Chest Pain (Nonspecific)

Chest pain has many causes. Your pain could be caused by something serious, such as a heart attack or a blood clot in the lungs. It could also be caused by something less serious, such as a chest bruise or a virus. Follow up with your doctor. More lab tests or other studies may be needed to find the cause of your pain. Most of the time, nonspecific chest pain will improve within 2 to 3 days of rest and mild pain medicine.


  • For chest bruises, you may put ice on the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. Do this only if it makes you or your child feel better.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between the skin and the bag.

  • Rest for the next 2 to 3 days.

  • Go back to work if the pain improves.

  • See your doctor if the pain lasts longer than 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Quit smoking if you smoke.


  • There is more pain or pain that spreads to the arm, neck, jaw, back, or belly (abdomen).

  • You or your child has shortness of breath.

  • You or your child coughs more than usual or coughs up blood.

  • You or your child has very bad back or belly pain, feels sick to his or her stomach (nauseous), or throws up (vomits).

  • You or your child has very bad weakness.

  • You or your child passes out (faints).

  • You or your child has a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

Any of these problems may be serious and may be an emergency. Do not wait to see if the problems will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services 911 in U.S.. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch this condition.

  • Will get help right away if you or your child is not doing well or gets worse.