A man with chest pain who needs to go to the emergency room in Houston, TX

Chest pain

When You Should Go to the Emergency Room

Chest pain can often be a source of alarm, inducing thoughts of serious heart conditions. While it’s true that chest pain can indicate a heart attack, it’s important to understand that it can also be a symptom of numerous other, less severe conditions. Knowing the variations in chest pain, the accompanying symptoms, and their potential implications is crucial in discerning when medical intervention is required.

At Village Emergency Centers, our professional medical team is at your service, ready to provide top-notch care and treatment for chest pain. With our advanced diagnostic technology and deep understanding of chest pain causes and effects, we are well-equipped to investigate your symptoms and condition. Whether your pain is a persistent ache, a sudden sharp sting, or a throbbing discomfort, don’t ignore it. Prioritize your health and well-being by scheduling an appointment with us. 

Causes of Chest Pain

Chest pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, some more severe than others. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention if you experience any chest discomfort. Possible causes of chest pain include:

  • Heart-related issues: As mentioned earlier, chest pain can be an indication of a heart attack or other conditions such as Heart attack, Angina, Aortic dissection, or Pericarditis.
  • Lung-related issues: Pneumonia, pleurisy, and pulmonary embolism are just a few of the many lung conditions that can cause chest pain.
  • Digestive problems: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, swallowing disorders, pancreas, and gallbladder issues can also trigger chest pain.
  • Musculoskeletal problems: Injuries, arthritis, and muscle strains can also cause chest pain. These also include Costochondritis, Sore Muscles, and Injured Ribs.
  • Lung problems: Asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, pleurisy, collapsed lung, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can cause chest tightness and discomfort.
  • Viruses, including Shingles and COVID-19
  • Mental and emotional factors: Anxiety, panic attacks, and stress can lead to chest pain. It is important to address these underlying issues to manage chest pain effectively.


Sudden Chest Pain Left Side

If you experience sudden pain on your left side, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention by going to the emergency room. In addition, be aware of other symptoms that may indicate a heart attack, such as pain spreading to your jaw, left arm, or between your shoulder blades, along with symptoms like nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath.

Sudden Chest Pain Right Side

If you experience sudden pain on your right side, it is crucial to promptly seek medical attention in the emergency room. This symptom should not be dismissed, as it could potentially indicate a heart attack.

Other Times Go to the Emergency Room for Chest Pain

If you experience sharp chest pain on either side of your body, it is important to seek medical attention. Persistent pain, shortness of breath, radiating pain, or changes in heart rate and blood pressure are all indicators that you should call a doctor or go to the emergency room.

What Questions Your Doctors Might Ask:

  • When did your chest pain start?
  • Is the pain getting worse?
  • Does your pain radiate to other body parts?
  • How would you describe your pain?
  • Do you have other signs and symptoms?

Diagnoses of Chest Pain

 The doctor will use several tests to diagnose your chest pain, including but not limited to:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Blood work
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest MRI
  • Stress tests
  • Angiogram

Treatment for Chest Pain

Treatment for chest pain will depend on the underlying cause. While some conditions require immediate treatment, others may be managed with medication, lifestyle changes, or therapy. Our medical team at Village Emergency Centers is dedicated to finding the most effective and suitable treatment plan for you.



A commonly used medication for pain relief and fever reduction. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Artery relaxers

Medications that help relax and widen the arteries, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

Thrombolytic drugs

Medications are used to dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow in conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.

Blood thinners

Medications that prevent blood clot formation, reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other clot-related conditions.


Medications that neutralize stomach acid, providing relief from heartburn and indigestion.

Anti-anxiety medications

Medications are used to treat anxiety disorders and related conditions by reducing excessive anxiety and promoting relaxation.



A medical procedure used to widen narrowed or blocked blood vessels is typically performed by inserting a balloon-tipped catheter and inflating it to open up the artery.

Stent placement

A technique where a small mesh tube called a stent is inserted into a narrowed or blocked blood vessel to help keep it open and improve blood flow.

Surgical repair of the arteries

A surgical procedure is performed to fix damaged or diseased arteries, often involving removing or bypassing the affected section of the artery.

Bypass surgery

A surgical procedure in which a new pathway, or bypass, is created to allow blood to flow around a blocked or narrowed artery, restoring proper blood flow to the heart or other organs.

Emergency dissection repair

An urgent procedure is to repair a tear in the inner layer of the artery, known as a dissection, to prevent further complications and restore blood flow.

Lung reinflation

A medical intervention is used to reinflate collapsed or partially collapsed lungs, often done by inserting a tube into the chest to remove air or fluid and allowing the lung to expand again.

Treatment After the ER Visit

After you visit the emergency room, it is of utmost importance to diligently adhere to any instructions provided by the medical team. This may encompass diligently taking the prescribed medications as per the recommended dosage and frequency, as well as making necessary adjustments to your lifestyle to effectively manage and mitigate the impact of your condition. By conscientiously following these instructions, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your health and well-being.

Once you’ve been treated at the emergency room for chest pain, it is crucial to follow up with your primary care provider. This follow-up care is essential to monitor your recovery, adjust your treatment as needed, and ensure that your health is being managed effectively.

Emergency Care for Chest Pains in Houston, TX Area

If you are experiencing chest pain, don’t hesitate to visit Village Emergency Centers for prompt, professional, and personalized care. Our state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technology, and expert medical team provide top-notch emergency care for any urgent medical issue. Trust us with your health and well-being – we’ve got you covered. Visit one of our six locations in the Houston, TX area for expert emergency care.


Can anxiety cause chest pain?

Anxiety can cause chest pain. When we are stressed, our bodies release adrenaline, which can affect the heart and lead to chest tightness or discomfort.

How to tell if chest pain is muscular or heart-related?

Various factors, including muscular and heart-related issues, can cause chest pain. To determine the cause of chest pain, it is essential to seek medical attention and undergo diagnostic tests such as an ECG or blood work.

Can gas cause chest pain?

Yes, gas can cause chest pain. Gas buildup in the digestive system can lead to discomfort and pain in the chest area.

How to relieve chest pain from coughing?

To relieve chest pain from coughing, you can try taking over-the-counter cough medicines, using cough drops, drinking warm fluids, and using a humidifier to moisten the air.

Can back pain cause chest pain?

Yes, back pain can sometimes cause chest pain. The nerves in the spine can send pain signals to the chest area, leading to chest pain.

Can acid reflux cause chest pain?

Yes, acid reflux can cause chest pain. The backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus can cause a burning sensation and discomfort in the chest, known as heartburn.

Can constipation cause chest pain?

Yes, constipation can cause chest pain. When the bowel is blocked or delayed, it can cause pressure and discomfort, which may be felt in the chest area.

Can dehydration cause chest pain?

Yes, dehydration can sometimes cause chest pain. Severe dehydration can lead to electrolyte imbalances and heart palpitations, which may manifest as chest pain.

Can heartburn cause chest pain?

Yes, heartburn can cause chest pain. The burning sensation and discomfort in the chest area are common symptoms of heartburn.

How do I know if my chest pain is serious?

If you experience severe chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes, radiates to your arm or jaw, and is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or nausea, it could be a sign of a serious condition such as a heart attack. It is important to seek immediate medical attention in such cases.

Does heartburn cause chest pain?

Yes, heartburn can cause chest pain. The backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus can cause a burning sensation and discomfort in the chest, known as heartburn.

Where are heart attack chest pains?

Chest pains during a heart attack are typically felt in the center or left side of the chest. The pain may radiate to the arm, jaw, back, or neck. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a heart attack.


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