Why Do You Get Chest Pain After Exercise?

Exercise should make your body feel good both mentally and physically. If your chest pains after exercise or other cardio practices, something is not right. Mild chest pain after the exercise is normal due to pushing your body hard, but a more severe pain is a serious condition and you need to seek immediate medical attention.

Chest pain is associated with many underlying causes, and the rate at which many people report it after the exercise is alarming. The cause of chest pain varies and some conditions are harmless while others are life-threatening. It is important to visit a medical doctor if you experience chest pain after exercising to rule out any cardiac complication. Some of the causes of heart and chest pain after the exercise are:

Inflammation and Trauma

Exercises cause the body wear and tear and it may sometimes cause your chest and heart to pain. You may receive hard hits during the exercise and this may cause fracture of the ribs, bruises, and intense pain. There are many reported cases of heart pain after kegel exercises for men and it may be due to the trauma of the spine and straining of the chest.

Inflammation of the cartilage that connects ribs to the breastbone can cause your heart to pain and it is most common in tennis players, weightlifters, and athletes. Most athletes may experience an inflammatory disorder known as Tietze’s syndrome, which affects the chest wall cartilage and makes you feel pain. Trauma and inflammation can also cause muscle spasms, which can make you feel pain in the heart.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Most of the athletes are at a high risk of gastrointestinal disorders and this may cause the chest pain. These problems are related to how you exercise, what you eat and how you eat. Most athletes put themselves through feasting and fasting periods, and this may cause gastrointestinal disturbances, which is often experienced as chest pain. These irregular periods of feasting and fasting do not only cause pain after the exercise, it may also cause low libido in men who practice it.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease that is commonly known, as heartburn is common in athletes and you can mistake it for heart pain. The cause of heartburn after exercise is due to slow movement of food from the stomach into the intestines during the training. During intense exercise, sphincter muscles can relax, allowing acid and food in the stomach to rise and cause a burning sensation.

Increased Blood Pressure, Breathing and Heart Rate

Athletes are often motivated, competitive and high achievers. However, depression, anxiety, and panic disorders are common among athletes and this may greatly contribute to complications later after the exercise. Anxiety may cause deep faster breathing, high blood pressure, a rise in heart rate and other conditions that lead to chest pain. During exercise, many people depend on energy drinks and stimulants like caffeine and this may increase blood pressure and heart rate, thus causing you pain in the heart and the chest.

Lung Problems

Spasms of the lungs’ small airways are one of the most common causes of heart pain during or immediately after vigorous exercise. The underlying cause is a lung problem known as exercise-induced bronchospasm, which is characterised by difficulty in breathing and sharp chest pains. This does not occur often and it may be experienced when exercising at a certain period of the year or in a certain environment.

To clear the doubts of the exact cause of the pain after the exercise, it is advisable to visit a pulmonologist. This condition is treatable and it leads to an improved athletic performance. Other rare conditions that may cause pain in the heart after the exercise are blood clots in the lungs, pulmonary embolism and pneumothorax. Exercising in an open area can increase the risks of bacterial and viral lung infections. This can either cause pneumonia and inflammation of lung tissues, which causes sharp pain in the chest that is more pronounced when breathing in.


Regular and vigorous exercise places your body on heavy demands, which is exerted on the lungs and the heart. The heart is forced to work harder in order to pump enough oxygen and blood and distribute it throughout your body. This makes the lungs to draw in more oxygen to ensure an adequate supply of blood. This makes your chest to hurt and you may mistake it for heart pain.

The pain experienced due to overexertion is mild and it should not last for long. Reducing the intensity of cardio workouts should relieve you from the pain and makes your body feel good. If the pain persists and becomes intense, seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause

Heart Problems

Heart problems cause pain even when one is at rest and it does not necessarily cause pain after the exercise. Most of the heart problems affect people above the age of 35, but this does not mean that young athletes cannot experience it. This is caused by the low supply of the blood in the body and coronary artery disease.

Symptoms of the heart disease displayed by the exercise include tightness, chest pain, burning, aching and pressure. The pain may also be extended and felt in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. People with angina should stop exercise immediately and obtain emergency treatment. Another cause of heart pain after the exercise is a heart problem caused by viral infection of the heart, which causes pericarditis and inflammation of heart muscles.

Muscle Cramps

Cramping of chest muscles during and after the exercise can cause you pain in the heart. This type of pain is localised and you can actually point the exact place that the pain is coming from. There are many causes of muscles cramps they can be reduced by knowing the exact cause.

The most common cause is dehydration, and adequate hydration before the exercise can prevent this type of pain. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids before and after the exercise to avoid this type of muscle cramp. Keeping your body hydrated does not only benefit you during the exercise, but it also makes you healthy and strong and you will be able to handle intense and vigorous exercises.


Exercises should not hurt or make you feel pain. They should make you feel good and healthy. However, there are many reported cases of chest and heart pain after the exercises. Some pain is mild and manageable while others are intense and need immediate attention in the emergency department. When you experience heart pain during or after the exercise, you should not ignore it and you should try to find out the underlying cause.

There are many causes of heart pain after the exercise and detecting the cause early will help you to manage the situation before it becomes too late. Visiting a cardiologist will help to rule out serious and chronic heart disorders and provide you with the tips on how to avoid the pain in future. Some of the pain is caused by trauma, inflammation, high blood pressure, increased heart rate; lung problems and they may be mistaken for heart pain. A cardiologist will help to understand the cause of the pain and how to manage it.



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