It is important to note that every chest pain or upper abdominal pain is not angina. There are many unrelated conditions which mimic anginal pain, so there is no need for any immediate apprehension. Though professional advice is always recommended.
Some conditions that may give rise to pain similar to one felt during angina:
- Gastritis, reflux oesophagitis (heart burn) and peptic ulcer pain – This type of pain is usually associated with heavy meals and is relieved by medication (antacid or H2 receptor blockers).
- Costochondritis – Inflammation of the costochondral junction (where ribs unite with sternum or the breast bone at the center of the chest cage) can cause chest pain but this pain can be reproduced by applying local pressure.
- Neuritis – Inflammation of nerves lying along the ribs as in case of herpes zoster (a viral disease) may cause pain mimicking angina pain.
- Cervical and thoracic spine diseases – Compression of dorsal nerve root may cause similar type of pain but the pain is associated with specific movements.
- Pleuritis – Inflammation of pleura (membrane covering of lungs) can also cause similar pain but this type of pain typically gets worse on deep breathing and may be associated with fever and cough.