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What are the Most Common Causes of Stabbing Chest Pain?

By Luke Arthur
Updated May 17, 2024
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Stabbing chest pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as a heart attack or a strained muscle. Sometimes, it is also caused by broken ribs or even gas. Another potential cause of this symptom is coronary artery disease. Another common condition is known as pleurisy and it can cause this symptom.

One of the most common causes of stabbing chest pain is a heart attack. This occurs when blood stops flowing to the heart for some reason. Many times, it is because a blockage has occurred. When this happens, it can cause severe pain on the left side of the chest and arm. Most individuals who have experienced a heart attack say it is extremely painful and unlike anything else they have ever experienced.

Another less serious condition that could cause this type of pain is a strained muscle. Many times, muscles in and around the chest can be strained through exercise or unnatural movements. This can lead to sharp pains in the area and some people mistake them for more serious complications. In most cases, rest will cure this problem after a certain amount of time.

Another common cause of stabbing chest pain is a broken rib. When a rib is broken, it can lead to seriously sharp pain in the chest area. The rib can poke into the diaphragm area and into the lungs in certain cases. This could potentially lead to bigger problems and a great deal of pain for the individual.

Some people also experience extremely painful gas pains in the chest region. This is not a serious condition, although many people have mistaken it for something much more serious. Many times, people think they are having a heart attack when really it is nothing more than gas pain.

Coronary artery disease is one of the most common conditions in the world today. This occurs when plaque starts to build up in the arteries. This can lead to chest pain and serious complications, such as a heart attack.

Another condition that could cause stabbing chest pain is pleurisy. This is a condition that leads to swelling in the lining around the chest. In most cases, this condition is caused by a virus and will heal within a short period of time. When it is experienced, it can be very painful in the chest area.

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Discussion Comments
By SarahGen — On Mar 29, 2013

My husband has been diagnosed with a condition called myocarditis. The doctors ran some tests on his heart after he started complaining of a sharp, stabbing chest pain. His EKG was not normal and so they had to do an angiography to see if the blood vessels carrying blood to his heart were blocked. Thankfully, he doesn't have any blockages but the doctors found out that the outer sack of his heart is inflamed and filled with fluid.

Apparently it's due to a viral infection. He is now on pain reliever, anti-inflammatory medication and high blood pressure medication. The chest pain is less severe now but it looks like it's going too take him several more weeks to recover.

By SteamLouis — On Mar 28, 2013
@turkay1-- That happens to me sometimes after exercising; it's muscle pain.

If you don't have other symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing, pain or numbness in the arms; I doubt that it's something to worry about.

Make sure that you don't have vitamin deficiencies, drink enough water and make sure to warm up before working out.

By candyquilt — On Mar 28, 2013

Sometimes I get a painful, stabbing chest pain on my left side. It feels like the pain is at or right below my rib cage. It's not constant, it comes and goes.

What could be the cause?

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