Chest Pain On Left Side- Analyzing The Cause

Chest pain on left side is often taken as a sign of heart attack. Angina is another crucial type of chest pain that is caused by excessive physical exertion or stress. It is particularly considered as a warning sign when it occurs during rest. Nonetheless, pain in left side of chest could also indicate minor issues like acidity and heartburn.

Heart Attack: Let us first discuss left sided chest pain as a sign of heart attack. It usually arises in the mid to left side of the chest and may extend to the left shoulder, the left arm, the jaw, the stomach, or the back.

The condition is often accompanied by other symptoms like breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, excessive sweating etc. Cardiac pain generally involves the center of the chest or upper abdomen.

Angina: Angina is another serious form of left side chest pain that is considered as a primary symptom of Coronary Artery Disease. It is typically described as a choking pain or a feeling of constriction, pressure and tightness in the chest on the left side or behind the breastbone.

The pain tends to radiate to the lower jaw, neck, shoulder, back, arm, or hand but generally subsides within a few minutes. It is also accompanied by vague abdominal discomfort, increased heart rate and blood pressure and often a burning sensation in throat.

The best course of action to be taken during this condition is to take rest as it indicates that the heart needs more oxygen. Variant Angina, a type of Angina is a rare form of Angina pain that occurs during rest and increases the risk of heart attack. It is mostly caused because of Coronary Spasms and should not be ignored at all.

Ischemia related chest pain on left side induced by inadequate blood supply generally remains the same irrespective of body position. More often than not, chest pains on left side that have been constant for days or weeks are generally not associated with Heart Attack or Angina.

Besides, individuals often confuse sharp chest pain on left side above breast with Heart Attack related chest pain. However, in most of the cases, Heart Attacks are not characterized by localized chest pain. In addition, a condition called Premature Beats can also cause chest pain on left hand side during rest. The pain tends to reduce after physical activity.

Apart from these two scary conditions, left chest pain, in general can be caused due to problems associated chest wall, lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves. Some such conditions associated with chest pain, especially on the left side of the chest are:

Costochondritis: Costochondritis is often described as a sharp pain in left side of chest associated with Fibromyalgia. It is characterized by inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. It causes severe chest pain on either side of the sternum (costochondral joints), near the third to fifth ribs.


The pain tends to increase on taking a deep breath or on coughing. At times, it may also cause dull pain in left side of chest. Tietze’s syndrome is another similar condition causing superficial rather deep chest pain on the left side.

Abdominal Problems: Issues like Gallbladder Disorders, Peptic Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Pancreatitis and other such gastrointestinal problems. Acute Gallbladder Attack, for instance are associated with lower left chest pain.

Chronic Gallbladder Disorders can cause recurring lower chest pain or upper abdominal chest pain. In case of Pancreatitis, chest pain tends to ease to some extent by leaning forward.

Most of these abdominal causes of chest pain because of factors related to food ingestion or inflammation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract.

Esophagus Problems: Besides, certain conditions like Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Esophagitis, Esophageal Spasm etc caused by factors associated with the esophagus may also cause chest pain on the left hand side.

GERD, in particular, may cause chest cramps on left side of the chest. Such chest pains are often mistaken for cardiac ischemia.

Problems associated with lungs: Pneumonia, Pleuritis, Pulmonary Embolism, Pulmonary Hypertension, Collapsed Lung and other such problems usually lead to chest pain on left side or right side of the chest. The pain tends to become worse with breathing.

Hyperventilation: Chest pains due to Hyperventilation are usually caused by Panic Attacks, Stress, Anxiety and other such psychological causes that induce the affected individual to breathe rapidly.

Other issues like Herniated Disc, Arthritis in the neck, thyroid diseases, Anemia, abnormal fluid retention, excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, exercising immediately after having a meal or intake of certain medications can also give rise to general chest pain or specific chest pain on left side.



