Chest pain (patient information)

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Chest pain


What are the causes?

When to seek urgent medical care?


Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Chest pain?


Chest pain On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

Images of Chest pain

Videos on Chest pain

FDA on Chest pain

CDC on Chest pain

Chest pain in the news

Blogs on Chest pain

Directions to Hospitals Treating Chest pain

Risk calculators and risk factors for Chest pain

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Assistant Editor(s)-in-Chief: Alexandra M. Palmer


Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.

What causes Chest pain?

Many people with chest pain fear a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are mildly inconvenient, while other causes are serious, even life-threatening. Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves.

Heart problems that can cause chest pain:

Lung problems that can cause chest pain:

Other causes of chest pain:

Chest pain can also be related to the following digestive system problems:

In children, most chest pain is not caused by the heart.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call 911 if:

Know that your risk of heart attack is greater if you have a family history of heart disease, you smoke, use cocaine, are overweight, or you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Call your doctor if:


Emergency measures will be taken, if necessary. Hospitalization will be required in difficult or serious cases or when the cause of the pain is unclear.

The doctor will perform a physical examination and monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure). The physical examination will focus on the chest wall, lungs, and heart. Your doctor may ask questions like the following:

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

More complex tests may be required, depending on the difficulty of diagnosis or the suspected cause of the chest pain.

Treatment options

If injury, over-exertion, or coughing have caused muscle strain, your chest wall is often tender or painful when you press a finger at the location of the pain. This can often be treated at home. Try acetaminophen or ibuprofen, ice, heat, and rest.

If you know you have asthma or angina, follow the instructions of your doctor and take your medications regularly to avoid flare-ups.

Where to find medical care for Chest pain?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Chest pain


Make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent chest pain from heart disease:


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