Chest pain can be caused by anything from muscle pain to a heart attack and should never be ignored.
Call for an ambulance immediately if you develop sudden severe chest pain. This is particularly important if the chest pain:
If your chest pain is only minor or has resolved itself quickly, it may be more appropriate to either:
Chest pain isn't always caused by a problem with your heart, but it can sometimes be a symptom of:
The main differences between these conditions is that chest pain caused by angina tends to be triggered by physical activity or emotional stress, and gets better with rest after a few minutes.
Symptoms of a heart attack tend to last more than 15 minutes, occur at rest, and include sweating and vomiting.
If you've previously been diagnosed with angina, the pain may be relieved by your angina medication. A second dose can be taken after five minutes if the first dose is not effective.
Call for an ambulance if:
Most chest pain is not heart-related and isn't a sign of a life-threatening problem.
This information should give you an idea of whether these conditions may be causing your chest pain, but you should always seek medical advice to make sure you get a proper diagnosis.
Some common causes of chest pain include:
There are many other potential causes of chest pain, including:
Some of these conditions can be very serious. Make sure you seek medical advice so you can be correctly diagnosed and treated.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.