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eMed previously Babylon Health

Chest Pain

Edited by Dr Claudia Pastides, 5th April 2019

Chest pain can be due to a wide variety of causes, from being related to the musculoskeletal system through to heart or lung problems, indigestion and anxiety.



  • Costochondritis (inflammation of rib cartilage)
  • Fractured rib


  • Angina
  • Pericarditis
  • Heart attack


  • Chest infection or pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis

Other common causes:

  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety
  • Chest wall pain due to shingles

When to speak to a doctor

If you have chest pain it is important to speak to a doctor. Most causes of chest pain can often be initially managed via a digital consultation. If the GP decides you need a face to face appointment, they will discuss what steps you can take next.

To speak to one of our GPs, download the app and create an account today.

Chest pain associated with a heart attack is usually described as:

  • Coming on suddenly
  • Tight or heavy chest
  • Radiation of pain to your left arm or up into your jaw or back
  • Associated with feeling unwell, short of breath or sweaty

In this case it is important to call 999 immediately.

Likewise, if you have chest pain that is severe or is associated with difficulty breathing, fast breathing or you feel very unwell, it is important to call 999.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.