Chest pain


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


Many people with chest pain fear a heart attack. However, there are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are not dangerous to your health, while other causes are serious and, in some cases, lifethreatening.

Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves. Pain may also spread to the chest from the neck, abdomen, and back.


Heart or blood vessel problems that can cause chest pain:

Lung problems that can cause chest pain:

Other causes of chest pain:

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

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

Home Care

For most causes of chest pain, it is best to check with your health care provider before treating yourself at home.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call 911 if:

Your risk of having a heart attack is greater if:

Call your provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider may ask questions such as:

The types of tests that are done depend on the cause of the pain, and what other medical problems or risk factors you have.

Review Date: 5/5/2016
Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.