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) if you also have these other symptoms:
- Nausea or feeling sick
- 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 is a costochondritis or a life-threatening heart issue. It is important not to ignore chest pain that has occurred for a long time. Your life is worth it.