Chest Pain

What are the Various Causes of Chest Pain?

Chest pain can be very frightening and those who experience it often fear a heart attack. But the reality is that there are a number of causes of chest pain, and while those relating to the heart and lungs can be life-threatening, not all chest pain is serious. Below are a few of the more common causes of chest pain.

Heart-Related Chest Pain

Problems with the heart typically cause pain in the chest and is the reason most people fear the worst when they feel a dull ache or sharp pain in the chest area. Conditions of the heart, such as angina and heart attacks, cause a reduction in blood flow to the heart muscle. When this happens, you might experience a pressure in the chest or a stabbing-like pain.

Lung-Related Chest Pain

Due to the position of the lungs in the body, chest pain is common when there is a problem with these organs. Inflammation of the lungs is known as pleurisy, and this causes pain when coughing or inhaling. Other lung conditions that cause chest pain include pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lung; pulmonary hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lung; and collapsed lung, which occurs when air gets into the space between the ribs and the lung.

Other Types of Chest Pain

Chest pain can occur when bones or muscles in the chest wall are injured. Broken or bruised ribs often result in pain in the chest, as do conditions such as fibromyalgia (a chronic pain syndrome). You might also experience pain in the chest because of digestive issues and certain illnesses. For example, heartburn, which is caused by digestive acids flowing from the stomach up to the throat, can cause a painful burning feeling in the chest. Inflammation of the pancreas or gallbladder is also known to cause chest pain that spreads from the abdominal region.

Something that you might not be aware of though is that mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder can cause pain in the chest. The anxiety therapy experts at Psych Blossom say that anxiety-related chest pain is actually quite common, but it can be different for everyone. Some people describe it as a dull pain that comes on over time, while others feel the pain as a sudden shooting sensation. This type of chest pain can also present as a tightness or pressure in the chest area, or even a numbness or twitching muscle feeling.

Should You Call for a Doctor?

Chest pain caused by heart and lung conditions are serious and typically require medical intervention. But it can be difficult to know the cause of chest pain. Whatever the cause of the pain, it is always best to have it checked out by a medical professional because there is the chance that it could be serious.

If your chest pain is caused by anxiety and you have experienced it before, you may be familiar with what it feels like. You might already have ways of managing this pain, such as taking some time to relax and practice deep breathing. But if you are experiencing sudden or unexplained chest pain, it is always best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.


There are many causes of pain in the chest, and while not all causes are life-threatening, those associated with the lungs and heart often are. As such, it is advisable to always seek professional advice if you experience chest pain. Time is of the essence in the case of a heart attack, so the sooner you get help the better.

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