Sharp Chest Pain Left Side

So many people think the worst when they experience sharp pain in the left side of their body. Don’t panic however, as this can be caused by a variety of things.

Last Updated Jun 22, 2013.

It’s late at night and you are sitting in your favorite chair reading one of your favorite books when suddenly you feel a sharp chest pain left side. Your first thought is ‘Am I having a heart attack?’ and this is a legitimate first thought.

However this does not necessarily mean that you are having a heart attack. There could be one of a dozen or more medical conditions causing you this pain. At the same time it certainly could be a symptom of a heart attack. Depending on any other symptoms and any heart disease history or risk categories you fit in, you will want to check it out with a physician right away.

Some of the very serious, life threatening causes of this pain might be:

Heart Issue: though this is what we tend to worry about most the odds are it is the least likely cause. Most pain from a heart attack or angina is in the center of the chest and the left arm. Heart disease cannot be ruled out however so check it out.

Blood Clot: This is a very life threatening situation when a blood clot breaks free from somewhere else in your body, usually the leg, and ends up in your lungs. This will kill you if not treated promptly with a clot busting drug. This is the reason that should get you to the ER right away.

Lung Issue – collapsed lung/pneumonia/cancer – there are several lung issues that can cause this kind of pain. You could have a punctured or collapsed lung and this will cause excruciating pain. Pneumonia of course will cause severe pain especially when breathing deeply. Finally this could be a symptom of the presence of lung cancer in its early or latter stages. See a doctor as soon as possible.

Pericarditis: Most people think this is a heart disease and understandably so as it is the inflammation and swelling of the sac around the heart. It does not really have anything to do with the heart itself but it is dangerous and debilitation.

Aorta Wall Tear: This is a tear in the wall of the Aorta and requires immediate medical attention.

Some of the less than life threatening causes of a stabbing chest pain left side might include:

Indigestion or Heartburn: Amazingly this is one of the most common causes of this type of pain and it usually will go away with a couple of antacids.

Tissue or cartilage inflammation: Any type of inflammation will cause severe pain in this area.

Shingles: Caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, this can be a very, very painful situation.

Gall Stones: An infected or diseased gall bladder can cause this kind of pain.

Muscle Spasms/Cramps: The least serious of the causes of this pain.

So you can see that sharp chest pain left side has many causes and should be taken seriously.

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