The pericardium holds the heart in place and helps it work properly. There is a small amount of fluid between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium. This fluid keeps the layers from rubbing as the heart moves to pump blood.
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Many conditions can cause pain below the sternum.
The upper part of your abdomen is home to a number of important and necessary organs. These include:. Typically, upper abdominal pain is caused by something relatively minor, such as a pulled muscleand will go away on its own in a few days.
Chest pain refers to pain felt anywhere in the chest area from the level of your shoulders to the bottom of your ribs. It is a common symptom. There are many causes of chest pain. This leaflet only deals with the most common.
The heart on the right shows a heart with pericarditis, in which the membrane pericardium that surrounds the heart is swollen and infected. The heart on the left shows a heart with a normal pericardium. Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin saclike membrane surrounding your heart.
When it comes to stomach painfinding the cause of your tummy trouble can be harder than solving an advanced Sudoku. Use this symptom decoder to help decipher what's up with your gut. What it is: Acid flowing backward from the stomach up into the throat.
Some women may experience a sharp pain under their right breast that comes and goes. Others may experience it every time they take a breath. Sometimes this pain radiates into the back, armpit, or up to the breastbone.
Back to Health A to Z. Costochondritis is the medical term for inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to your breastbone sternum. This area is known as the costochondral joint.
Although chest pain is often—and rightfully— associated with heart disease, other medical problems can be causes of chest pain. Angina—feelings of pressure, heaviness, tightness. You can learn more about angina in the Harvard Special Health Report Diseases of the Heart: A compendium of common heart condition and the latest treatments. Yet the heart isn't the only organ in the upper abdomen, and chest pain may be due to conditions affecting the esophagus, lungs, gall bladder, or stomach.