Pains in the chest may mean serious, even life-threatening illness. Most alarming is the intense, crushing
pain of a heart attack. These pains may radiate from the center of the chest to the jaw, arms, or neck.
However, sometimes heart-attack symptoms are less dramatic-discomfort, a feeling of fullness, a squeezing sensation, or excessive sweating. Other possible serious causes of chest pain include a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in a lung or, if symptoms include a cough or fever, pneumonia. A temporary lack of oxygen to the heart may cause a chest pain called angina. Any chest pain lasting longer than 2 minutes requires immediate medical attention.
Less worrisome are pains caused by indigestion, a pulled muscle, or shingles, a viral infection. If you have any doubt as to their cause, see your doctor.