Getting pain in the left side of your chest can be alarming, this is because often we suspect the cause of left side chest pain to be related to our hearts and dare we say it… potentially indicative of a heart attack. This is logical as the hard is kept in the left side of the chest but fortunately it’s not correct. While the heart is in the left side of the chest you see, the nerve connected to the heart (which is where you would feel the pain) is in the centre of the chest.
So what else could be the cause of left side chest pain? There are several possibilities. One is that the pain could be coming from the muscles between the ribs known as the intercostals. If this is the case you could be suffering from intercostals myalgia, which is far more a nuisance than a serious condition (I’d take it over a heart attack any day). This can be cause by an infection of the muscles, strain, repetitive activity, muscle spasm or even cramp – the nature and duration of the pain should help you to identify which the correct culprit is.
Another cause of left side chest pain could be pain in the pectoral muscle. The pectorals are the two large sheets of muscle that cover our chest (under the breasts if you’re a woman). These muscles are involved in all sorts of pulling and pushing movements and if they’re torn, cramping, or spasmodic then they’re large enough that it can really hurt. Try massaging the muscle and refraining from using your left arm for heavy movements until it subsides. There is many a cause of left side chest pain then, but chances are it’s nothing serious. Obviously if the pain does not stop then it’s worth seeking advice from a doctor to be safe.
Just to put your mind to rest, if you are having a heart attack you will probably experience rather different symptoms. Not only is the pain in a different place (the centre of the chest), but it also feels like a more squeezing, heavy feeling rather than a sharp pain. Heart attack feels much like indigestion with potential other side effects such as sweat and breathlessness and even vomiting. Pain may also travel to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. If these are your symptoms, now you can start worrying…