  1. Ronnie Hayward says

    for the last 6 weeks,I have been experiencing severe left side pain in the upper chest with shortness of breathe,and pain radiating into my neck and jaw and left arm,it gets so bad I black out went to the ER and they ran test and gave me toradol and phenegran,and told me go home and it will subside,fact is it has not and I don’t know what else to do, and now my throat is having issues due to this I have a vey hard time swallowing food,and dr. says there is nothing wrong,I feel like I am going to die honestly. but my er wont do any further medical for me.. someone help me

  2. Marilyn vega says

    I’ve been gettin this chest pain for a while . I have a fracture rib on the left . I also have emphysema n I don’t have insurance were I could see a doctor. I leave here I’n Florida for 17 years and they never found nothing I move to Ocala and they found a fracture rib and emphysema . And my hole body be hurting everyday.

  3. Hi am 32 years old and i have recently quit smoking cigarettes…well in the process of quitting, I smoke one maybe 2 cigarettes a day…and hopefully in the next few days it will be down to zero. I am experiencing chest pain in the upper left side of my chest when I do have that one cigarette a day. I used to be a pack a day smoker so Ive cut back tremendously. But why the chest pain? any answers will be appreciated. By the way i had an ecg, and an ecg with a stress test and they were both normal.

  4. I’ve been diagnosed with Silent Reflux. I get these terrible coughing fits right when I try to have a conversation with somebody and very occasional heartburn and slight left chest pain occasionally. One night after work, I was home and I had left shoulder and upper left arm pain. It gradually got worse and it was a little scary. I drank an 12 oz glass of water and my pain gradually went away. I probably need to look at my diet and change it.

  5. pl rajak says

    it is very important about heart

  6. pinched nerves in the neck can cause this pain.

  7. mamokete says

    hi, ive been having this chest pains and back pains for almost a month now,ive decided to see a doctor today, and im scared, sometimes i feel like im not gona wake up,they are very shap.

  8. I am having random chest pain. I know it is not my heart because I can feel my heart beat and I’m not short of breath. But I like to refer to it as a twisted rib, only thing is I haven’t done anything to twist it. Sometimes it just comes on. I just got my ultra sound done and gallbladder is normal. I also did a upper GI. Haven’t heard back on that. I was shocked to find a normal gallbladder because this pain drops me to my knees for about an hour and a half everytime. It has become more frequent too.

  9. migiyanto says

    saya sering sakit di bagian dada kiri sesak nafas dan nyeri
    tolong gan di ksih solusinya untuk menghilangkan rasa sakit saya
    sebelumnya syay ucapakan banyak terimakasih

  10. hello, i have got problems of left sided pain near the breast bone which radiate to my left hand, back, shoulder and rarely to right shoulder remain mild sharpen pain continuously throughout the days and nights. I had done checkup but doc used to say its just because of musculoskeletal pain of the chest. iwanna to get rid of this…. plz help me

  11. Peter Stines says

    I’m having a strange chest pain, and am worried it may be cardiac or heart related. The paid extends from my left chest approxiametly below the nipple line tomy left side approxiametly about 9 inches below my arm pit. It dull to moderate, but is happening every twenty seconds roughly. No dizziness, no radiating pain, no other discomfort. I have a cough that is non-productive, no fever. Ideas?

  12. hello, i have got problems of left sided pain near the breast bone which radiate to my left hand, back, shoulder and rarely to right shoulder remain mild sharpen pain continuously throughout the days and nights. while taking inspiration i got sharp pain behind the midclavicular line I had done checkup but doc used to say its just because of musculoskeletal pain of the chest. iwanna to get rid of this…. plz help me

  13. Sammi Jo says

    Hi everyone. I am 22yrs old. I have asthma, and for the last year I have had a high pulse on a good day, a day for a low pulse for me is usually, 75 – 84. A. Day I feel tired like when Im not doing anything tho, my pulse is usually 100. I attend the gym everyday. And on a good day while doing cardio my pulse usually stays at 160 but on really bad days can get up to 190, πŸ™ and makes me feel like fainting. Also for the past year I have been getting, a dull squashing feeling in my back on the left side, about on the end of the shoulder blade. A few times while in bed. Breathing has become very hard, and once it feel like I took a breath and my left longe didn’t expand or work. And night some times for no reason while just laying In bed my left front chest get dull kind of itching aching pain, kinda like when ur belly feels when it’s starving. Like sick. I an not lay on the left side for to long because it makes it feel like its caved in and I get a very sharp pain. Latley any where between 1 to the 5 times a week I get little tingling pains, in the front chest area. And some times sharp but I dobt tell the bf. I just lay quiet. Don’t move much breath as little as possible and so far it goes away.. πŸ™

