Common causes of chest pain

Most chest pain is not heart-related and isn't a sign of a life-threatening problem.

This information should give you an idea of whether these conditions may be causing your chest pain, but you should always seek medical advice to make sure you get a proper diagnosis.

Some common causes of chest pain include:

  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) a common condition where acid from the stomach comes up into the oesophagus (gullet), causing heartburn and an unpleasant taste
  • a strained muscle in your chest wall whichcan be surprisingly painful, but with rest the pain should ease and the muscle will healin time
  • costochondritis inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone;symptoms include pain, swelling and tenderness around your ribs, and the pain is made worse by lying down, breathing deeply, coughing or sneezing
  • an anxiety or panic attack which tends to last up to 20 minutes and may alsocause symptoms such as heart palpitations ,sweating, breathlessness and dizziness
  • lung conditions such as pneumonia or pleurisy which often cause sharp chest pain that gets worse when you breathe in and out, and are accompanied by other symptoms such as a cough and breathlessness
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018