What’s Causing This Burning Sensation in My Chest?

HEALTHLINE – In some cases, a burning sensation or pain in the chest is a medical emergency, and delaying treatment may not be a good idea.

Knowing how to recognize related symptoms may help you decide when to seek urgent care.


Angina is the medical term for chest pain related to the heart not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. It is often related to coronary heart disease but may also have other causes, like a spasm in an artery.

Angina may be an early sign and a symptom of a heart attack. It often manifests as tightness or pressure in the chest as well as sudden or recurring pain in the area.

When to seek emergency medical attention

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, the burning in your chest may be a sign of a heart attack or serious abnormal heart rhythm:

  • squeezing, fullness, pain, or pressure sensations in the middle or left side of your chest
  • pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back (which may happen before you feel chest pain)
  • shortness of breath with minimum physical activity
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • extreme and unexplained fatigue
  • sweating or chills
  • unusual slow or fast heartbeat
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If you have these symptoms, it’s vital to call your local emergency services or have someone drive you to the emergency room immediately. A quick response and treatment can prevent complications.

Common causes of pain and burning sensation in your chest

The following conditions may cause a burning sensation, or similar symptoms like pressure, in your chest:

Heart attack

Only a small percentage of people experiencing chest pain are having a heart attack. But because a heart attack is a medical emergency, it’s important to be alert for all warning signs.

A heart attack happens when a blood vessel that supplies the heart is blocked. The lack of oxygen-rich blood causes the affected parts of the heart muscle to die.

Chest symptoms from a heart attack may feel like pressure, squeezing, burning, or pain in the middle or left side of your torso. The pain may go away and come back. It can also radiate to your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach …

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