The term angina pectoris or angina is used to describe chest pain or discomfort, often felt like a pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest. The pain may radiate to the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or the back region between the shoulder blades.
Typically, a patient with angina will experience no symptoms at rest. However, during exercise, the oxygen demands of the heart muscle will increase. If blood supply in a coronary artery is limited, usually because of an atherosclerotic plaque, angina will occur.
Causes of Chest Pain Explained
Causes of chest pain can be related to a variety of symptoms. Over six million people visit hospital emergency annually because of chest pain.
Causes of chest pain can vary from life-threatening conditions to those that are relatively harmless. The most common causes of chest pain are musculoskeletal (30-50%) and gastrointestinal conditions (10-20%).
Pain due to coronary artery disease may radiate to the neck, jaw, and arms. Pleuritic pain typically worsens with respiration. Such pain is associated with several conditions of the heart and lungs.
Chest pain associated with body position or certain movements is possible of musculoskeletal origin, and so is a well-localized pain associated with tenderness on palpation (pushing on the spot).