What Causes Chest Pain in Middle of Chest and How to Relieve Pain

Chest pain is the most alarming symptom for the patient, however slight it may be, as it often gives the sufferer a vision of serious heart or lung disease. Similarly it is a challenging task for the physician to interpret chest pain especially when it occurs in middle of chest, because failure to recognize a serious disorder such as heart attack or angina may result in dangerous delay in much needed treatment.

Chest pain in middle of chest may be due to a minor indisposed condition resulting after eating something spicy or due to heartburn, or a more serious medical emergency related to heart or lungs.

Considering the grave consequences, any type of chest pain whether distressing or mild, lasting for few minutes or more, needs urgent medical assistance. In any case do not try to diagnose the cause or to treat the condition on your own.

Causes of Chest Pain in Middle of the Chest

There are several causes for chest pain in middle of chest. The pain may be mild or severe, and it can occur at any age. Age gives some basic ideas regarding the cause of chest pain for diagnosing, for example a doctor may think of angina pain or heart attack if there is severe pain in middle aged or elderly individual, whereas if it occurs in adolescence or in a child, many other causes are considered first such as pneumonia, pleural effusion, or simple muscle pain.

Cardiac causes for chest pain in middle of chest may include:

  • Angina pectoris.
  • Pericarditis.
  • Aneurism of aorta.
  • Heart attack.

Pain in middle of chest due to respiratory diseases:

  • Bronchitis, constant cough in bronchitis can cause pain in chest.
  • Pulmonary embolism.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Malignancy.

Other causes of chest pain in middle of chest:

Pain arising from the joint where the chest bone sternum connects with the ribs. It is also known as costochondritis. The condition often prevails after doing increased physical work or rigorous exercise. It is characterized with local tenderness; pain is aggravated with motion, bending, and violent coughing. Pain is relieved with rest.

Pain in the middle of chest may also occur before the appearance of rash of herpes zoster on chest area.

Burning chest pain may be due to heartburn, as a consequence after eating spicy food or consuming too much coffee, tea or alcohol. All of them can cause hyperacidity and heartburn that may affect the middle of the chest.

Local trauma in middle of chest can cause pain over the sternum or middle of the chest.


One of the important tasks for the physician is to diagnose and evaluate pain in middle of chest. Much of the treatment part depends on it. He may take proper history regarding chest pain, its origin whether it is acute or prevalent since many days, any associated symptoms such as fever, cough, breathlessness, pain lasting continuously or comes and goes away etc. Beside medical history, electrocardiography (ECG), X-ray chest, angiography, CT scans, echocardiography are very useful for diagnosing the cause for pain in the middle of chest.

How to Relieve Pain in Middle of Chest

Once the symptoms of heart attack or other major diseases have been excluded by your doctor, and even then if the pain persists due to minor ailments such as costochondritis, or muscular spasms of chest wall or hyperacidity, you may use home remedies for treating such conditions.

Rest: rest from your regular activities help to heal the strained muscles of the chest wall. Take a break and rest for few days.

A gentle massage in the middle of chest with a balm will help to alleviate the pain and spasm.

If the reason is hyperacidity, avoid eating spicy food, avoid tea and coffee. Drink a glass of cold milk and eat bland food consisting of vegetables and cereals.

Heat pad or hot compresses on the middle of chest relieve pain. It also improves the circulation in spasm of chest muscles and relaxes them.

When the reason is injury on the middle of the chest, you can apply ice wrapped in a towel. Cold compresses help to alleviate soreness and swelling. Apply cold compresses 3 to 4 times in a day to reduce the swelling.

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