Burning in Chest

Burning in chest is often associated with some very serious illnesses, so it can be frightening when occurring. However, there are some other causes of burning in chest that are not so dangerous and can easily be treated. A burning chest sensation should be investigated by your doctor to make sure that it is not caused by something serious.


Associated Symptoms of Burning in Chest

Noting symptoms in your chest or the other areas of the body will help you determine the underlying condition and what kind of treatment is the most appropriate for you.

Cardiovascular Symptoms

Chest burning that stems from a cardiovascular condition may be accompanied by rapid breathing, shortness of breath, irregular heart rate, rapid heart rate, chest pain or pressure that continue up the shoulder and arm.

Life-threatening Symptoms

If you experience cold, clammy skin, chest trauma, difficulty breathing, confusion, rapid breathing, loss of consciousness or rapid heart rate you should contact emergency medical services immediately.

Other Symptoms

Other sensations such as indigestion, heartburn, decreased sensation, pain when breathing or coughing, shortness of breath, profuse sweating or skin lesions and blisters may accompany burning in your chest.

Causes of Burning in Chest

Finding the origin cause of burning in chest can help you determine what the underlying condition might be so you can seek adequate medical attention. Medical assistance such as ECG, X-rays, blood tests or a CT scan can help you confirm the proper diagnosis.

Cardiovascular Problems

Reoccurring burning pain on the left chest may signal cardiovascular problems like angina that causes your body to get an inadequate supply of oxygen and blood. This pain may include tightness or a squeezing sensation that will originate behind the breast bone and will lead up the shoulder, left arm or jaw, which are similar to symptoms of heart attack but less severe. Pericarditis and aortic dissection or a tear in your aorta can also cause chest pain or burning sensation.

Respiratory Problems

Burning pain that seems to come when you take a deep breath or cough signals a respiratory problem. Pneumonia, pleurisy, an infection in your lungs or an embolism caused by blood clotting in the lungs can cause this kind of discomfort. You may notice more frequent asthma attacks, wheezing or shortness of breath in addition to a burning sensation.

Digestive Problems

Stomach ulcers will cause a burning sensation below your breast bone which will be more severe when you have an empty stomach and feel better when you have eaten. Inflammation of the gallbladder can cause a burning situation which will get worse when you eat foods such as spicy or fatty meals.


Soreness or inflammation of your cartilage can cause the chest wall to burn. This pain is often mistaken for cardiac difficulties because it primarily occurs on the left side and will become more advanced when you move the torso or touch the rib area.

Other Causes

A burning sensation in the chest can be caused by a traumatic injury that damages the soft tissues or chest muscles, a rib fracture or damage to the nerves and tendons in the chest. Some also experience a burning sensation in the chest just before a shingles outbreak.

Remedies for Burning in Chest

Burning in chest can be caused by a number of life threatening diseases so it is important to pay close attention to your symptoms when you first notice this. Try not to panic as this can make your pain worse. If you do feel as though the pain is getting worse or does not subside after a few minutes you should contact your doctor to get help determining the cause and a proper treatment plan.

Relax and Rest

When burning chest symptoms occur it is important to sit in a comfortable position and relax, working to breathe slowly. Becoming agitated can make your symptoms more severe and limit your ability to think rationally to determine the root cause of your discomfort.

Take Medications

  • For Non-cardiac Issues. Non-cardiac discomfort can often be managed with pain medication prescribed by your doctor.
  • For Angina. Angina patients are often prescribed medication that will break down blood clots, dilates the blood vessels and prevents new clots from forming to encourage normal blood flow to the heart.
  • For Pericarditis. Pain from pericarditis can be treated with pain medications.
  • For Digestive Issues. Stomach acid blockers or antacids can be used to help manage discomfort from digestive distress. You may also need to alter your diet to minimize symptoms.
  • For Pulmonary Embolism. Anticoagulant medications are necessary to prevent blood clots from forming. Thrombolytics can be prescribed if existing blood clots need to be dissolved quickly.
  • For Pneumonia. Pneumonia will need to be treated with antiviral and antibiotic mediations as well as cough medications or antipyretics to manage accompanying symptoms.
  • For Asthma. Bronchodilators are given to patients to help them control asthma symptoms. They can also use corticosteroid inhalers to keep asthma attacks at bay.
  • For Emotional Disorders. Anxiolytic medications along with relaxation techniques are used to lower the risk and severity of panic attacks.

Take a Surgery

Surgery is often prescribed to assist with treating pain from an aortic dissection. Gallbladder issues may also require surgery to remove gallstones if medications do not dissolve them adequately.

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