Can back pain cause chest pain: Causes and prevention

It is very important to know that can back pain cause chest pain. If you face chest pain and back pain together, then you might be quite alarmed! However, chest and back pain can occur at the same time for various reasons. Symptoms depend on reasons which are making you discomfort. Some causes of chest and back pain are usual and might be nothing to worry about, while some need immediate medical attention as they are medical emergencies. 

If you have unexplained or sudden chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes, you must go for emergency medical attention. Consult your doctor if you feel back pain followed by chest pain. Even if, you experience mild chest and back pain or start to observe a stabbing, sharp pain, you will want to keep track of your symptoms to share with your doctor. Here are a few examples of what causes upper back and chest pain.

  • Inflammation

  • Pleurisy:

  • Muscles Strain

  • Pinched Nerve

  • Digestive Problems

  • Heart Attack

  • Angina

  • Pulmonary embolism

  • Gall stones

  • Pericarditis

Inflammation :

Sometimes, inflammation occurs in soft tissues, they can lead to stabbing or sharp pain that may become worse while you try to swallow or take deep breaths. Inflammation can also spread to nearby nerves which results to aggravate pain. 

The body sends signals to other parts of the body, so when inflammation occurs in nerves, it can send pain signals and erroneous messages. When muscles spasm and tightness occur due to inflammation, it can result in discomfort and pain. Consequently, when the muscles that support your chest and back pain are inflamed and aggravated, it can build up discomfort and pain in those areas that may get worse with movements.


Pleurisy is a type of inflammation, in which tissues between your ribcage and lungs become inflamed. Sharp pain in your chest is the primary symptom, but this can also spread to your shoulder and back. Other symptoms are dry cough and SOB (shortness of breath). Viral infection is the leading cause of pleurisy but bacterial infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia can sometimes also be considered. Blood clots in your lungs, injury to the ribs, and autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, are less common reasons behind pleurisy. If you feel you have symptoms of pleurisy, you should visit a doctor.

Muscles Strain :

Chest and back pain Richardson can sometimes be due to strain or injury to muscles in this area of the body e.g. due to a fall or accident. If you engage yourself in hard exercises or overexerted yourself while twisting and lifting your upper body, then you might put pressure on those muscles. Repetitive motions with activities like rowing can also result in muscle strain. If you have strain or injury, the pain gets worse If you move this part of the body.

 If you don’t follow how to deadlift properly, this results in pain. If you feel you have an injury or strain you should rest to allow it to get well. Painkillers can also aid to reduce pain while your muscles recover, but you should visit the doctor and consult about your condition.

Pinched Nerve :

A pinched nerve can occur in the upper area of the back and result in pain in other parts of the body. The spinal column protects the central nervous system, and any issue or injury to the spine can affect nearby nerves. When a nerve becomes pinched or compressed, it can cause a pins and needles sensation.

A pinched nerve also causes temporary numbness and painful tingling. A pinched nerve can also force pain to spread in the chest and even can result in muscle spasms. Discomfort from a pinched nerve can restrict movement to help you avoid the pain getting worse.

Digestive Problems:

Heartburn is a type of digestive problem that can lead to pain in your chest that moves to other parts of the body. Heartburn mostly occurs after eating a meal and can force stomach acid or the stomach contents to reverse into your esophagus. 

Heartburn pain can get worse when you are leaning forward, bending over, or lying down. People also feel this pain sometimes in the abdomen or back. Although many people feel this pain, it is not clear why they feel it, normal causes are being overweight, pregnancy, smoking, certain food, and stress and drinks.

Heart Attack:

When the heart is deprived of blood circulation (the possible reason is a blood clot ) can result in a heart attack. This may cause serious damage to your heart muscle and may also be life-threatening. Heart attacks are increasing day by day, with more than 800,000 people facing heart attacks in countries like the US each year. 

Although heart attack symptoms differ slightly in women and men, both can face back pain and cause chest pain along with pain in other areas such as the upper back. A heart attack can cause chest pain to radiate into your neck along your shoulders, and into your back. It can also feel like tightness or pressure on your chest besides SOB (shortness of breath). 

A heart attack can also cause you to feel lightheaded, nauseous, and faint. Women are more likely to suspect jaw pain and back pain Hilsboro with a heart attack. If you notice that you are having a heart attack, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Angina :

When not enough blood is supplied to the heart, it can result in pain known as angina. Back and chest pain caused by angina can feel dull, tight, or heavy and commonly get better within a few minutes of resting. Physical exertion or stress is the common triggering factor of angina. 

Other symptoms are fatigue, weakness, sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath. Angina is a warning sign that you could be at great risk of heart attack or stroke. If you notice that you have angina, immediately visit your doctor. They will be able to examine any heart problems and refer you for any additional care.


Pericarditis is characterized as the inflammation of the pericardium (a sac filled with fluid around the heart to protect). The exact reason behind pericarditis is hard to find but it is mostly caused by a viral infection. Other causes are heart surgery or heart attack. If you have a feeling of pericarditis, immediately see your doctor.

Pulmonary Embolism

When blood is blocked in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot is the common cause of it and it results in a severe threat to your life, as it blocks the supply of blood to your lungs. Signs of a pulmonary embolism are:

  • fainting

  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy

  • coughing up blood

  • chest or upper back pain

  • shortness of breath

If you are having these signs and symptoms, you should consult a doctor soon.

Gall Stones:

The gall bladder is a small organ that stores digestive fluid. Sometimes, small stones made of cholesterol can develop here, known as gallstones. If gallstones get trapped in the gallbladder duct, this can lead to sudden pain. The pain commonly occurs in your abdomen or tummy but can radiate to your shoulders and back.


Here are some beneficial rules for preventing many of the causes of the upper back and chest pain:

  • Make sure that you get enough exercise,

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet

  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke

  • Limit alcohol consumption.

  • Manage your stress levels

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Some additional tips include:

  • After eating, try not to lie down to stop heartburn symptoms.

  • Try to stop using foods that may cause heartburn, such as spicy foods, acidic foods, and fatty foods.

  • Avoid eating late or large meals to help prevent gallstones

  • Stretch your muscles properly before engaging in sports or exercise to avoid muscle strain or injury.

The Bottom Line:

Numerous factors are involved in causing chest pain and back pain together. Some causes are not so severe, but it is always important to take chest pain seriously and should not ignore even a single cause. Anyone who faces persistent, severe, or worrying signs and symptoms should visit a doctor for a clear diagnosis and proper treatment. Treating such conditions early can save you from further complications.


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