  14. Sammi Jo says

    P.s ^^^^ * when I get the sharp pains in bed i have tried taking a big breath thinking it could just be mucsle that needs stretching. But then the pain bites even harder untill I loose my breathes, so yeah ATM very I feel a little pain I just lay very still and breath as little as possible like maybe to times a min. πŸ™ hope some one can shred some light. Thankyou <3 ies x

  15. Sammi Jo says

    P.s when the pain is sharp I have once tried to take a big breath thinking I could have layed on a muscle funny. But then it comes back worse, so I just lay still and breath like two times a min. And really small without using the lungs. I have had a lung test when u breath into the automatic breath machine. Apparently my lungs are heathly. Maybe I never had astma maybe it’s been the heart instead, I have taken the puffer three time in 40 mins befOre it did nothing. Or it could be a bit of both… πŸ™ as for the back pain I read there is also a thing called like slipped rib. Where the rib cadge bone can shift out of place.. Putting pressure on musles and lung?

  16. I have been having chest pains for about a year now. at first, it was in my lower right side in my rib cage. it felt like random bursts of needles, very sharp and at random. Now, I am having the same kind of pains in my left side but its in my chest close to my breast bone. It is very sharp, sometimes it lasts 15 seconds, but other times it last about a minute and can occur up to every 4 minutes. It feels like my whole chest is caving in. I cannot in hale at all when this happens. i just have to hope that it goes away quickly. My doctor said it was just acid reflux.. I dont think so.. when i was in gym i had to run 3 miles and i was havent these chest pains and got sent to the school nurse. she said i had a very irregular heart beat. My mother also has heart problems. she has like an extra valve or something. she was also on some pretty rough drugs when pregnant with me. anyone have any ideas?

  17. Hi im 23 years old and i am having pain often from the left side of my chest till my left hands, neck and back… This pain continues for days from when i become very nervous or get scared about something. Im worried about having heart problem since my dad had heart attack. Is this any muscle pain due to tension and stress as the pain stays for few days or is it sign of heart attack? Please clarify my doubt as im worried about telling this to my mom…

  18. Hi, im 19 and was born with a hole in the heart its almost closed itself but lately i keep getting sharo stabbing pains through the left hand side sometimes making me gaso for air. Ive had a few ecgs over the past 2 years and before i start hasseling thr doctors again . was wandering if anyone had any advice on what it could be ?

  19. Hello, so for the past few months i have been having pains in the left side of my chest that sometimes also affects my side and the back of my shoulder. On occasion there is also sight pain on the right side of my chest. It’s doesn’t hurt when i take a deep breath and exhale which hopefully is a good sign, but i’m starting to become really worried with how long this has lasted. Day to day the pain varies, I have no medicare and am currently a broke writer so I can’t really go to the doctors unless i want to owe money i don’t have. I am a smoker, I have been for almost 4 years now, about a little over half a pack a day.
    Any idea what this could be???

  20. I had similar conditions a few months ago, with heart palpation, when I sat down sometimes i could actually feel blood being pumped in my left arm, sometimes my whole body. The doctor took my ECG which was fine, gave me a painkiller to get rid of the constant pain. The pain got worse when I ate food, and got a whole lot worse when I started those painkillers. After 2 painful days, I realized I could be constipated, so I went to the ER again, they took my ECG again and an X ray of the abdomen. the Xray showed all the S*** crammed up. the doctor gave me a strong laxative and a mild laxative to continue if I had similar problems. Sometimes you feel that your digestion cycle is just fine when it isn’t. I got better the next day and felt lighter than ever.
    Could be different for you guys, well this was my story!

  21. I have lower chest pains. i get dizzy and short of breath my left arm numbs and my left hand hurts alot. are these symtoms of a heart attack?

