If you’re experiencing constant chest pain, knowing what to do ahead of time could mean the difference between life and death. Constant chest pain can be caused by any number of conditions, both mild and severe. Chest pain should always be evaluated by a doctor. Immediate treatment is necessary for chest pain that is severe or lasts more than a couple minutes.
What to do When Experiencing Constant Chest Pain:
Chest pain lasting more than a couple minutes may be a sign of a heart attack. The American Heart Association suggests that you should not wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 if you think you are having a heart attack.
- Immediately sit down. Do not try to walk off the pain, allow your body to relax and remain calm. Chest pain may increase if laying down so it is best to sit up or propped up at an angle.
- Take an aspirin. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory medication. Those with angina or heart disease may prevent a heart attack by taking an aspirin. Taking an aspirin immediately may prevent clotting if you are experiencing a heart attack.
- Relieve constant chest pain caused by gas, bloating or heartburn by taking an antacid and forcing yourself to belch to relieve excess gas.
- Reduce caffeine and nicotine intake. An over consumption of caffeine or nicotine products can increase chest pain and frequency. Anyone experiencing constant chest pain should avoid these products as much as possible and increase water intake.
- See your doctor. Chest pain should always be examined by a qualified medical professional regardless of whether the chest pain is minor or severe. Only a doctor can determine the underlying cause of constant chest pain and rule out or confirm a serious condition.
- Prevent chest pain. Follow the doctors advice for treatment and recommendations for preventing chest pain, based on the cause.
- Call 9-1-1. Constant chest pain that is not immediately relieved, is severe or continues to worsen, or disappears and returns could be a medical emergency and 9-1-1 should be called immediately. Never wait to call 9-1-1 if you think you’re having a heart attack.
Some Possible Causes of Constant Chest Pain:
- Heart Attack
- Angina Pectoris, related to many different types of heart disease
- Acid Reflux or Heartburn
- Lung Infection or Inflammation
- Adverse Reaction to Medication
- Anxiety or Panic Attack
- Colds or Flu