Retrosternal Chest Pain: What are The Causes and Types?

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z

Have you ever felt a sudden pain behind your breast bones and you could not understand why you had it? Well, we might have an answer to this question. It is because of the Retrosternal Chest pain. In most cases, it is mostly the pain behind the breastbone that relates to the organs located there. Some of them are the heart and esophagus, sometimes the pain originates elsewhere but is felt in this area. We would give you the symptoms, and causes that you must know about the condition.


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Types and Causes of Retrosternal Chest Pain


As mentioned earlier, pain is related to the organs associated with it. It is likely to arise because of the organs that are there in a particular area. Here are the following types, based on the organs related to the area.


1) Gastrointestinal


Chest pain can be a symptom of some of the conditions affecting the upper stomach and esophagus. The major causes of this type of retrosternal chest pain are as follows:


Acid reflux:


This is basically due to the acid of your stomach reaching your esophagus. It’s results also in the burning sensation behind the chest.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):


GERD is a way more chronic form of acid reflux. It is treated the same way. In some cases, prescription medication and even surgery are necessary treatments for GERD.




It involves potential inflammation of the esophagus. It might be due to infections, allergies or acid reflux.


Esophageal Ulcer:


An esophageal ulcer is often caused by erosion of tissue in the esophagus. Acid reflux and bacterial infection of the stomach (like Helicobacter pylori) can cause this damage.


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2) Cardiovascular


This kind of pain is associated with heart and coronary diseases. Retrosternal chest pain can be due to condition affecting the heart and major blood vessels such as:




Angina is chest discomfort caused by a reduced flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Angina is easy to be treated with lifestyle changes and medication.




Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium. They are tissue that surrounds the heart. Typical treatment includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.


Coronary Disease:


Any kind of diseases related to heart might result in you suffering from the discussed condition.


3) Respiratory causes


Retrosternal chest pain can be a symptom of a condition affecting the lungs and lower air passages. In this case, the causes include tumors and cancers as well. The conditions like Pleurisy and Tracheitis can cause pain as well.




It is known as pleuritis as well, pleurisy is caused by inflammation of the pleura. This is the lining around the lungs. Pleurisy treatment is based on the underlying cause of the inflammation.




Tracheitis is an inflammation of the trachea (windpipe). Treatment of tracheitis depends on the cause, which is typically allergic, viral, or bacteria-based.


Reterosternal Chest Pain can be the result of a number of causes. And many of those cases are serious enough to warrant a trip to your doctor for an evaluation. We do not wish you to go through “better safe than sorry” situations.

To get an instant appointment or consultation regarding Retrosternal Chest Pain treatment, you can contact us on Whatsapp (+91 9654030724) or email us at, regarding our services. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


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