For a healthy person who does not smoke, who exercises regularly and who lives a moderately healthy lifestyle, chest pain, if and when it occurs, can be perplexing. Causes of chest pain can vary from person to person and can be the result of minor problems such as indigestion or heartburn to more serious conditions such as a heart attack or a pulmonary problem such as an embolism. If an individual has unexplained chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes and is accompanied by shortness of breath, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately.
Unexplained chest pain could be diagnosed as one of the following:
- A heart attack
- A pulmonary embolism
- Aorta rupture or dissection
- Harmless chest wall pain (from stretched muscles, anxiety or ulcers)