What Are the Causes of Chest Pain & Burning Sensation?

A burning sensation accompanied by chest pain can be a symptom of many diseases or conditions. Some may be related to the heart, and others may be caused by the digestive system or neurological responses within the chest cavity. Treatment for burning chest pain depends on the cause and can range from medication control to major surgical procedures.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Treatment options for angina include:

  • controlling high blood pressure
  • weight
  • along with a physician-approved exercise routine

Pulmonary Embolism

Possible symptoms of a PE include:

  • sharp or stabbing chest pain
  • a burning or heavy sensation in the chest
  • shortness of breath
  • a cough
  • clammy skin
  • dizziness

Diagnostic testing to confirm the presence of a PE may include a chest X-ray, pulmonary angiogram and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, of the chest. A doppler ultrasound of an extremity or venography of the legs may be used to confirm the location of the blood clot.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Heartburn

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter allows the stomach contents to backflow into the esophagus causing acid reflux. Stomach acids in the contents may irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause symptoms of burning pain in the chest.

Treatment options for GERD and heartburn include over-the-counter antacids and prescription medications to decrease stomach acid production. For GERD symptoms that don't respond to conservative treatment, surgery such as fundoplication or endoscopic techniques may be an option, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse 3.