emergency room for chest pain

Should I see a doctor for chest pain?

Short answer: Yes, you probably should.

It can be anxiety inducing to know that many conditions cause chest pain, including life-threatening problems like heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms. While it is important to see a physician to determine the cause of your chest pains, you should absolutely see a doctor (or even visit the emergency room, or call 911 or the equivalent in your country) if you also have these other symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea or feeling sick
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Signs of infection (e.g. pus, redness, swelling)
  • High fevers that do not respond to medication
  • Coughing up blood
  • Irregular heartbeat

Even if you have already been diagnosed with costochondritis, you should see a physician if you have these symptoms. Heart attacks usually also include nausea, sweating, more generalized chest pain (rather than between the rib and sternum for costochondritis) and pain in the left arm.

If you’re having chest pain and haven’t seen a physician, it is important to see a doctor rather than trying to determine for yourself if it is a costochondritis or a life-threatening heart or lung issue. It is important not to ignore chest pain that has occurred for a long time. Your life is worth it.

Never diagnose yourself and never delay visiting or calling your physician because of something you have read on the internet, including on this website. Please contact your physician if you have any concerns or questions. If you are not already seeing a doctor about your chest pain, you owe it to yourself to get started.