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Chest and Back Pain Together

It is true that both chest pain and back pain are distressing and painful. The patient may feel discomfort when they experience both chest pain and back pain together. This symptom of chest pain and back pain together may last for a few seconds to several days if not taken care of in time. Apart from that, if the frequency of both chest and back pain together increases several other physical issues can come along.

Chest and Back Pain Together

When Does a Person Feel Chest and Back Pain Together?

Generally, a person rarely experiences both chest and back pain together. If both occur, physical discomfort increases to a large extent. The most important thing is to determine the cause why there is both chest pain and back pain together.

There are various reasons why a patient feels chest pain, which include heartburn, angina, anxiety, heart attack, etc.1 Similarly, back pain is caused due to very reasons such as strained muscles, muscles spasms, muscles tension, damaged disks, injuries, fractures, etc. However, experiencing both chest pain and back pain is a really dangerous and a very serious situation. So, as soon as you experience chest and back pain together, it becomes very important to diagnose the condition of your health and find out the precise cause.

One of the commonest reasons of experiencing chest and back pain together can be related to serious problems related to the heart. One of them is a blood clot which gets logged in an artery. Due to this, the blood flow gets blocked to the heart muscles. When it occurs the person feels painful pressure, cramping as well as squeezing sensation in the chest. The chest pain at that time is so severe that it moves from the chest to the back of the patient and as a result, the patient feels discomfort. It is true that the back pain is not as serious as that of the chest pain. The chest pain may be experienced from the neck to the upper abdomen. However, the pain that the patient may experience may differ due to the various reasons and it may be a sharp pain, dull pain, burning pain, aching, stabbing, squeezing, crushing sensation, etc. It actually depends on the cause of the chest pain.

As there are other causes of chest pain too, it is necessary to evaluate those too. Chest pain may also be experienced due to some other problems such as problems in lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, nerve problems, etc. The pain may be very severe for which the patient may also experience its effect on the back. Hence, these problems too can result in chest and back pain together. Certain viral infections, herpes too can cause chest and back pain together, if the particular area is affected.2

That is the reason why it is very essential to diagnose its exact reason why the patient is experiencing both the chest pain and back pain together. If you do not diagnose it properly then it may become very problematic and it is mostly seen that when the patient experience both the chest pain and back pain together doctors advise the patient to do chest x-ray or electrocardiogram (ECG) as these are a very common test for diagnosis of heart problems.


The experience of both the chest pain and back pain together is very irritating and it is caused mainly due to heart problems. However, it may be caused due to some other reasons affecting the lungs, musculoskeletal system, nerve problems or infections. As such, it is important to diagnose it properly to find out the cause or source of the problem. Proper and timely diagnosis and treatment are necessary. Otherwise, it may bring different physical issues.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 23, 2019

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