How can you tell if chest pain is muscular?

Welcome, friends! Are you experiencing chest pain and wondering whether it’s muscular? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to dive into the world of muscle aches and pains (not literally, please don’t dive – this is not medical advice). Here are some tips to help you differentiate between chest pain that originates from your muscles or elsewhere.

First Things First: What is Chest Pain?

Before we delve into how to tell if your chest pain is muscular or not, let’s take a quick look at what chest pain means in general. Simply defined, chest pain refers to any discomfort felt around the area where our heart resides. It can range from mild discomfort that comes and goes quickly (phew) to severe crushing sensations (yikes).

There are numerous causes of chest pains; however, we will stick with one cause for now- muscle strain.

What Causes Muscular Chest Pain?

Muscles are like rubber bands – they can snap back when over-stretched beyond their limits causing injury known as muscle strains. This stretching happens often during physical activities such as playing sports without properly stretching beforehand (shame on you) lifting heavy objects while doing DIY projects (why do people still do these things?) pulling weights uselessly at a gym machine among others.

Here’s the thing though; this sort of sheer stupidity jolts up more often than we think”, said Dr Michael,

In some cases however muscles aches in case someone sleeps in an awkward position ‘don’t act all brave, I know your bed setup has failed you before.’

Symptoms Of A Muscle Strain

The musculoskeletal system involves each other so pay attention because the following body parts may be involved;

  • The Ribcage
  • The Collarbone
  • The Shoulders
  • The Chest wall
  • The Neck

And trust us; when they require their pain share or overstay, they radiate signals like they’re running a marathon. Here are some symptoms of muscular chest pains;

Pain That Gets Worse When Moving Or Using Muscles

Muscle-based chests ache becomes more prevalent especially after exertion such as lifting objects in the gym or playing intense sports.

Sharp Stabbing Pains In Your Chest Area

If you’re feeling specific and localized soreness in your chest area that feels sharper than other muscle strains , then it’s probably a muscular strain.

Tender Toward Touch

Touching tender areas loudly screams “muscular discomfort.”

Sometimes these symptoms overlap with other causes of chest pain but keep calm – we’ll help distinguish those later. For now, let’s describe how genuine muscle aches feel like for clarity purposes.

How do Muscle-Based Ache Feel?

Think about it: have you ever been hit before by an object too hard that left soreness where it landed? Congratulations ! You have experienced what is known as bruising to deep tissue fibers causing microscopic tearing (OUCH! Am I right?)

What does all this mean?

Well, muscle strain usually responds well to treatment which can include:

  • Get Plenty Of Rest : Give ample time for damaged muscles fibres to heal on their own.
  • Taking Over-The-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are medicines such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce nagging inflammation.
  • Applying Hot And Cold Packs: Use ice packs if swelling still present and heat packs once swelling subsides for soothing relief
    from tears.

Those suggestions should calm down any injured fibres bothering your shoulder blades.

On the other hand, if your heart’s messing with drums on serious volumes and/or shortness of breath accompanies the pain (panicked thoughts) you shouldn’t be leaving it up to chance. Head out immediately to the closest emergency room or any medical clinic near you for immediate attention fingers crossed.

How is Non-Muscular Chest Pain Different?

You might be thinking, “but everything we’ve discussed so far could apply to non-muscular chest pain too!” And you’re right! The only difference being; muscular chest pain tends to be localized whereas cardiac chest pains typically radiate towards one side of your body especially left arm/shoulder (look at that uncommon information) but do not take our word – here are a few other distinguishing characteristics:

  • Cardiac discomfort usually comes suddenly and does not worsen with movement.
  • They happen unexpectedly even while sleeping unlike muscle strains
  • Shortness of breath more excessive than just during exercise/sports

So there ! Don’t tell us we did nothing for ya…


While muscular strain on your chest should slowly recover with treatment plans, signs and symptoms can overlap in various aspects. Always keep a lookout for their differences from those related to heart-related (Cardiac) problems as they require different levels of concern applying different treatments altogether.

If you think it’s possible that something else might have led to your ache then get yourself checked by an expert physician – well trained people who can dissect which sort of illness may lead panic attacks encroaching upon everyday living (we’ve got jokes).

Stay healthy, stay strong and never forget proper stretching before every activity having learned what we now know , life wouldn’t indicate risks if one reserved sought-medical-help-for-heart-issue-backpacking adventures . Until next time, happy healing!

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