A number of different conditions can result in pains in the chest. Many people experiencing pains in this area tend to worry that this is coming from the heart, as angina or other causes. However, there are a number of other reasons, including causes such as heartburn and pain from the oesophagus (gullet) and myofascial pain from the muscles in the chest wall. The ribs themselves are a common source of pain that we see, called costochondritis. The highlighted causes are covered in separate pages - clck on the words or look on the menu on the right.
Operations on the chest and surrounding structures quite commonly lead to pain, and pain is a common aftermath of chest surgery - more commonly operations involving incisions along the ribs (thoracotomy) than midline incisions for heart surgery (sternotomy). Many of these pains have a substantial neuropathic (nerve pain ) element.
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Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
Page updated 15/02/2016