What is causing my chest pain?

In a lot of cases, chest pain will not be caused by anything serious, but it may be a good idea to see a doctor about it if you are concerned. If you believe that you are having a heart attack, then it is important that you seek immediate medical advice.

Chest pain can be caused by a number of different factors, and may not actually be caused by your heart. Here are some of the most common causes of chest pain:

  • Heartburn/indigestion- this will usually happen after you have eaten and may leave you bloated and with a bitter taste in your mouth.

  • Chest strain- this can be caused by an injury to the chest or after exercise, it is likely that the pain will go away when you are resting.

  • Anxiety/panic attack- stressful situations may cause your heart to beat faster, give you the sweats and possible may you feel dizzy.

  • Chest infection/pneumonia- this will usually get worse when you are breathing in and out, you may also have green mucus and high temperature.

  • Shingles- a skin condition that can feel tingly and blister.

  • Trapped wind- this can lead to pressure building up and can be very uncomfortable.

However, your chest pain may also be caused by a problem with your heart such as:

  • Coronary heart disease- this can cause a blockage in the heart that reduces the flow of blood and oxygen around the body. It may feel like you have someone is squeezing your chest.

  • Heart attack- this is caused by a problem of blood flow through the heart. If you are having a heart attack you may feel a crushing pain in the centre or left side of your chest.

  • Myocarditis- this is when the heart muscles become inflamed and may cause problems with breathing. The symptoms of this condition can mimic those of a heart attack.

  • Pericarditis- this is inflammation or infection or the sac around the heart. If you have this you may experience a sharp pain in your shoulders and upper neck.

To reduce your risk of developing a heart issue that may cause pain in your chest you might benefit from:

  • Quitting smoking

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Having health checks to know if you are at a higher risk of developing heart conditions.

  • Keeping an eye on your blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.