Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is there such a thing as chest pressure?"

ZocdocAnswersIs there such a thing as chest pressure?


Once in a while I have a strange feeling in my chest that I can only describe as pressure. I'm 25 years old and have never had any heart or lung problems. Can you have pressure in your chest? How do you relieve it?


There are many potential causes of chest pressure in someone who is young and otherwise healthy like you. Most of these are related to strain or inflammation of the ribs or muscles between the ribs. Common causes can be heavy lifting or other forms of vigorous exercise and 'sleeping funny' and certain viral infections. The result is soreness or pain in the ribs and between the ribs, usually worse with deep breathing or with pressing over the area. Although this kind of pain (from rib or muscles soreness) is generally not something to worry about, the problem is that, rarely, the exact same kind of chest pressure can occur due to a serious problem, such as a funny heart rhythm, heart attack, blood clot in the lungs, or infection. For this reason, you should always have any new chest pressure checked out by your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Also, if the chest pressure comes on very suddenly and doesn't go away, or if it is accompanied by shortness of breath, fever, or other concerning symptoms, then you should not wait to see your doctor but should seek emergency medical evaluation at the nearest emergency room. Good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.