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A cardiologist holds a stethoscope to check her patient's heart rate and rhythm.

Chest pain

There are many types of chest pain, ranging from dull aches to sharp stabbing and burning. Chest pain can extend into other parts of the body, usually the neck, jaw, or arms. If you are experiencing chest pain, do not wait to seek help, as it is usually a sign of a more serious condition.

Symptoms of chest pain

Chest pain stemming from heart problems is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Cold sweats
  • Crushing pain in areas of the upper body
  • Dizziness
  • Extended periods of pain made worse by activity
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pressure, tightness, or burning sensations in the chest


Chest pain caused by non-heart-related conditions is more likely to have symptoms such as:

  • A sour taste in the mouth
  • Longlasting, persistent pain
  • Pain caused by breathing and coughing
  • Pain that increases or decreases when you change positions
  • Tenderness in the chest
  • Trouble swallowing

Chest pain causes

  • Inflammation of the sac around the heart
  • Heartburn
  • Injured ribs
  • High blood pressure in the lung arteries
  • Panic attack

Chest pain risk factors

Preventing chest pain

  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium and high in Omega-3
  • Try to exercise for 30 minutes each day
  • Lower your blood pressure by reducing stress and getting enough sleep

Treating chest pain

Treatment for chest pain varies depending on what is causing the pain, but it typically includes medication or surgical procedures.

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To learn more about cardiovascular disease management or treatment options, reach out to our Nurse Navigator.