5 Surprising Causes of Chest Pain

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team


Heart attacks are mostly characterized by a chest pain which originates from the center of your thoracic cavity and continues to radiate towards other parts of the body, including your back, stomach, neck and shoulder. This kind of chest pain is known as angina.

NCCP or non-cardiac chest pain is at times known to mimic angina even in people who do not have any kind of heart disease. This is known to affect not only adults but children as well. This can be commonly observed in both men and women. Whereas research suggests that women can be more prone to NCCP while compared to men.



1.Acid reflux


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), colloquially known as acid refluxes are the most common cause for NCCP. A vast majority of patients who suffer from NCCP usually suffer from acid refluxes. Hence it is very common for people with NCCP to be examined by a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist usually studies the patient’s esophagus to determine the chest pain’s source.

2.Depression and anxiety



People suffering from depression usually describe it as the feeling that their heart is suffering from physical damage. Depression causes chest pain, which is often totally unrelated to any kind of heart disease. It is very common to misunderstand anxiety as chest pain. If you are a person who is going through NCCP as a result of depression and anxiety, you should get in touch with a therapist at the earliest.

3.Pulled chest muscles


Going through a strenuous physical activity which might include lifting heavy objects or even trying out a new posture in yoga which strains a lot of your muscles result in pain radiating from your chest walls. This results in you feeling pressure or discomfort in your thoracic cavity, which can be mistaken for angina. Topical applicants, massages or even physiotherapy if required, can help you get relief from the pain.

4.Breast cysts


Women can at times, misinterpret breast pain as chest pain related to your heart. When women go through the menstrual process, there is a fluctuation in their progesterone and estrogen. This might occasionally result in the formation of cysts in their breast. These lumps are not cancerous and usually disintegrate once their menstrual cycle closes. These cysts can cause breast pain periodically.



Asthma has several different triggers, which include pet hair, exposure to too much dust, increased food consumption or even unexpected physical activity. Apart from the common symptoms like wheezing, coughing and struggle in breathing, asthma can also cause NCCP. This situation might require medication to stop your symptoms from flaring up.


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