Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Chest Pain Specialist

Northwest Houston Heart Center

Cardiology located in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, & The Woodlands, TX

Chest pain that's due to a heart condition is known as angina. If you experience angina attacks, experienced cardiologists A. Adnan Aslam, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Roy Norman, DO, of Northwest Houston Heart Center can help. They have offices in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, and The Woodlands, Texas, where you can benefit from state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities and advanced treatments to address the cause of chest pain. Find out more by calling the location that's most convenient for you or booking an appointment online today.

Chest Pain Q & A

What are the causes of chest pain?

Chest pain can result from a number of causes, most commonly things like strained chest muscles, lower respiratory tract infections, acid reflux (heartburn), and stress. Even cold weather can trigger chest pain in some people.

Chest pain can also be a symptom of heart problems and is your heart's way of telling you that it isn't getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Latin for chest pain is angina pectoris, so heart-related chest pain is known as angina.

Angina is a symptom rather than a heart disorder. It doesn't cause any permanent damage unless it persists for more than 20 minutes and doesn't improve with rest or taking nitroglycerin.

What symptoms does heart-related chest pain cause?

Heart-related chest pain (angina) typically feels like a crushing or squeezing sensation in your upper body that often spreads into your shoulders, arms, back, neck, and jaw.

You might also experience:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness

These are common symptoms of several heart conditions. The one that's most likely to be causing your chest pain is coronary artery disease (CAD), which is atherosclerosis in the arteries of your heart.

Atherosclerosis develops when a fatty substance called plaque that consists mainly of cholesterol builds up on the artery walls. This plaque build-up reduces the space inside the arteries, so your blood can't flow freely, which deprives your heart of oxygen and leads to angina. If the artery gets blocked, you’re likely to suffer a heart attack. 

How is chest pain diagnosed?

Your Northwest Houston Heart Center provider begins the diagnostic process with a physical exam. They measure your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs, and take a blood sample to calculate your cholesterol levels.

Next, you have an EKG (electrocardiogram), a painless test that records the electrical signals in your heart. You might also need an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), which produces moving images of your heart.

The cause of your chest pain is likely to be clear from these investigations. If not, you might need to undergo further procedures, such as:

  • Cardiac PET scan
  • Holter monitoring
  • Event monitoring
  • Exercise electrocardiogram
  • Nuclear stress test

One test that your provider at Northwest Houston Heart Center uses is a cardiac PET (positron emission tomography) scan. Northwest Houston Heart Center is one of the very few practices in the Houston area to offer this highly accurate form of diagnostic imaging.

Understanding the cause of your chest pain with the most precise test enables your provider to create an effective treatment plan for you.

What treatments can help with chest pain?

The treatment your provider at Northwest Houston Heart Center recommends for chest pain can vary depending on the cause of your condition. Possible treatments include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Artery relaxant medication
  • Blood-thinning medicines
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications

Minimally invasive balloon angioplasty and stenting might be necessary if other treatments aren't effective enough. Another option is a coronary artery bypass, a surgical procedure that uses a blood vessel from another part of your body to take over from the diseased artery. 

Find out what's causing your chest pain and get the treatment you need by calling Northwest Houston Heart Center today or booking an appointment online.