What causes chest pain?
Although most people think of chest pain as a sign of a heart problem/heart attack, it can be caused by many things. Chest pain can be a symptom of:
- Heart and vascular problems, such as a heart attack, coronary artery disease (blockages in the blood vessels that carry blood to your heart), pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around your heart), aortic dissection (a tear in the wall of your aorta) or aortic aneurysm (a bulging section of your aorta).
- Digestive problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), an ulcer, gallstones, spasms in your esophagus, esophagitis, hiatal hernia or gastritis.
- Lung problems such as a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in an artery inside your lung), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, pleurisy or pleuritis (inflammation of the membrane around your lungs) or a pneumothorax (collapsed lung).
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as a broken rib or sprained chest muscle.
- Cancer involving or effecting different structures in the chest.
- Stress, anxiety or panic attacks.