Chest Pain

Who will get it?

Anybody might get it. However it is not a common complaint at your age.


What are the possible causes?

  • Gut problem (Gastrointestinal disorders).
    • E.g. Gastro esophageal reflux (most common)
  • Musculoskeletal.
    • E.g. costochondritis and muscle strain
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax.
  • Hyperventilation (rapid deep breathing).

How to differentiate the causes?

Sometimes you can differentiate the cause based on the presentation. However, it is best to consult your doctor

Causes How does it occur? Presentation
Gastro esophageal reflux
  • When the acid content of the stomach backflows into the esophagus. The lining of esophagus cannot handle the acid load and get injured
  • Heartburn – burning pain in the area of sternum or breastbone
  • Occurs after meals especially when meals are taken just before sleep
  • Costochondritis is due to inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib to the sternum
  • Muscle strain
  • Pain is sharp
  • Pressure applied over the area will aggravate pain
  • pain on deep breathing
Spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Spontaneous rupture of a tiny bleb/ blister that has formed on the lung surface causing air to fill the lining of the chest wall
  • Sudden pain associated with difficulty in breathing
  • It is life threathening condition which requires immediate treatment

What should you do if you have chest pain?

  • Consult your doctor. Your doctor will get a relevant history from you and perform an examination to confirm the diagnosis
  • It is good to know that chest pain at your age with no overt symptoms, rarely signals a serious problem
  • If you have Gastro esophageal reflux, the preventive steps are:
    • Avoid heavy, greasy food shortly before sleep
    • Prop up in bed
    • Avoid/reduce stress
Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Content Writer : Dr. Nor Asiah bte. Hashim
Accreditor : Dr Kauthaman a/l Mahendran
Reviewer : Dr. Nazhatussima bt. Suhaili