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What Are Common Non-Cardiac Causes Of Chest Pain?

Chest pain creates a lot of suspicion about the presence of cardiac disorder. Other than the cardiac causes, various non-cardiac causes result in chest pain. An accurate diagnosis should be done to differentiate between the cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain.

What Are Common Non-Cardiac Causes Of Chest Pain?

What Are Common Non-Cardiac Causes Of Chest Pain?

Most of the people in their life experience chest pain even when they are not suffering from cardiac diseases. The condition is termed as Non-Cardiac Chest Pain. This is the pain that has characteristics similar to heart pain, also known as angina, although do not have any cardiac disease. The patent experiences such pain behind the breast bone. Patients describe such pain as squeezing, oppressive or pressurizing. In some cases, pain radiates towards the neck, shoulder or hands. Duration of pain varies and may range from few minutes to few hours. Following are the various causes of non-cardiac chest pain:

Esophageal Reflux Disease. It is considered to be the sot common reason for non-cardiac chest pain. This is a chronic condition characterized by the increased presence of acid in the stomach. Increased acid results in the regurgitation of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. The esophagus does not have the protective layer as present in the stomach leading to chest burn and pain in the chest.

Esophageal Hypersensitivity. Some people have to increase esophageal sensitivity. This results in experiencing esophageal discomfort and chest pain even with a small change in esophageal pressure or slight acid regurgitation. The reason for such hypersensitivity in some patients remains unknown.

Muscle Problems. Various muscle problems in the esophagus causes chest pain. Esophageal spasm, the condition of uncoordinated muscle contractions, results in reduced flow of food from the esophagus. Other esophageal muscular conditions, that results in chest pain include nutcracker esophagus i.e. pressurized esophagus and achalasia.

Ulcer. Patients with chronic ulcer experiences chest pain. Excess acid and ulcer irritate the gastric mucosa, resulting in acid reflux. Also, the high acid in the stomach increases the production of gas further causing chest pain.(1)

Lung Disorders. Various lungs disorders lead to chest pain. Some of the lung disorders have a similar index of fatality as that of cardiac disease. Generally, chest pain due to lung disease can be managed by normal medications. Pulmonary embolism is a condition in which the patient experiences acute chest pain. It is the condition in which a blot clot formed in another part of body travels and lodges in the pulmonary artery. Another lung related serious condition that causes chest pain is pneumothorax. This condition occurs when the air leaves the lungs and gets accumulated in the pleural cavity.

Bone Disorders. Bone diseases whether in the chest bone or in the spine leads to chest pain; rib fractures may result in chest pain while slightly moving the chest or taking a deep breath. Another reason for chest pain may be rib cancer. Inflammation in the sternum, the condition is known as costochondritis also results in chest pain.

Emotional Disorder. Emotional conditions results in the development of chest pain in some patients. Stress may lead to panic disorder, anxiety and depression.(2)

Esophageal Rupture. Esophageal rupture is a rare but possible cause for chest pain. There is no strong serous layer in the esophagus thus the risk of perforation is high. The condition may prove fatal in absences of early diagnosis. This is due to the reason that the food, liquid, and bacteria may leak into the mediastinum and lead to severe infection.

Other Conditions. Apart from the above conditions, sometimes the patient experiences non-cardiac chest pain due to gallbladder disease, pancreatic disease, and malignant conditions.(3)


The most common non-cardiac cause of chest pain is esophageal reflux disease. Other cause of chest pain includes lung disorders such as pulmonary embolism and pneumothorax; ulcers esophageal rupture, malignant conditions, and bone disorders.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 26, 2020

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