There are many possible causes of chest pain. Some of the most common causes include:
- Heart attack: A heart attack is a life-threatening condition in which the blood supply to the heart is blocked. This can damage the heart muscle and lead to chest pain.
- Angina: Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. This can be caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries, which are the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
- Pericarditis: Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart. This can cause chest pain that is worse when you take a deep breath or lie down.
- Costochondritis: Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum (breastbone). This can cause chest pain that is worse when you move your chest.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). This can cause chest pain, heartburn, and other symptoms.
Other possible causes of chest pain include:
- Lung problems: Lung problems, such as pneumonia and asthma, can cause chest pain.
- Musculoskeletal problems: Musculoskeletal problems, such as muscle strains and rib fractures, can cause chest pain.
- Anxiety and stress: Anxiety and stress can cause chest pain.
If you are experiencing chest pain, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause and get the appropriate treatment.
When to see a doctor
You should see a doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain that is sudden, severe, or crushing
- Chest pain that spreads to your back, neck, jaw, or arm
- Chest pain that is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or lightheadedness
- Chest pain that lasts more than 15 minutes
If you have any questions or concerns about chest pain, talk to your doctor.