  22. I too had chest pain for about 3 months and after going on naproxen a muscle relaxer, zanax for possible stress, a chest xray for infection.. With no cure in sight my dr. finally said mri but lets did ultrasound first to check th or a cyst, while examining me again she pressed much harder which hurt tremendously but also felt a relief momemts later. Didnt think much about that but as the pain lessoned I wonder if in fact it was and thecyst ruptured. its been ten days and pain free. Ultrasound showed nothing.

  23. Recently I have been feeling chest pains which i would describe as something “irritating” rather than painful. Whenever I feel that way, my arms seem to weaken especially my left arm. When that happens, It seems like all my energy is being sucked out of me when I close my left hand. Im having a hard time breathing and at times I feel pain on the left side of my back or just under my ribs. Im still under observation for a week and i have to be xrayed and i have to take an ECG test. Can anyone help me?

  24. I’ve been feeling the pain on my left chest on top of the breast. Sometimes, I am having a hard time breathing for several seconds. Sometimes it hurts when I pressed it hard. I think I’m too stress about life. I think too much about life and causes me to feel pain on my chest. When this happen, I hit the gym for couple hours and sweat it off. Feel like I’m a new person again.. pain free…

  25. Osaghae friday says

    Sir, i feel pains on the left side of my chest. It sqeeze me and i feel heart burn also. I don’t feel it at the right side of my chest. My throat is dry at the left side also. My heart beat adnormal. I do feel it when i eat food. Please, what is the cause of it. Osaghae friday from abuja, nigeria.

  26. Tonight I was laying in my bed and got a pain behind m left breast. I have never had this pain before. I’m scared I might be having a heart attack. Can you please give me some suggestions.

  27. i have been having left sided chest pain, tight and uncomfortable pressure on the left side. recently had ekg and it showed t wave abnormalities. i am a smoker and recently for the first time my cholesterol level was slightly high. it this a serious problem? can never get the same answer from more than one physician.

  28. I don’t know what truly is wrong with me, but i have frequent pain in my chest mostly the left side. When i breath it hurts sometimes but then it migrates to my back n it causes a worsen pain. I have trouble breathing n have to take deep breaths just to get some oxygen sometimes. I usually ignore it but then it’ll come back worse n I’ll get pale, light headed n weak n don’t feel like i have the energy to even walk. All i want to do is sleep when i get like that.

  29. I also have been having chest pains but its either all across my chest on left Side or right side sometimes it feels like a pulled muscles sometimes it feels like pressure it just radiates to how it hurts and where but its an everyday thing my feet back and neck usually hurt all day Long as well right. Now as of this very moment my left foot feels like there is no oxygen getting to it it’s an uncomfortable feeling in my left foot. I get all types of pains everyday I. Suffer from anxiety and depression and I am pretty much stressed everyday me and my fiancΓ© argue everyday and usually I just get ill for no reason

  30. i’ve been having pains for the last year and a half now, had every test done now at this stage and they still can’t find any problem now, this is really driving me mad now, I’ve a pain now as I write this. I get pains under my arm, rib cage and my arm and leg get numb as well, can never sleep at night. if anyone knows anything please write back, thanks

  31. Hello sir

    In 1995 Feb 25 I was a teen puffing marijuana with a group of friends. We would normally break a round bottle take the topside of it from the shouldersto the head. Then stuff all that marijuana in until the opening on top. Then we would close and seal the opening with a cigarette filter to block any crumbs etc while puffing in. It was my first time to puff. You had to puff in so hard to keep it burning. When I was puffing in I immediately felt something funny and uncomfortable on my LHS chest. It wasn’t painful at all but uncomfortable. The doc, who did a complete medical checkup said, a week after the test, nothing is wrong. Tge slight pain is gonna fade away. Since then its getting worse and I once approached them again they see nothing wrong. But now my cardiovascular system suffers a lot because of this to the point where I experience ED. What may be the undiagnosed problem?

