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"Why do I get pains in my chest?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I get pains in my chest?


I am a 22 year old female, and occasionally I will get sharp stabbing pains in my chest. It seems like heartburn sometimes, other times it has a quite sudden onset that doesn't feel as much like heartburn. It occurs mostly in the lower chest near the middle of my ribcage, and can occur on either side. Should I have my heart looked at? I do not take any medications.


That is a great question. There are a variety of causes for chest pain. The list is extensive and beyond the scope of this discussion. The best way to know what is the underlying cause of this chest pain is to be evaluated by your primary care doctor who can evaluate your medical history and your presenting symptoms and decide upon an appropriate medical work up. He or she may refer you to another specialist or order some imaging studies. Finally, they may decide upon a suitable treatment regimen if this is available. In terms of your chest pain, there are a variety of causes that are outside of the heart. There are certain lung problems that can cause the complaints you are describing. Some people have hernias that can give them pain symptoms similar to what you are describing. Inflammation around the covering of the heart can lead to sharp pains like you describe as well. Have you noticed that these pains are associated with anything that you do. For instance, do you notice these pains after you eat, or when you wake up or when laying flat. These are important things to note and discuss with your doctor because it will help them come up with the appropriate diagnosis.

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