • Heartburn
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Gallbladder or pancreas problems

Some types of chest pain are due to injuries that can affect your chest wall; others are due to lung disorders. A panic attack or shingles can also cause chest pain.

Regardless of what you think the reason is for your chest pain, you should seek medical attention right away.

What are some factors that increase your chances of chest pain?

Various factors can increase your risk of experiencing chest pain. Some of these factors include:

  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Inactivity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Older age (45 years of age for men, 55 years of age for women)
  • Family history of early heart disease

What tests are performed to check your heart?

The providers at Annandale Primary Care utilize various tests to detect your heart's health. Some of the first tests your doctor may use include blood tests, a chest X-ray, or a computerized tomography (CT scan).

During your office visit, they will perform an electrocardiogram (EKG). An EKG records your heart’s electrical activity through electrodes attached to your skin. Since injured heart muscle doesn't conduct normal electrical impulses, the EKG can reveal irregularities in your electrical activity that might an oncoming heart attack or a recent one.

If you're experiencing new or unexplained chest pain or you suspect you or a loved one might be having a heart attack, call for emergency medical help immediately. Otherwise, schedule an appointment with Annandale Primary Care by calling the office today or requesting one online.