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Experiencing sharp chest pain can be very scary, but that doesn’t mean the underlying cause is. Chest pain is commonly linked to heart attacks, but the truth is that many different medical conditions can cause pain in your chest. “Angina” is the medical term for chest pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest. You’ll need to determine what type of pain you have and how much at risk you are for health conditions where chest pain is a common symptom. Potential conditions range in level of severity, from minor to potentially life threatening.

Depending on the cause, your pain may be:

  • Sharp
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Stabbing
  • Dull
  • A squeezing or crushing sensation

Common Causes of Chest Pain

Sharp Chest PainSome common causes of chest pain include:

  • Heart disease such as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Myocarditis, Pericarditis, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Lung problems like pleuritis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension, or asthma.
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, hiatal hernia, or gallbladder disease.
  • Bone muscle or nerve problems like rib problems, muscle strain, or shingles.
  • Other causes such as anxiety and panic attacks.

When to Seek Emergency Treatment

If you are experiencing chest pain along with any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
  • A sudden feeling of pressure or tightness under your breastbone
  • Sudden sharp chest pain with a shortness of breath
  • Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or breathing, or confusion
  • Very low blood pressure or heart rate

Chest pains can signify serious medical issues, so talking to a medical professional at the onset of your chest pain is imperative. And because sharp chest pain doesn’t always happen on a 9 to 5 schedule, FastMed is open 365 days a year to provide you with prompt medical treatment. Speaking with one of our experienced medical professionals will allow for proper diagnosis and management of the condition causing your symptoms.

About FastMed

FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates nearly 200 centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas that provide a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days a year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation and other occupational health services at all its centers, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than six million patients and is the only independent urgent care operator in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas to be awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit

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