Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"If I have tightness in my chest could it mean that I have a heart problem?"
I get tightness in my chest sometimes when I exercise or overexert myself. Is it possible that means I have a heart problem? Or maybe just something going on with my chest or my lungs? Or could it be all three?
Yes, it certainly could mean that you have a heart problem, but it does not necessarily mean that. Without knowing more information about you, including your risk factors, family history, and even your social history, it is very difficult to say. If you are young, healthy, and have no significant family history, it is quite possible that your pain is from some involvement of the chest walls. From the symptoms that you are describing, however, I am concerned about your heart and suggest that you see a doctor very soon to make sure you are not at an elevated risk of a heart attack. If you experience chest pain while exercising, please call 911 and take an aspirin. You should see your doctor before you exercise or exert yourself in light of what you have described to determine if you need further testing. There are many options available to determine how healthy your heart is, and any of these will make you feel more comfortable in knowing that you are able to either continue exercising or stop when you feel these pains. While your symptoms could be from something entirely unrelated, without more information, please stop exercising until you speak with your doctor, and speak with your doctor very soon to make sure that you are cleared to continue.
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