Chest Pains: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Sharp chest pain is one the common problems that affect most people in all ages. The pain may vary from one person to another with the feeling being either sharp, stubbing, aching, burning or just a dull ache. In some cases, this can be a sign of a problem related to the heart but the pain can also be caused by problems related to the ribs, lungs, muscles, esophagus and even nerves. Some of these conditions are life threatening while some are not so serious.


Causes of chest pain
There are various problems that can lead to a chest pain. These include:
i. Heart related problems:
Heart attack: reduction of blood flow through the heart leading to the death of muscles cells of the heart.
Pericarditis: refers to the inflammation of the heart surrounding sac.
Cardiomyopathy: refers to the disease of the heart muscles.
Angina: is a chest pain caused by blockages in the blood vessels you could try this out.
Myocarditis: is a pain caused by heart muscle inflammation.
ii. Gastrointestinal related problems:


  • Heart burn or acid influx
  • Esophagus disorder causing swallowing problems
  • Pancreas or gallbladder inflammation also known as gallstones

iii. Lung related problems:
• Pneumothorax; refers to air leakage from the lungs into the chest cavity.
• Viral bronchitis
• Pneumonia
• Blood clot inside the lung
iv. Bones and muscles related problems:


  • Sore muscles due to chronic pain syndrome.
  • Broken or bruised ribs.
  • Compression fractures that may create pressure on the nerves.

v. Other causes are:
• Infections on the nerves and skin mainly due to chicken pox virus infection. Is also known as shingles.
• Panic attacks i.e. experiencing sudden intense fear even when there is no real danger or threat.
Sharp Chest pain may come with other symptoms. These symptoms are critical especially during diagnosis. They include:


  • Tightness or pressure in the chest.
  • Feeling dizzy or short of breath.
  • Sharp or stubbing pain especially when the chest is pressed.
  • Pain in the arms, back or jaws.
  • Feeling pain or having difficulty when swallowing.
  • Pain that gets worse or better depending on the body position or during movement.
  • Pain when taking a deep breath or coughing.
  • Feeling of anxiety or panic
  • Pain in the back that radiates and moves to the chest.

Diagnosis of Chest Pain

i) Chest X-ray; helps to examine the lungs, heart, blood vessels and even the ribs.
ii) Electrocardiogram; helps to examine the electrical activity of the heart.
iii) Computed tomography scan or CT scan; helps to determine if there are blockages in blood vessels.
Treatment of chest pain
Chest pain can be treated using medication, surgery, non-invasive procedures or even a combination of both. The common methods of treatment are:
Medications that include nitroglycerin, using clot busting or blood thinning drugs.
Surgery to repair damaged arteries.
Use of antacids in cases of acid influx.
In most cases chest pain can easily be resolved or treated. However, it can also be a sign of a serious condition that can be life threatening. It is thus advisable that one should visit a health facility or seek medical attention as soon as the pain starts as this can help to save life.

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David Smith

David Smith

David Smith is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for He loves to share his knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.