Chest pain has a number of causes, some of which may be minor such as indigestion. Other more serious causes can include heart attack or pulmonary embolism (blood clot on the lung).
Common causes of chest pain
- stomach ulcers
- gastric reflux caused by acid coming back up from the stomach into the throat.
- pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
- chest infection such as pneumonia
- injury to the chest wall.
Reducing your risk
Some of the following may help to reduce or eradicate chest pain:
Learn about the heart attack warning signs on the Heart Foundation website (external site).
If any of the following develop, dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance:
- chest pain that feels like crushing/choking
or like a heavy pressure
- pain radiating to the neck/jaw/shoulder/arm
- nausea/vomiting accompanied by pain
- sweating or clammy to touch
- shortness of breath.
Where to get help
- Chest pain has a number of causes, some of which may be minor such as indigestion, or more serious such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung).
- Quitting smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising and taking prescribed medication such as simple pain relief as directed may help to reduce or prevent chest pain.
- Learn about the heart attack warning sign and what to do at the Heart Foundation website (external site).
- For emergency or life-threatening conditions always call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.