Most chest pain is not a sign of anything serious but you should get medical advice just in case. Get immediate medical help if you think you're having a heart attack.
Common causes of chest pain
Chest pain has many different causes. In most cases, chest pain is not caused by a heart problem.
Your symptoms might give you an idea of the cause. Don't self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.
Chest pain and heart problems
The most common heart problems that cause chest pain include:
- pericarditis – which usually causes a sudden, sharp, stabbing pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or lie down
- angina or a heart attack – which have similar symptoms but a heart attack is life-threatening
You're more likely to have heart problems if you're older or know you're at risk of coronary heart disease.
For example, if you: