Causes of Post-Workout Chest Burning Sensation

Active exhausted blonde pausing after running
A woman is bent over and out of breath. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

While many people relate chest pain to cardiac problems, this may not be the case. If you experience a burning pain in your chest post workout, the cause is often not serious, and can be treated safely at home. However, if the pain is severe or you are uncertain about its cause, consult your physician immediately.

Twisting and Muscle Overuse Effects

Muscle strain may lead to burning in the chest after exercise. When weightlifting or performing other strenuous exercises, you may overload your musculoskeletal system or strain a muscle. Twisting your trunk is the most likely exercise move to cause chest pain. Continuous repetitions can overwork your muscles, causing inflammation that leads to chest pain.

It Only Hurts When Your Heart Beats

After contact sports or other forms of exercise that can result in collision with another person, chest pain can occur. Such trauma to the musculoskeletal system can lead to a muscle contusion, a soft-tissue contusion or a fractured rib. With one of these conditions, the burning presents itself when your heart beats or when you cough. While participating in contact sports, be sure to wear the proper equipment and avoid trauma to the chest.

Inflamed Air Passages Burn in the Chest

Exercise, especially overexertion, can bring on an asthma attack in susceptible individuals. The resultant burning sensation in your chest is caused by inflammation in your air passages. The muscles in your airway tighten and swell, which limits the amount of air that travels through your bronchial tubes. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Perform your workout slowly and listen to your body to avoid an asthma attack.

Stomach Overload Causes Acid Spill

Exercise often disrupts the contents of the stomach and allows stomach acids to overflow into the esophagus, a condition called gastroesophageal reflux. Stomach acids in your esophagus can cause a burning sensation such as heartburn or abdominal cramping. Avoid gastroesophageal or acid reflux by drinking plenty of water before and during exercise and pay attention to food intake. If you plan to exercise for more than an hour, eating a long-lasting, high-carbohydrate snack an hour before you exercise will tide you over. If you eat a large meal, wait three to four hours to exercise.

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