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Pain in the center of the chest: causes and treatments

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The presence of chest pain is a controversial issue since most of the time people believe that it is entirely related to the presence of a heart problem, specifically the manifestation of an acute myocardial infarction.

However, this is not entirely true, the presence of chest pain can be related to multiple causes depending on the manifestation, and depending on the symptoms with which it is accompanied, we can determine the reason why it is happening, with which the Your doctor will be able to determine the ideal treatment. In the following FastlyHealarticle we are going to talk in depth about pain in the center of the chest: causes and treatments .

Pain in the center of the chest: common causes

Heart pain

One of the first reasons why pain in the center of the chest can occur is related to cardiac pain, that is, acute myocardial infarction . This is a pathology whose clinical manifestation is characterized by chest pain that can spread to the left arm, jaw, and back. In addition, this type of pain is associated with:

  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Intense sweating
  • Chest tightness.
  • Difficulty breathing.

This is considered a medical emergency so, in the presence of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor immediately . The Scientific Journal of the Spanish Association of Cardiology Nursing comments that pain in acute myocardial infarction is difficult to define due to the variabilities they present, requiring a correct assessment, stating that the more pain there is a higher mortality rate. [1]

Respiratory problems

Another cause for which pain in the middle of the chest can occur is with conditions related to the respiratory system, highlighting a pathology called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) where there is an inability to pass air through the respiratory tract. As a result of a chronic inflammatory process, this is also associated with the manifestation of cough, fever and respiratory distress.


On the other hand, another important cause related to pain in the center of the chest is anxiety and stress . All that emotional and psychic tension manifests itself in the body, and one of the ways in which anxiety is triggered is with:

  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sometimes nausea and vomiting.

Gastroesophageal reflux

Pain in the middle of the chest can be related to gastroesophageal reflux problems, this type of pain is sudden onset and becomes annoying over time. In the following FastlyHealarticle we talk in depth about gastroesophageal reflux: causes, symptoms and treatment .


The ribs are attached to the sternum by means of a cartilage that, once inflamed, can generate pain in the chest, this type of pain is frequent in women, this process is called costochondritis, its cause is not completely established, however, it is related to high intensity physical exertion most of the time.

Other causes of pain in the center of the chest

On the other hand, there are other less common causes that can trigger pain in the middle of the chest :

  • Pain of muscular origin : it is commonly related to the execution of high intensity physical activities in excess, generating tension in the muscles manifesting with pain when pressing the chest, sensitivity and inflammation in the area.
  • Pleurisy : related to respiratory pathologies, pleurisy, an inflammatory process of the layer that covers the lungs, can sometimes manifest itself with chest pain. In the following article we will talk about pleurisy or pleurisy .
  • Hiatal hernia : this disease is related to an alteration to the normal functioning of the digestive system, in this condition a part of the stomach, specifically the upper part, bulges through the diaphragm.

Pain in the center of the chest: diagnosis

Chest pain should be evaluated immediately by the doctor to make the proper diagnosis. In a normal way, the doctor will request an electrocardiogram to rule out any heart problem, In addition, he will request chest X-rays to be able to visualize the heart and airways and ultimately a computerized axial tomography will be useful to detect lung diseases and other disorders.

The symptoms to take into consideration are:

  • Oppressive (squeezing) chest pain.
  • Feeling of heaviness or stiffness in the chest.
  • Palpitations in the chest.
  • Pain spreading to the back and jaw.
  • Sweating and dizziness

It is important not to underestimate chest pain, once the first symptoms appear, especially those that we have just explained, you should go immediately to the emergency room.

Treatments for pain in the center of the chest

The treatment for chest pain depend on the cause of the pain:

  • In the case of pain of cardiac origin , that is, related to the heart, the treatment to be indicated by the doctor will probably be nitroglycerin, which increases blood flow to the heart by dilating (opening) the arteries. Mayo Clinic indicates that aspirin is another medication that can be used to relieve symptoms related to chest pain from heart problems [2] .
  • In the case of diseases of respiratory origin, it is most likely that the doctor will order some tests to complement the patient’s assessment and indicate the appropriate treatment depending on the diseases to be treated.
  • The use of gastritis medications such as antacids may be helpful in cases where chest pain is related to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • On the other hand, if the doctor considers that the reason for the chest pain is of psychological origin, that is, it is related to depressive or anxiety disorders, antidepressant drugs can be indicated that help reduce symptoms in conjunction with psychological therapy.
  • Finally, for costochondritis , this is an inflammatory process that will disappear on its own, being able to indicate only analgesics and anti-inflammatories in order that the pain disappears in a shorter period of time.

It must be taken into account that there is no better preventive measure than to reduce or avoid addictive habits such as alcoholic habits and smoking to lower the probability of suffering from any disease. Consistent exercises such as walking and swimming will be helpful in providing proper oxygen flow to the lungs as well as promoting optimal body function. It is not advisable to self-medicate before the manifestation of chest pain, the doctor is the only one who has the ability to indicate the treatment if necessary.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Pain in the center of the chest: causes and treatments , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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