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What are the Most Common Causes of Burning Chest Pain?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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Several physical and mental conditions can cause burning chest pain. Chest pain may be the result of a heart condition, stress, or a muscle strain. A respiratory problem or digestive disorder may also be to blame. Many of the causes of chest pain can be serious and may require immediate medical attention. Anyone suffering from burning chest pain should seek medical advice and attention in order to make sure that the cause of the chest pain is identified and treated.

For many people, burning pain in the chest can bring about concerns that they are having a heart attack or have developed some sort of heart-related problem. Heart attack can result in chest pain, though not everyone who has a heart attack experiences the pain in the same way. Similarly, angina and other heart blockages, damage, and defects can also cause chest pain, which should be brought to the attention of a doctor at once. If left untreated, further and irreversible damage to the heart can occur, which may shorten the life of the chest pain sufferer. Respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension may contribute to chest pain, though the chest pain may be accompanied by obvious respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and sharp pain while breathing.

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Other common causes of burning chest pain are digestive disorders, such as acid reflux (GERD) or hiatal hernia. While neither problem presents an immediate threat to a sufferer's life or health, both can cause significant discomfort and, in the case of GERD, may contribute to esophageal cancer. Esophageal spasms and gallbladder or pancreas attacks may contribute to chest pain as well. Chest discomfort may also be the result of strained muscles.

In some cases, stress and panic disorders may result in burning chest pain, though there may also be a physical condition that contributes to the experience of chest pain. For example, some people with angina are more likely to have attacks during times of panic or stress. Chest pain caused by digestive issues may also be triggered by acute or prolonged stress. Chest pain can occur in someone who has a panic disorder or who is under considerable mental and emotional stress without any complicating physical factors, however. Those who experience chest pain in response to panic or stress should still seek professional help to rule out possible physical causes for the pain and to manage their stress or panic so as to avoid further discomfort.

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anon947917
Post 4

My mother has a burning sensation in her chest in the early mornings. she is taking medicine -- Defcort tablets. Can this medicine cause acidity? My mother also has wheezing problem. Who is the best doctor in Bangalore?

ddljohn
Post 3

I experience severe chest pain when I'm having a panic attack. It also doesn't help that I think I'm having a heart attack.

stoneMason
Post 2

@burcinc-- Acid reflux causes acid to move up from the stomach to the esophagus. This is the tube that runs from our mouth to our stomach. The acid starts irritating the esophagus and causes inflammation which causes pain. Since the esophagus is close to the heart (it's to the left), pain in the esophagus can feel very much like heart pain. This is why acid reflux is often said to cause heartburn.

If someone hasn't been diagnosed with acid reflux, it's still a good idea to have the heart checked out to make sure there is nothing wrong on that front. If everything else is clear, a burning pain in the chest is most likely due to hyper-acidity in the stomach.

burcinc
Post 1

I just found out that the cause of the burning chest pain I've been experiencing for days is due to acid reflux. I'm now on anti-acid medications and I feel a lot better.

How does acid reflux cause chest pain exactly?

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