ZocdocAnswersWhy do I occasionally experience internal chest pain, even though I have no existing conditions?

Question

Why do I occasionally experience internal chest pain, even though I have no existing conditions?

I am an 18 female college student, with no history of serious medical problems or any preexisting conditions. Once every few months I get a low, continuous ache in the left side of my chest cavity, but am not on any medications.

Answer

Chest aches are common and sometimes can mean very severe life threatening illnesses, so we always take it seriously. Of course the first thing we think about when someone has chest discomfort is blockages in blood heart vessels. In the case of young women such as yourself, this is an extremely rare occurrence. I would only be worried about this being heart vessel disease if you had a close relative that had a heart attack in their 20s or 30s (because heart disease runs in families). A continuous ache on the left side of your chest is more likely to a sore muscle or a sore rib joint. Another possibility is that you have symptoms of reflux, also known as heart burn. These symptoms can sometimes feel like an constant ache. I think your best bet is to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. At your age this can be either a family doctor or an internal medicine doctor. He or she can document the details of your symptoms and determine if anything concerning is going on. Your doctor may decide to have an electrocardiogram done to make sure it looks normal. Most likely, your doctor will be able to give you reassurance that you are doing okay.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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