What are the Symptoms of xiphoid process pain?
The symptoms of chest pain caused by the xiphoid process vary from person to person. Some people experience no symptoms while others have severe symptoms. The severity of your symptoms will depend on several factors such as: Your age, Your gender, Your general health condition (including medications), How much you exercise, And how long it’s been since you’ve exercised.
Symptoms of Chest Pain from the Xiphoid Process
You may feel a dull ache or throbbing pain in your chest. You might not even realize that something is wrong until you’re lying down with it hurting so bad that you can’t breathe. Sometimes you’ll get a headache too. If you don’t pay attention to what’s going on, then you could end up having heart attack.
When do I need to see my Doctor?
If you think you have chest pain from the xiphoid process, then you need to go see your doctor right away. There are many possible causes of chest pain from the xiphoid process. Many times they can’t diagnose it until they run tests like blood test or CT scan which will help them confirm if there is any underlying problem that needs treatment.
How Do I Get a Test?
Your doctor will most likely refer you to a cardiologist who will order a cat scan of your chest or possibly an angiogram which is a special x-ray that shows the insides of your blood vessels. These tests can determine if you have coronary artery disease or other conditions that can cause chest pain.
Diagnosing chest pain from the xiphoid process
Your doctor will ask you several questions about your medical history and do an examination. He or she will be looking for other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, or palpitations which may indicate a heart attack. You may also have other abnormalites such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, or a family history of heart disease.
Your doctor will also do a neurological examination to make sure that you haven’t had a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack or TIA). If you have any of these risk factors, then you’ll probably need further diagnostic testing. This may include testing your heart function, an angiogram, stress test or cardiac catheterization.
What are the Treatments for Chest Pain from the Xiphoid Process?
Most people with chest pain caused by the xiphoid process don’t need any treatment. The pain usually goes away within a couple of hours and doesn’t come back. If it’s severe, then you may need analgesics (pain killers) to relieve the pain.
If you do need treatment, then your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of the following treatments: antiplatelet, anticoagulant, antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and antioxidants.
If you have risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, then your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and possibly medication. You may also be referred to a cardiologist who can perform specialized tests that can determine if you have heart disease and whether or not you need treatment.
What is the Prognosis for Chest Pain from the Xiphoid Process?
If you are diagnosed with chest pain caused by the xiphoid process then there is no treatment necessary. Most people with this condition will recover quickly and not experience any long-term complications.
If you are experiencing chest pain symptoms caused by having too much plaque in your coronary arteries, then this may indicate that you have coronary artery disease (CAD). It is possible that if proper treatment is not given to reverse or prevent the buildup of plaque, then a blood clot could form in the coronary arteries and travel to the brain causing a stroke or the heart causing a myocardial infarction.
The good news is that it’s highly preventable if you adopt a healthy lifestyle. This means your doctor may suggest changes in your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting the number of high cholesterol foods you eat such as red meats. They may also suggest you start an exercise program that fits your abilities to help prevent heart disease and other health problems. If you need to lose weight, then your doctor may suggest a reduced calorie diet along with increased exercise.
In addition, your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
In conclusion, chest pain caused by the xiphoid process is usually harmless and doesn’t indicate that you have heart disease. If you are experiencing chest pain caused by the xiphoid process, then it’s important that you see a doctor right away if the pain is severe, persists or worsens. If the pain does not go away within a few days, then you may need to see a doctor. The doctor will perform tests to rule out other causes of chest pain such as coronary artery disease, costochondritis or pleurisy.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Xiphoidynia: an uncommon cause of exertional chest pain by J Howell – The American journal of emergency medicine, 1990 – ajemjournal.com
Episodic abdominal and chest pain in a young adult by M Migliore, M Signorelli – JAMA, 2012 – jamanetwork.com
Xiphoidectomy for xiphoid process-induced pain in a surfer by A Sano, M Inui – Asian cardiovascular and thoracic annals, 2015 – journals.sagepub.com
Xiphodynia: a rare cause of epigastric pain by WMN Eulálio Filho, DJM Barbosa… – Internal and Emergency …, 2018 – Springer