6 main causes of chest pain and headache

Experiencing chest pain is a really stressful event that makes people seek for immediate medical care.

Although it is a classic symptom of some life-threatening conditions, like heart attack and aortic dissection, in 80-90% of cases chest pain doesn’t have a link with the heart.

Headache is another common problem, which requires taking painkillers. Sometimes severe abrupt headache may indicate serious disorders, such as stroke, aneurysm rupture or even brain tumor.

Rarely, these two frequent pains may come together. In some cases, chest pain+headache may be accompanied by fever, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain or red rashes on the chest and in the armpits.

Even if unpleasant sensations in the chest and headache aren’t caused by heart attack or stroke, they show you that something goes wrong in your body. And it’s completely possible that the main cause is not less dangerous than myocardial infarction.

So let’s get acquainted with potential culprits of your painful chest and head:

#1. Cardiac cephalalgia – it’s a really rare condition, in which severe exertional headache indicates reduced blood flow to the heart muscle (myocardial ischemia). While chest pain is a well-known symptom of this condition, feeling headache is not common for heart-related events. Studies show that in this situation, headache goes away, when blood flow in the coronary arteries is improved.

#2. Hypertension – high blood pressure is a frequent problem, which may become apparent in dizziness, general weakness and headache, especially if systolic pressure is higher than 180 mmHg.

#3. Depression – your mind can really affect your physical well-being. That’s why long-lasting sadness is often accompanied by chest pain, headache and lack of energy.

#4. Migraine – a study found that migraine headache may cause chest pain, which resolves when you take treatment for migraine. However it’s rather rare event.

#5. Subarachnoid hemorrhage – subarachnoid space is the area between the brain and its covering tissues. Subarachnoid hemorrhage may occur as a result of head trauma, bleeding disorder or long-term consumption of blood thinners. In this serious trouble people often suffer from thunder-cap headache, chest pain, vision abnormalities and abrupt mood changes.

#6. Lupus – it seems crazy but sometimes immune system, which is designed to protect us from foreign agents, starts to destroy body’s own healthy tissues. Lupus often causes inflammatory process in the heart and vessels that leads to painful sensations in the chest and head.

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