Abdominal & Chest Pain
Chest pain in the athlete can be anything from indigestion to a heart attack so if you are at all unsure seek medical advice. Moderate to severe chest injuries should always be assessed by a doctor to ensure the ribs, lungs and other internal organs, including the heart, have not been affected or damaged. However, in view of the possible consequences from any chest or abdominal injury, always consult a doctor if in doubt.
Acute chest pain is sudden onset or particularly painful. It can range from cardiac chest pain or heart attack to a torn muscle or bruised rib. If you suspect cardiac chest pain then seek urgent medical attention immediately. Do not take chances. Many cases of acute chest pain have musculoskeletal causes for example from a hard impact to the rib cage.
Acute abdominal pain is often caused by an injury to the stomach, like a direct hit or a strong tackle. External impacts can cause internal damage that may need medical attention. The abdominal muscles and organs can be damaged from participating in sports like Rugby and American Football especially. An infection may also be responsible for the stomach pain. Some cases of stomach pain are mild and can be treated at home, but others will need medical attention.
Chronic chest pain comes on gradually over time and, like asthma, may be a long term condition. Overuse is a more common cause of these pains and issues rather than a specific injury or impact. Injuries or conditions in another part of the body, such as the back or stomach, may be causing the chest pain and may get worse with activity. These chronic pains should be checked out by a doctor to find the original, underlying cause and so they can prescribe treatment to help ease the pain.