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What causes pain and tightness in the chest?

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16760 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: im getting chest pain. feel like my heart is slow. and i have no energy at all. like a tightness in my chest
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
different possible causes

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

One of the more scary causes of chest pain is heart disease but this would not be likely at your age, it tends to occur in older persons unless there is a previous history of severe heart disease.

Chest pain can be related to any structure in the chest from the skin inwards. (1)Skin- infectious causes like shingles or other nerve related causes (abnormal function of nerves

(2)Muscles and other soft tissue- inflammation of the muscles or other soft tissue can also cause pain. This would usually be on movement and there may be some tenderness

(3)bones - ribs or sternum can be associated with pain. Costochondritis, where there is inflammation of the cartilage between the ribs and sternum is one cause

(4)lungs- infection, asthma, pulmonary embolism are causes of pain related to the lungs

(5)heart- not likely at your age unless history of heart disease though if concerned can be ruled out.
Heart pain is worse with activity and goes away at rest when the heart is working less. This means if pain occurs when sitting or laying down not likely due to heart.

You can check your heart rate if you feel it is beating slowly. A rate between 60 to 100 a minute is normal.


Any chronic illness or persisting problem can cause fatigue because it wears on the body.

(6)anxiety- this is also a very common cause of pain and is considered if all the causes above are ruled out.
Mood disorders like anxiety or depressed mood can also cause decreased energy

If the pain continues, then it would be best to see your doctor for an assessment which would include a full history of all symptoms and examination of the chest.

Investigations such as complete blood count and ESR (looking for infection or inflammation) and an ECG (to check the heart) may be done
If your doctor thinks , based on his/her assessment that it may be the lungs, then a chest X ray may be needed

If there is no cause found, then anxiety may be considered as the cause.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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