What is Chest Pain & Tightness?
Every year millions of people develop chest pain and tightness, ranging from the common cold, flu, coughs, allergies to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma and emphysema. Chest pain and tightness affects the lungs, either in the smaller air sacs or larger airways. The airways become swollen and constricted by a build-up of pus and mucus, and this causes breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages, but young children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and smokers are mostly at risk. Babies and young children tend to be prone to croup and chest infections, and it is estimated that they will develop at six to eight colds or other respiratory problems a year.
Symptoms associated with chest pain and tightness include wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughs, chills, fever, runny nose, sneezing and fatigue.
What Causes Chest Pain & Tightness?
Chest pain and tightness may be caused by viruses or bacteria or be aggravated by irritants (cleaning detergents, environmental toxicity, pollution or cold air), allergens (dust mites, dander or pollen) or excessive smoking. As soon as you notice chest pain developing, it is best to seek immediate treatment and avoid exposure to irritants that trigger symptoms.
Common chest conditions
There are several chest conditions and these include:
- Colds and influenza (flu)
- Sore throat
- Chest infection
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Help for Chest Pain & Tightness
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of chest pain and tightness. It is also useful to identify the triggers such as pollen or cigarette smoke that may provoke symptoms. In mild cases of a mild chest infection, the body’s immune system will try to fight the infection on its own. Bed rest, drinking plenty of water and hot drinks such as herbal teas are often the best treatments for speeding recovery from chest pain. Inhaling steam can also help to reduce congestion and kill germs on contact – and is particularly beneficial for children with croup. Antibiotics or pain relievers such as paracetamol may also be prescribed for pain and fever.
If serious complications develop, a chest x-ray, sample of your phlegm and blood tests may be ordered and you may also be admitted to hospital for further treatment. Elderly people and those who suffer from chronic chest conditions are generally advised to get a flu vaccination every year before the winter season begins.
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to promote respiratory health and maintain easy breathing. Not only are herbal remedies a more natural alternative but they are also gentler on the body’s system. Herbal ingredients such as Matricaria recutita and Astragalus membranaceus help to support effective functioning of the lungs, respiratory system and immune system.
Biochemic tissue salts have also proven to be highly effective because they work at supporting health at a cellular level. Kali phos, Mag phos and Nat Sulph soothes the respiratory tract, opens a tight chest, promotes easier breathing while also relaxing the nerves.