Chest Pains Behind Left Breast: What It Means and When to Seek Help

Pain around the chest region can mean different things. The particular part of the chest is indicative of different conditions. For instance, chest pains behind the left breast can be a result of a heart attack and many other conditions. Find out about what other conditions could be the cause.

Chest pain

Pain isn’t one of those pleasant feelings we have. No one wants to experience pain. And people that do experience pain can’t wait for it to be over. Pain becomes alarming when it’s happening at a particular part of the body. For instance, when there’s a pain in the joints, the first thing that comes to mind is arthritis. When there’s pain anywhere around the chest region, the first thing that comes to mind is a problem with the heart. Many people are most especially scared when they have chest pains behind the left breast. Because that’s around the location of the heart. Well, let’s look at some of the causes of this pain around the chest.

When it comes to health conditions some people seem not to be bothered. Probably because they take the signs and symptoms they see with levity. And in most cases, it could something that needs immediate medical attention. That’s why it’s advisable that when you see any sign and symptom you fix a schedule with your doctor. Even if it’s not something serious you should confirm first from your doctor. So the question now is when should you seek medical attention when you have chest pains behind the left breast? Well, we’ll take a look at that as we go on.

What Does Chest Pain Behind the Left Breast Mean?

Heart attack

The heart is actually located around the left portion of the chest. All the way to the middle of the chest. A heart attack happens to be the leading cause of death in America. That’s why when people experience chest pain behind left breast their first guess is a heart attack.

It comes with symptoms like pressure, tightness and squeezing around the chest. But these symptoms aren’t always present in people. The pain could last for some minutes. And after a while, it would go. Some other symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, discomfort in the jaw, shoulder, and arm, and nausea.


This is when the muscles of the heart do not have enough oxygen supplied to them. This causes pain in the chest. The pain could either be behind the left breast or the center portion of the chest. The pain that comes with angina usually feels like indigestion. It comes with other symptoms like nausea, sweating, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. It also comes with an uncomfortable feeling around the jaw, arms, back, and neck.


Pericarditis is a condition wherein the pericardium is inflamed. The pericardium is a thin membrane that has two layers that cover the heart. The pain that is felt is as a result of the rubbing of the membrane and the heart against each other. Pericarditis can be caused by many factors. Some of the factors can be controlled while some can’t. The causes of pericarditis include heart attack, infection, chest injury and autoimmune disease.

The symptoms of pericarditis are a sharp pain in the chest. It’s more like a stabbing pain. The pain becomes quite serious when you cough, lie down or swallow something. The pain could go all the way to the neck, shoulder, and back. Other symptoms of this condition are anxiety and tiredness.


Pleurisy is a condition wherein the membrane surrounding the lungs and the lining of the chest region is inflamed or irritated. This is commonly caused by viral infections and bacterial infections. When it’s the left lung that’s affected, the pain would occur at the left portion of the chest. Chest pain becomes serious when breathing. And then the person takes shallow breaths. So as to avoid the pain.

Precordial catch syndrome

This condition is quite common among young adults and older children. This is a condition wherein the nerves in the chest wall are irritated. It could happen as a result of an injury, bad posture and growth spurt. Even though the symptoms are quite similar to that of a heart attack it’s quite harmless. The condition would resolve on its own after some time.

Chest injuries

Trauma to the chest can cause pain in the chest. The trauma could be from a blow, a fall, an accident or even while playing sports. When it happens it can cause a bruise or even crack a rib in the chest. If it happens on the left side of your chest then it can be a cause for alarm. It can lead to some serious complications.


This is a condition wherein the stomach goes to the upper portion of your body. When the lining is irritated or inflamed it can cause pain. The pain could be a result of infections and even using certain medications can cause gastritis.


This occurs when acids erode the lining of your esophagus. It creates that burning sensation in the throat and even the upper chest. Some people with gastritis experience pain around the breast region. And they mistake it to be a heart attack when it’s not. The symptoms include tightness in the chest, regurgitation, burning pain in the chest and sour taste.

What Causes Chest Pains?

When to Seek Help

When you notice any sudden pain on the left side of your chest then you have to go see a doctor. If you have any of the following, then seek medical emergency as soon as you can:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pressure or tightness in the chest region
  • Trauma to the chest
  • Pain radiates to other parts of the body and doesn’t improve even after rest
  • Changes in stool texture, color, or even problems passing stool

Pain behind the left breast can be quite scary. Especially for the first few times, you experience this pain. The important thing is not to take it with levity. Seek medical attention so that a proper diagnosis can be made. It might not be as serious as you think. So just check out with your doctor what exactly the problem is. With this, you would be able to start the treatment option given to you. And that way there would be reduced symptoms associated with the chest pains behind the left breast.

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