Chest Pain Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

While not all causes of chest pain are life-threatening, seeking medical attention for these symptoms can reduce your risk of serious health complications. In Central Arkansas, Van H. De Bruyn, MD, founded Heart Rhythm Associates LLC to provide the highest quality cardiac care to men and women in Little Rock and the surrounding areas. To find expert care and diagnosis for chest pains, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Chest Pain Q & A

What is chest pain?

Chest pain describes a variety of symptoms that originate in your chest and sometimes radiate into the neck, jaw, or down the back or arms. These types of discomfort can vary from a dull ache or sharp stabbing pain to crushing and burning sensations.

Chest pains can be caused by heart conditions or other types of problems.

What causes heart-related chest pain?

Heart-related chest pain often occurs suddenly and can come and go. This type of chest pain can have a variety of causes, such as heart attack, angina, arrhythmias, or blockages in your arteries.

When you’re experiencing heart-related chest pain, your symptoms can include:

  • Chest discomfort, pressure, or tightness
  • Radiating searing or crushing pain
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting, or cold sweats
  • Shortness of breath

This type of chest pain can become worse with activity and range in intensity. These types of chest pains are considered medical emergencies because they can indicate serious heart problems.

What causes other types of chest pain?

Other causes of chest pain can be due to digestive problems like acid reflux, blood clots in your lungs, or because of muscles and bones. You can even develop chest pain from panic attacks and the shingles virus.

Other causes of chest pain can cause similar symptoms to heart-related disorders but might also include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling as though you were regurgitating food or having a sour taste in your mouth
  • Pain that worsens when coughing or breathing deeply
  • Tenderness when you press on your chest
  • Persistent pain that lasts for hours

It’s also common for chest pain that isn’t heart-related to improve when you change positions.

How is chest pain diagnosed and treated?

Even if you have heart-related chest pain, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re having a heart attack. To identify the cause of your chest pains, Dr. De Bruyn performs a comprehensive physical, discusses your symptoms, and often orders a variety of tests.

Medical screenings to identify the cause of chest pain can include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood tests
  • Digital imaging, like chest X-rays and CT scans
  • Stress tests
  • Heart monitoring

Dr. De Bruyn develops a treatment plan for your chest pain based on your specific diagnosis. The most common treatments for heart-related chest pains include medications like blood thinners and artery relaxers. More severe causes of chest pain can require surgical treatments.

Call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.