Chest pain have the right to be a authorize that a human is having actually a love attack. However, chest pain is likewise a typical symptom the other, much less serious conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

You are watching: Heartburn pain in chest and back

Doctors describe pain from love attacks and also other conditions that affect the cardiovascular device as cardiac chest pain. Pain that does not come from the cardiovascular device is called noncardiac chest pain.

Gastroesophageal reflux condition (GERD) can reason heartburn, i beg your pardon is a common type of noncardiac chest pain.

While heart assaults are a life-threatening clinical emergency, heartburn is not. Therefore, gift able to acknowledge the difference in between cardiac and noncardiac chest pain is essential.

In this article, we discuss the symptoms of GERD and heart attacks together with the differences between cardiac and also noncardiac chest pain. We additionally cover other causes of both types of chest pain.

Is it GERD?

Share ~ above PinterestMany conditions can cause chest pain, consisting of acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs once acid indigenous the stomach leaks up right into the food pipe, or esophagus. Among the most typical symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn, i m sorry is a painful burning sensation in the center of the chest simply behind the breastbone, or sternum.

According come the national Institute that Diabetes and Digestive and also Kidney Diseases, a human being who experiences mountain reflux more than twice a week for a couple of weeks may have GERD. Close come 20 percent of civilization in the unified States have actually GERD.

Other symptoms of acid reflux and also GERD have the right to include:

a sour or poor taste in the mouthtooth decaya hoarse voice

People with persistent symptoms of mountain reflux or GERD have to see a doctor.

Is it a heart attack?

Heart strikes occur as soon as the blood it is provided to the heart muscles becomes completely blocked. If a human being does not receive immediate treatment, component of the heart muscle can die.

A common symptom the a heart strike is pains or discomfort that commonly occurs in the facility or left side of the chest. This pain may come and also go, and its severity can selection from mild come severe. The can likewise sometimes feel choose heartburn or indigestion.

However, not everyone who has a heart attack experiences chest pain. The symptom of a heart assault can vary significantly from human to person, and also they may come on slowly or very suddenly.

Other symptoms of a heart assault might include:

intense press or tightness in the facility of the chesta emotion of heaviness or weak in one or both armspain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in the arms, neck, jaw, lips, or stomachnausea and also vomitingdizziness or lightheadednessbreaking the end in a cold sweat

Anyone that suspects the they or someone rather is having actually a heart strike should automatically call 911 or go to the emergency room.

When trying come distinguish in between cardiac and noncardiac chest pain, a person needs to take into consideration the following three factors:

the ar of the painhow the pains feelsthe accompanying symptoms

We comment on each of this in much more detail below:

Location the chest pain

Both cardiac and also noncardiac chest pain can occur in the center of the chest behind the breastbone.

However, cardiac chest pain can spread across the chest and also even affect other components of the body, such as the:

armsbackshouldersneck or throatjawteeth

Noncardiac chest pain, such as heartburn, has tendency to continue to be localized, an interpretation that that does not spread out to various other areas. Heartburn commonly develops behind or underneath the breastbone.

How the pain feels

Some of the words that civilization use to explain cardiac chest pains are:


In contrast, noncardiac chest pain often tends to feel like an intense stabbing or burning sensation just beneath the surface ar of the skin.

Coughing, breathing, or relocating can influence the strongness of noncardiac chest pain, when the severity that cardiac chest ache usually continues to be stable, also when resting.

Accompanying symptoms

The symptoms accompanying chest pain deserve to be vital indication of even if it is it is cardiac or noncardiac.

The symptoms that have the right to occur along with cardiac chest pain may include:

shortness that breathnumbnesspain or uncomfortable in various other parts that the body, such as the arms, neck, jaw, shoulders, and back

Symptoms that indicate that the chest ache is native heartburn or GERD deserve to include:

pain or an obstacle swallowingbad breathan unpleasant or tart taste in the mouth

Causes the cardiac chest pain have the right to include:


Coronary artery disease (CAD), additionally called ischemic heart condition or coronary love disease, occurs when fatty deposits develop up in the arteries the supply blood to the love muscle.

Over time, these deposits deserve to restrict blood flow, which can reason a kind of chest pain called angina. CAD can likewise lead to heart attacks and also heart failure.

People often describe angina as a feeling of pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness behind the breastbone. This pain deserve to spread to other parts that the body, consisting of the arms, jaw, neck, and shoulders.

Angina frequently occurs throughout physical activity, and stress can additionally bring it on. If the pain continues after rest, this deserve to be a authorize of a love attack.

