When Is Chest Pain a Medical Concern?

Due to the fact that pretty mild and inconsequential conditions can cause chest pain, most people tend to ignore chest pain symptoms. However, you might not know that sometimes ignoring chest pain could be detrimental to your health. How do you know it’s time to see a Philadelphia chest pain specialist and when to ride out the discomfort? Read on to find out.

When Not to Worry About Chest Pain

Typically, the cause of chest pain is from different varieties of medical conditions, some of which are minor and others serious. Chest pain symptoms also tend to vary tremendously from person to person and their condition. One primary concern is that even little discomfort can signal severe conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD). However, chest pain is unlikely to result in extreme cardiac events if:

  • The pain is momentary or caused by other symptoms
  • The pain occurs only with specific reproducible body movements
  • The pain is identical to the one you experienced in the past in which a cardiac disorder was ruled out 

Chest Pain: A Sign of a Serious Condition

Chest pain is more likely to result in a dangerous health condition, especially if:

  • The pain progresses to your shoulders, arms, or jaw.
  • You have a strong family history of cardiac disorders.
  • The pain is accompanied by chest heaviness, squeezing, tightness, or a crushing sensation.
  • You are 40 years or older, and you have had more than one risk factor for CAD-like frequent smoking, elevated body cholesterol, family history, or diabetes.
  • The pain is accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath, excess sweating, dizziness, weakness, or fainting.
  • A feeling of impending danger accompanies the pain.
  • The pain is much more severe than any you have had before.
  • The pain gradually worsens over the first 10 to 15 minutes.

 Should You Call 911?

If your chest pain is disturbing you in any way, seems unusual, or if you experience any of the above-listed warning signs, you should immediately call 911. The EMTs will take you to a nearby emergency room where a doctor can evaluate your symptoms. At the very least, you should discuss your symptoms with your physician so they can advise you on the way forward.

Keep in mind that even a mild chest discomfort can be a sign of a serious health problem. When this is true, calling 911 could significantly increase your chances of survival. The responding paramedics will do a rapid baseline evaluation and stabilize your condition even before arriving at the hospital. Simply put, it is better to call your doctor and find out it’s nothing than wait and harm your health. 


Chest pains do not always mean you have a serious heart condition. That said, it is best to err on the side of caution and consult a reliable expert like Saul Corrielus, MD, MDA, FACC. Dr. Corrielus is a board-certified cardiologist at the Corrielus Cardiology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who works with his team to provide comprehensive diagnostic testing, heart health evaluations, and noninvasive treatment options. For more information about their services, feel free to call Corrielus Cardiology to schedule your chest pain consultation or book an appointment online today.