Symptoms of Chest Pain

Chest pain. The first thing you may think of is heart attack. Certainly chest pain is not something to ignore. But you should know that it has many possible causes. In fact, as much as a quarter of the U.S. population experiences chest pain that is not related to the heart. Chest pain may also be caused by problems in your lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, or nerves, for example. Some of these conditions are serious and life threatening. Others are not. If you have unexplained chest pain, the only way to confirm its cause is to have a doctor evaluate you.

You may feel chest pain anywhere from your neck to your upper abdomen. Depending on its cause, chest pain may be:

  • Sharp
  • Dull
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Stabbing
  • A tight, squeezing, or crushing sensation