Does your chest hurt when leaning or bending forward?
Does your chest hurt when leaning forward after having a meal?
Does your chest hurt when leaning forward while breathing?
Does your chest hurt when leaning forward and is in association with nausea sweating or dizziness?
If you want to identify why your chest hurts when leaning forward and want to know more about it, its types, continue to read the article you will surely get some tips, remedies of basic dealings with your issue.
If your chest hurts when leaning forward, there might be many possible reasons for the condition. Any condition that involves the lungs, causing Pleuritic chest pain, may be one of the reasons why your chest hurts when leaning forward.
Pleuritic chest pain may be due to pulmonary embolism, lung infections (viral, bacterial or fungal), ruptured bullous or ruptured emphysema, and other pathologies related to lungs like pneumothorax, hemothorax, pleural adhesions, alongside gastroesophageal reflux and cardiac related issues like Acute coronary syndrome, pericarditis, congestive heart failure.
What does chest pain means and what can be the causes of chest pain when leaning or bending forward?
Chest pain is a discomfort beneath you sternum or you might feel that the pain you are experiencing is coming from your ribs, breast or any structure in your chest.
Your chest pain can be in a certain region or point, spread to an area, after having meals or coughing or at night after you dine.
Your pain can be sharp, burning, stabbing, aching dull or a heavy sensation. Your pain can be worse when bending or leaning forward. Your chest pain is associated with dizziness; palpitations, leg pain, low blood pressure, fainting or your chest pain has nausea, bloating or stomach pain associated with it.
You’ll learn more about your chest pain when bending over in the article continued below.
What are the most common causes of chest pain when bending forward?
- HEARTBURN/ GERD:
It is a condition in which the gastric acid, food and other liquid substances flow up into the esophagus in a chronic manner, lasting more months. In this pain a person experiences burning sensation after eating or after a certain time at night. The pain gets worse after bending over after a meal. You might even have bitter or acidic taste in the mouth or chronic indigestion.
Causes of heart/GERD can be the abnormal or weakened relaxation of the esophageal sphincter which can worsen while we bend down.
Associated symptoms may include:
- You may experience burping or belching.
- You may have difficulty swallowing.
- Sensation in your throat, neck or stomach as burning.
Risk factors for GERD:
These foods can be a triggering source for some people and includes:
- Onions containing food
- Citrus food products
- Fried and fatty foods
- Large fatty meals
- Tomato products
- Alcohol and other beverages
Also if you’re pregnant or over weight this can be a risk factor for experiencing heart burn.
If not treated can result in complications like:
- Dental issues
- Chronic laryngitis
- Esophageal ulcers and bleeding
- Inflammation of the esophagus
- Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous condition leading to esophageal cancer)
How to diagnose GERD?
When your chest pain changes intensity when you change the body position and may get better when you tend to straighten up and sit in contrast to when your chest pain worsens while bending forward.
In order to diagnose your chest pain when bending forward as a possible cause of GERD, your doctor may recommend:
To examine the shape of you esophagus and stomach.
- Esophageal motility testing:
To measure the pressure and movement of your esophagus
To check the abnormalities in your esophagus and may be tissue biopsy would be needed.
In order to examine for how long your stomach acid has been flowing back into your esophagus this test can be used.
Treatment and precautions of Heartburn
Best treatment for your chest pain when bending forward with these specific symptoms can be treated by treating this underlying condition of your heartburn. The best treatment is done with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and is a kind of medication that reduces your stomach acid. PPI helps to relieve your symptoms when taken for a prolonged period under the supervision of your doctor that can help this pain to be no longer a part of your life.
- Treatment options include:
- Antacids which neutralize stomach acid and provide you with some relief.
- H-2- receptor antagonist- which reduce the stomach acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors- omeprazole, lansoprazole.
Prevention is better than cure and so can help here by cutting off your certain triggering foods or foods you might have noticed triggering your heartburn and consequently your chest pain when bending forward.
Lifestyle changes are easy and helpful to prevent further damage which may include quitting smoking, eat smaller meals, avoiding tea, alcohol, and definitely to maintain a healthy weight.
When to see a Doctor for GERD?
- Recurrent episodes of chest pain when bending with associated symptoms of heartburn should be addressed early by your doctor before damage occurs.
- If you feel your symptoms other than the above discussed above and thus pointing towards some other cardiac issue related pain needs medical emergency assistance.
- PULMONARY EMBOLUS:
Emboli can be defined as the blockage in your vessels from a clot travelled to that place from some other.
Pulmonary embolism can be defined as a blockage in your artery suddenly that happens to involve your veins with clot in the legs, that may break loose and travel to the arteries of your lungs and get lodged there.
Less common cause of blockage include: air, cells of tumor, droplets of fat etc.
Symptoms of pulmonary emboli include:
- Chest pain which tends to worsen when a person bends forward or even coughs
- Shortness of breath
- Discoloration of lips or nails (Bluish)
- Blood while coughing
Other counted symptoms may include:
How do you know you are at a risk of having chest pain when bending forward due to emboli?
- Post-injury like burns, femur fractures etc.
- After child birth (Amniotic emboli)
- After a long journey in a car and plane
- Oral Contraceptive pills (OCPs)
- Bed ridden person
- Inherited blood disorders
- Tachypnea (fast breathing)
How to diagnose your condition which is the cause of chest pain when bending forward alongside these symptoms:
- In addition to a proper history and physical examination, tests including below can be of any help for your doctor to diagnose:
- Chest X-ray: a test that non- invasively examines your heart and lungs
- MRI: to examine the lungs in cross sections.
- CT scan
- Pulmonary angiography
- D-dimer test: a small protein fragment, fibrin degradation product (FDP) after a blood clot is lysed.
- Venography: a test specialized to examine the veins of your legs.
- Blood tests for inherited blood disorders like protein C and S.
Treatment and prevention of pulmonary embolism
Treatment may include:
Blood thinners which may prevent further formation and prevent the formed ones from getting bigger.
- In case of recurrent clots we may need blood thinners for life long.
- Treatment is done under strict supervision and needs to be well examined and monitored for risk of bleeding, and the patient may be asked to seek doctor advice before undergoing any surgery.
If you have any of the risk factors including:
- Sedentary life style
- Recent pregnancy
and you are experiencing chest pain when bending forward frequently along with other symptoms suggestive of pulmonary embolism, your doctor may prescribe you with blood thinner and pressure stockings, and good movement in your legs when in a long ride or journey.
- You definitely need to stop smoking and taking estrogen pills since all of it increases your risk of developing blood clots and results in chest pain when bending forward.
- A healthy diet, physical activity with regular exercise and giving up sedentary lifestyle can help you to prevent any episode of emboli and chest pain while bending forward.
- Thrombolytic therapy might be indicated in severe and acute cases, in which the blood clots are to be dissolved to prevent further damage to your lungs and other vital organs.
- At least a period of 3months is needed for treatment and which can last for an indefinite period
- The prognosis very often depends on your underlying condition like:
- Cancer, some major surgeries, accident with injury in femur and definitely the size of your clot.
When to see a Doctor for Pulmonary embolism?
Take away and summary
Chest pain when bending forward can be a sign of heartburn/GERD and pulmonary embolism but you definitely should not miss other cardiac causes like angina or heart attack. Non cardiac causes like GERD which is benign but can’t be ignored for long and cause potential damage to esophagus. Pulmonary embolus can present with serious life threatening symptoms like shortness of breath, tachypnea, bluish color of skin and nails.
Even if your symptoms wake you up at night, with sweating, nausea and difficult swallowing you should seek possible medical help.