Constant Burning in the Chest Muscles

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A doctor pointing to a chest X-Ray.
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Chest pain can be felt anywhere between your upper abdomen to neck, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. The heart, lungs, esophagus, tendons, ribs or muscles may all cause chest pain. While some causes of chest pain are potentially life-threatening, others may only pose passing discomfort. Certain conditions may cause a persistent burning sensation in the chest muscles.

Types

Bronchitis can cause a burning sensation in the chest when air passages in the lungs become inflamed, notes the UMMC.

Peptic ulcers can cause a burning or troublesome pain near the stomach that stretches up to chest. A number of gastrointestinal disorders can also cause burning chest pain.

Effects

Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. The acute variety typically starts in the nose and extends to the airways. In addition to burning in the chest, common symptoms of acute bronchitis typically include fever, fatigue a stubborn cough that produces green or yellow mucus.

Heartburn and acid reflux can cause painful, burning chest pain behind your breastbone when stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus or tube that extends from your throat to your stomach, reports the Mayo Clinic. Spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol may all contribute to heartburn.

Burning chest pain associated with peptic ulcers may be worse on an empty stomach and at night. Pain may subside for a time only to return several days or weeks later.

Treatment

Acute bronchitis from a viral infection typically clears within a week to 10 days. Drinking plenty of fluids and taking cough medicine can help relieve symptoms. Antibiotics may be necessary when bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infections

Antacids are commonly used to provide fast relieve from heartburn symptoms. They may also offer temporary relief from peptic ulcer pain. If symptoms persist or intensify, your doctor may prescribe acid blockers, antibiotics or other medications.

Considerations

People who experience burning pain in the chest may fear they are having a heart attack. Pain associated with heart conditions doesn't cause a burning sensation in the chest muscles, points out the Mayo Clinic. Signs of a heart attack generally include a feeling of fullness, tightness or pressure in the chest. Pain may radiate to your neck, back shoulders and arms.

Precautions

Contact your doctor if burning chest pain is severe, lasts longer than three to five days, or if you experience trouble swallowing, advises Medline Plus. Seek immediate emergency medical help if you have unexplained chest pain or think you may be having a heart attack, advises the Mayo Clinic.

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