Pain in the left side of the chest and shoulder can be pneumonia or a heart attack. But be aware that a heart condition is usually seen as a nuisance, not a pain. Discomfort associated with heart disease can also be in the upper chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, or abdomen and may be accompanied by nausea. If a person is described, the ongoing disturbance and he knows they are in serious danger, they should not wait. People often procrastinate because they misinterpret it as heartburn. Pain in the left side of the chest and shoulder at the same time can have many causes. Your heart, lungs, or other internal organs may be involved.
There are several vital organs on the left side of the body. Below the bone of the left breast are the heart, spleen, stomach, pancreas, and large intestine. When you have chest pain on the left side of your chest, it can be caused by a variety of things. It is important to consider other symptoms as well as pain to determine if you should seek treatment. In some cases, chest pain may be angina which is a warning sign for heart disease. Angina occurs because your heart muscle does not get enough oxygenated blood. The pain feels like pressure or squeezing in your chest.
Right chest pain is not as likely as left chest pain associated with heart disease, but that does not mean it is very serious. If your pain is severe or if you are experiencing shortness of breath, or even ask yourself if your symptoms could be life threatening do not wait. Call 911. If you see your doctor, consider the questions above. Finding the source of chest pain on the right side is sometimes like putting a riddle, and the more mysterious pieces, the easier it is to solve sometimes. If you do not get answers, keep asking questions. Pain is a message to our minds that something is wrong.
Symptoms of pain in left side of chest and shoulder
It is important to determine if your pain in the left side of chest and shoulder is related to your heart. If not, there are other reasons to consider. Chest and shoulder pain on the left side can also be linked to other symptoms that can help you find the cause.
Related symptoms of pain in left side of chest and shoulder include;
- Dizziness; Feeling a small headache may be accompanied by chest pain on the left side. If you feel short of breath or dizziness, you should consult your doctor and tell them your symptoms.
- Pressure in the chest; Pressure on your left chest can be an indicator of a heart attack. It can feel like someone is sitting on your chest. However, this feeling can also be a symptom of angina that can indicate heart disease.
- Radiation pain; Your pain can spread from your chest to your jaw, neck, shoulders, or back. It is important to monitor your pain as it began and spread.
Causes of pain in left side of chest and shoulder
Pain in the left side of chest and shoulder can have many causes. Some may be worse than others. The conditions listed below are some of the most common causes of this type of pain.
Pancreatitis; Your pancreas is located behind your stomach near the first part of your small intestine. It releases fluids that help break down food in your gut. It also regulates blood sugar in your body by controlling the release of insulin. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It can be chronic or acute. Severe pancreatitis can occur suddenly and is usually best treated with treatment. Chronic pancreatitis is getting worse over time.
Gallstones; Your gallbladder is a small organ on your right side that sits below your liver. Its purpose is to release bile into the small intestine. Bile helps the digestive process by breaking down fat into the food you eat. Stone stones are a small mass that is made up of hard water to digest in the gallbladder. Stones can come in sizes, from sand dunes to ping-pong balls.
Angina; Angina can be persistent. This means it follows a predictable pattern and usually happens when you are doing something, or when you are stressed. With persistent angina, the symptoms usually go away within a few minutes. Angina can also be persistent. This type of angina usually occurs suddenly or at rest. With unstable angina, the symptoms can last more than 20 minutes and can return. The pain can also be excruciating for a while.
Pericarditis; Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, a thin sac that surrounds your heart. The two-layer pericardium protects your heart and keeps it in its place. Fluid between the pericardium layers prevents friction when your heart is beating. Pericarditis usually begins suddenly. It can last from a few days to a few weeks. Viral infections are thought to cause many cases.
Heart attack; A heart attack occurs when the blockage of the artery within your heart stops or slows blood flow to your heart muscle. It is also called myocardial infarction. Symptoms may start suddenly or come slowly. People with systemic symptoms may not seek medical attention immediately.
Pleurisy; Pleurisy is an inflammation of a thin layer of tissue, called the pleura, which separates your lungs from your chest wall. The most common cause of infection is a viral infection in the lungs.
Muscle strain; Several muscles in the chest and upper back are used together when performing activities related to the upper body, such as rowing, throwing a ball, lifting weights, painting the walls, or washing windows. It is possible for muscles in the chest and upper back to be injured at the same time, such as overuse or lifting a very heavy object.
How pain in left side of chest and shoulder diagnosed?
Your doctor will take a complete medical history to find out what other health conditions you may have. They will also ask if your family members have heart disease or other forms of the condition. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, when they started, how long they lasted, and whether they changed. Once your doctor finds out more about your symptoms and other health conditions, they will do a physical examination and listen to your heart and lungs. There are many diagnostic tests your doctor can use to determine what is causing your shoulder and chest pain. Common diagnostic tests include:
- A CT scan of the heart, also known as CT angiography, looks at your heart and blood vessels and looks for blood clots or other complications.
- MRI check your heart rate and blood flow, or get a more detailed view of your gallbladder or pancreas.
- lung tissue biopsy if pleurisy is suspected.
- test the function of the pancreas to see if your pancreas responds normally to specific hormones.
Treatment of pain in left side of chest and shoulder
Treatment of pain in left side of chest and shoulder depends on what is causing the pain. Because there can be so many variations, treatment plans for the same condition may vary from one person to another. Other factors that may affect your treatment plan include; your age, other health conditions you may have, as well as weight gain, whether you smoke or not.
1. Gallstone attack
Depending on the frequency of your stone attack, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gall bladder. This is usually done laparoscopically. In severe cases of stone, your doctor may prescribe a drug called ursodiol. This medication can help clear the gallbladder for a while. Your doctor may also put you on a low-fat diet to help prevent further stone development. Some people are successful with natural remedies for gallstones. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies for gallstones.
Your doctor will prescribe medication to help ease the pain. You may also have to fast for several days to give your pancreas a rest. You may need internal fluids to prevent dehydration. You may be hospitalized if your pancreas is severe. Other treatments may include surgery to remove your pancreas, or surgery to remove your gallbladder, if the gallbladder caused your pancreas.
3. Heart problems
For heart problems, your doctor may prescribe you, (aspirin, nitroglycerin, blood clots to prevent freezing, freezing medications, painkillers for pain caused by infection, pericarditis drainage, For life-threatening conditions, you may need surgery, such as surgical resection or angioplasty). Your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, as well as changes in your diet, exercise, and stress management.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection. Viral infections are often cleared up without treatment. Unusual anti-inflammatory drugs, can help reduce chest pain. If you have a high concentration of fluid, known as diarrhea, your doctor may want to wipe it off. This is done with a local or general anesthetic. It may require hospitalization. Staying in the hospital can also be important if you have other health conditions that make it difficult for you to treat.
5. Self care
To reduce pain in left side of chest and shoulder you can try:
- Pain relief; Reducing counter-pain such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may help.
- Rest; Avoid using your shoulder in ways that cause or exacerbate pain.
- Ice; Apply an ice pack on your sore shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes a few times daily.
Often, self-care measures and little time may be all you need to alleviate your shoulder pain.