10 Common Causes of Chest Pain

Common Causes of Chest Pain

Chest pain can be a frightening experience.

You may not know what is causing the pain, and you may worry that you are having a heart attack.

In most cases, chest pain is not caused by a serious problem, but it is still important to seek medical attention to determine the cause.

In this blog post, we will discuss ten common causes of chest pain.

1. Heartburn

Chest pain caused by heartburn is quite common.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid rises into the esophagus.

The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Heartburn can cause a burning sensation in the chest, as well as pain and discomfort behind your breastbone.

But that’s not all.

Heartburn is often worse after eating or when lying down.

There are a number of over-the-counter treatments available for heartburn.

Also, avoid trigger foods, such as spicy or fatty foods.

If you experience heartburn frequently, you may need to see a doctor.

2. Muscle strain

Muscle strain is another common cause of chest pain.

The chest contains a large muscle called the pectoralis major.

This muscle can become strained or injured from overuse or trauma.

Symptoms of a pectoralis major strain include pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area.

Resting and applying ice to the area can help to relieve symptoms.

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen may also be helpful.

If the pain is severe, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist.

They can prescribe stronger medication or provide other treatments.

Surgery is rarely needed.

3. Costochondritis

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone.

It can cause a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest.

The pain may worsen with deep breathing or coughing.

There is no specific treatment for costochondritis, but over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, can help to relieve pain.

Resting and applying ice or heat to the area may also be helpful.

If the pain is severe, you may need to see a doctor.

4. Pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the artery that carries blood to the lungs.

It can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing.

Pulmonary embolisms are often caused by blood clots that travel from other parts of the body, such as the leg or abdomen.

Pulmonary embolisms are a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical attention if you think you may have one.

Treatment for a pulmonary embolism often includes blood thinners or clot-busting medications.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the blockage.

Recovery from a pulmonary embolism can take weeks or months.

During this time, you may need to take blood thinners and make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.

You will also need to be monitored for any complications.

Pulmonary embolism can be fatal, so it is important to seek medical attention right away if you think you may have one.

Learn more: 9 Warning Signs of Pulmonary Embolism

5. Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus.

It can cause chest pain, heartburn, and a sour taste in the mouth.

There are a number of treatments available for gastroesophageal reflux disease, including over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.

If the symptoms are severe, you may need to see a doctor.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic condition, and you may need to take medication for it long-term.

Learn more: What is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

6. Acute coronary syndrome

An acute coronary syndrome is a term used to describe a range of heart problems, including heart attack and angina.

Chest pain is the most common symptom of the acute coronary syndrome.

Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.

Acute coronary syndromes are a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical attention if you think you may have one.

Treatment for acute coronary syndrome often includes medications, such as aspirin and statins, and lifestyle changes.

7. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing.

It is often caused by bacteria or viruses.

The good news is that pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications.

In some cases, you may need to be hospitalized for treatment.

It might take weeks or months for someone with pneumonia to fully recover from it.

During this period, you may need to take antibiotics or make other changes in your lifestyle, like quitting smoking.

You will also need to be monitored for any complications.

Pneumonia is a serious illness that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

If you think you have pneumonia, seek medical care immediately.

Learn more: What is Pneumonia? (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment)

8. Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an infection of the airways that can cause chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath.

It is often caused by bacteria or viruses.

Bronchitis can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications.

However, in certain circumstances, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Most people recover from bronchitis without any complications.

If you have bronchitis, you should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take antibiotics or antiviral medications as prescribed by your doctor.

You should also avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Read more: What is acute bronchitis?

9. Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood pressure is too high.

It can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and a pounding sensation in the chest.

There are many treatments available for hypertension, including lifestyle changes and medications.

If the blood pressure is not controlled with medication, you may need to undergo surgery.

Hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

You should see a doctor if you think you have hypertension.

Keep reading: What is High Blood Pressure? (Hypertension)

10. Panic attack

A panic attack is a sudden, intense feeling of fear or terror.

It can cause chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat.

Panic attacks often occur for no apparent reason.

They can be treated with medication and/or therapy.

Common Causes of Chest Pain

When to see a doctor for chest pain

If you experience any of the following, you should see a doctor for chest pain:

  • The pain is severe or gets worse over time
  • The pain is not relieved by over-the-counter medication
  • You have shortness of breath, sweating, or dizziness along with the chest pain
  • Chest pain that spreads to the arm, neck, or jaw
  • You have a history of heart disease

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Chest pain can be a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Don’t delay in getting help.