  32. I’ve got a deep aching pain in my left shoulder, almost like frozen shoulder pain that keeps randomly stabbing. When’s i woke up this morning it was there. Tonight this pain is now also under my left breast around the ribs and going slightly around my side. I also feel sick, sweaty and anxious. My legs ache too. I have been on a long car journey today, 4 hours total (as a passenger). I can’t sleep properly because I keep waking up aching, or gasping for breath or from sweating. My dad recently got diagnosed with multiple PE’s in the summer. I have had pains in my legs for a week or so now, I have also had a blood clot in the past. Not sure what’s going on but I don’t feel right. I can’t quite tell if it’s my anxiety playing up or if it’s something else. Any ideas? It’s almost 4am I’m up for work in 3 hours and I can’t sleep for my minds playing over drive πŸ™

  33. I’ve done a lot of drugs in my including tobacco
    Well I’ve been getting these deep sharp pains in my upper left chest it usually last hours. There is absolutely no pain if I take very short breathes but I eventually have to take a deep breathe and the pain is excruciating enough to look up what it could be. If someone has any ideas would really help, I do not plan to go to the doctors I have no job or health insurance.
    Luckily I have a great child hood friend helping me get back on my feet.

    • i think you have pneumonia or a wicked chest infection. ive had these chest infections before they can last months (my longest was 4) and can take alot of antibiotics to kill.

    1.never ever take tension/worry/angry for long duration(everyone gets short attack of anger/tension so thats not a big deal)
    3.Dont allow indigestion.

  35. Maybe many of you are suffering from stress and anxiety.

    If you have gotten a bunch of tests and it’s been like months since you have had these tests (and your still alive), then it’s most likely due to the stress and anxiety in your life.

    I had similar symptoms first two years ago and was really scared, but I have learned to cope with it and have gotten much better over time. I wouldn’t say I’m back to normal, but I am pretty much 100%. I do feel chest discomfort and get weird symptoms every once in a while when I’m stressed, but I know in the end it’ll pass.

    Your mind is a very powerful thing and if you continue to think that something is wrong with your body, your mind will find a way to make your body believe it. The next time you get a panic attack or some weird unexplainable symptom, tell yourself it’s going to be ok and that’ll it’ll sooner or later pass. (This is of course if doctors have already done the necessary tests to see if you do indeed have some sort of physical health condition)

    We always jump to check out our physical health condition, but often forget that there may be something wrong with our mental health condition.

  36. Hello..I have been having a chest pain for months, thought it was Ulcer,because ? treated ulcer lately. Initially,i used to have abdominal pain,at the left side too but after treating ulcer,i felt relief for a while. Now,it’s the chest pain. Have gone for an X-ray,but no negative result came out. My plumonary&all is normal. When i read the post above, i was excepting the remedy,solutions to that. Am hoping fot that in reply. Am happy am here. Thanks

  37. If you think your chest pain maybe related to heartburn, take something an antiacid or two right away. if you get relief try Prilosec (or similar) for a week or two. Please note that use of ibprofen for pain can make stomach issues worse. If you’re pain in causing numbness or shooting pains in your left arm, jaw or shoulder seen your doctor. Yes, it could be lots of other things but it could be a heart attack too.

  38. If you think your chest pain maybe related to heartburn, take something (an antiacid or two) right away. If you get relief, try Prilosec (or similar) for a week or two.

    Please note that use of ibprofen for pain can make stomach issues worse.

    If your pain is causing numbness or shooting pains in your left arm, jaw or shoulder? See your doctor ASAP! Yes, it could be lots of other things but many of them are serious – and yes, it could be a heart attack.

  39. FAITH BARRON says

    I stepped into a fight between my kids and in doing so, I was punched with a powerful fist on the left side upper part of my breast which knocked the wind put of me. I am having extreme pain when I inhale, cough, sneeze, lay down, hit a bump while driving, turn my body to my left side and touchin it is very painful. I have no insurance and no money. I wake up in tears with the severe pain and I need some advice on how to ease the pain!! Please respond quickly, as I’m in extreme pain right now! Thank you!

  40. I am a 32 year old and a mother of three. I suddenly felt pain in my left breast way through my stomach, though it’s not really that painful but it last for a few hours before the pain fades away. My back and soulder are also hurting from time to time and it makeS me hard to breathe. Why is this happens and are these alarming?

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