Chest pain can be a sign of a potentially life-threatening disease, so it’s vital to find out what’s causing your symptoms. If you’re experiencing episodes of chest pain, board-certified physicians Muhammad Khan, MD, and Ambreen Ashfaque, MD, at Cardiac Center of Texas in McKinney, Texas, serving residents from surrounding Collin County, are ready to help. They can find out why you’re having chest pain using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology. They also provide the most advanced treatments for conditions like angina and other heart problems. Call Cardiac Center of Texas today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.

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What causes chest pain?

There can be numerous possible causes of chest pain. It could be due to an attack of acid reflux or a pulled muscle, for instance. Or it could have a more serious cause, such as:

  • Pulmonary embolism (lung artery blockage)
  • Aortic dissection (tear in a major artery)
  • Pneumonia or pleurisy (lung infections)
  • Aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve in your heart)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the tissues around your heart)
  • Panic attacks

If you have chronic chest pain that flares up periodically, it could be angina.

What is angina?

Angina is chest pain that arises when your heart muscle isn’t receiving the quantity of oxygen-rich blood that it needs to function correctly. An angina attack causes a feeling of squeezing or pressure on your chest that can spread to your neck and jaw, shoulders, arms, and back.

There are several different types of angina:

  • Stable angina (angina pectoris)
  • Unstable angina
  • Variant (prinzmetal) angina
  • Microvascular angina

Angina isn’t a disease but a symptom of a heart problem like coronary heart disease (CHD), a condition where your coronary arteries gradually get narrower due to a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque.

Coronary microvascular disease (MVD) can also cause angina. MVD is a type of heart disease that occurs in your heart’s smallest arteries. It’s also known as non-obstructive CHD or cardiac syndrome X and is more common in women.

How is chest pain treated?

Treatment for your chest pain depends on what’s causing it. If you have an infection, you might need to take antibiotics. If you have heart disease, you might need medications to treat high blood pressure or reduce your cholesterol.

In many cases, making changes to your lifestyle can have a significant impact on chest pain. Whether your pain is due to acid reflux or narrowed arteries, healthier living can make a big difference. Recommended changes might include:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising more
  • Managing stress
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Eating a healthier diet

Your provider at Cardiac Center of Texas can give you the information and support you need to succeed in making these changes.

If your chest pain is due to angina or another heart condition, you might need to undergo a procedure to fix the underlying cause. Cardiac Center of Texas specializes in using minimally invasive cardiac catheterization methods to perform treatment on your heart and major blood vessels.

If you’re experiencing chest pain, call Cardiac Center of Texas today or book an appointment online.