People who space unsure even if it is they room experiencing angina or a heart attack should speak to 911 automatically or walk to the emergency room.


Myocarditis is a rare form of cardiovascular disease that causes inflammation the the love muscle. This inflammation have the right to lead to chest pain, love failure, or sudden death.

According come the nationwide Organization for rare Disorders, myocarditis generally develops without an identifiable cause. However, doctors often diagnose civilization with myocarditis adhering to a famous or bacterial infection.

Myocarditis produces symptoms similar to those of various other heart conditions, such as chest tightness and also fatigue. Leaning forward can assist relieve chest pain result from myocarditis.

Other symptom of myocarditis include:

irregular heartbeatdizziness or lightheadednessloss the consciousness

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a thickening of the muscle wall surface in the heart.

People have the right to inherit gene from your parents that rise their risk of developing HCM. However, HCM can additionally occur as a an outcome of high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

The symptoms of HCM include:

chest pain that frequently results indigenous exerciseshortness that breathfluttering heartbeat or love palpitations

Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension describes high blood press in the arteries that supply the lungs.

Common symptoms incorporate shortness of breath and chest pain, which may happen or worsen v physical activity. End time, symptoms may become an ext frequent together the disease progresses.

People through pulmonary hypertension may likewise experience:

fatigue and also weaknessfainting, lightheadedness, or dizzinessirregular heartbeata dry cough that may bring up bloodswelling the the foot or feet that outcomes from liquid buildup

Pneumonia is a chest epidemic that reasons the small air sacs within the lungs to end up being inflamed and fill through fluid.

A common symptom the pneumonia is chest pains that typically worsens as soon as a human inhales deeply or coughs. The chest pain can selection from mild to severe.

Other symptom of pneumonia can include:

difficulty breathingshortness the breathcoughing the produces green or bloody mucusfatigue

Peptic ulcer

A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach or tiny intestine. Bacterial infections and also long-term usage of nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs have the right to lead to peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcers can reason a painful burn sensation that starts in the abdomen and also extends come the chest. This pain deserve to come and go and also may get better when a human being eats or bring away an antacid.

Other symptoms of peptic ulcers can include:

bloatingbelchingnausea and also vomitingunexplained load lossloss that appetitelightheadedness

However, not everyone v peptic ulcers experiences symptoms.


Costochondritis is an inflammation that the cartilage around the breastbone. This inflammation can reason tenderness and also sharp chest pains that may feel comparable to the pains of a heart attack.

The pain indigenous costochondritis commonly affects the left next of the chest, but it can sometimes influence both sides. Deep breathing, coughing, and also physical activity may do the pain worse.

Possible reasons of costochondritis incorporate severe coughing, chest injuries, infections, and also overexertion.

Esophageal spasms

Involuntary spasms or contractions that the food pipeline can reason intense chest pain. This spasms can come top top suddenly and sometimes last for number of hours.

Other symptom of esophageal spasms might include:

intense ache or tightness in the cheststomach contents coming increase the food pipedifficulty swallowing

It is not always clear why esophageal spasms occur, but risk determinants include GERD, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Panic attack

A panic attack refers come a sudden strike of extreme anxiety and also fear. These strikes can last for in between a few minutes and also several hours, and also a person may feel together though castle are having a heart attack.

Symptoms the a panic assault can include:

chest painpounding, rapid, or rarely often rare heartbeattrembling or shakingshortness of breatha emotion of throttle or suffocatingnauseadizziness or lightheadednessnumbnesssweatingfeelings the doom, lose of control, or unreality

A human being may have a panic attack in response to a stressful event, yet an attack can likewise occur unexpectedly. Recurrent panic strikes are a symptom of scare disorder.

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and also GERD that causes a painful burning sensation in the facility of the chest. This sensation have the right to sometimes feel similar to the chest pain that world experience throughout a heart strike or attacks of angina.

A heart strike is a medical emergency, so being able come tell the difference in between heartburn and cardiac chest pains is crucial. If chest pain diffusion to other locations of the body, such as the arms or jaw, or occurs alongside symptoms such together shortness of breath and a emotion of tightness in the chest, it can be a sign of a heart attack. If chest pain lasts for an ext than a few minutes, contact 911 immediately.

See more: "The Dynasty" S How Did Tom Brady Hurt His Hand Injury Are Kind Of Amazing

A human who suspects that they or someone rather is having actually a heart assault should automatically call 911 or go directly to the emergency room. It is additionally advisable to see a doctor about any unusual chest pain, also if the goes away on the own.