What Is Non-Cardiac Chest Pain?

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One of the most common reasons Americans find themselves in the emergency room is chest pain. Of course, the first thing we think of during an episode of chest pain is a heart attack. But in reality, only a small portion of chest pain is caused by a heart attack, with the rest caused by other non-cardiac problems. Chest pain that feels like a cardiac event can be caused by rib pain or muscle spasms, things that are best served by a Billings chiropractor.

Causes of Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

While we associate chest pain with the heart, it actually refers to any pain in the chest cavity, whether it is caused by the heart or not. Heart pain is technically chest pain, but not all chest pain is heart or cardiac pain. This means a different approach is necessary based on the root of that pain.

Common causes of this pain may include:

  • Distorted, broken, or bruised ribs, which can impact the ability to move and breathe properly
  • Lower back problems that move ribs out of place
  • Previous open heart surgery that displaces the ribs
  • Tightness in the neck and shoulders
  • Acid reflux or GERD

Resolving the issue at the core of the discomfort, whether it is related to the muscles, organs, or bones, is the best way to address this pain. Dr. Thomas Keogh at Bare Chiropractic is experienced in addressing these issues that can cause chest pain. Regular maintenance care from a chiropractor can also help reduce tightness that returns in times of stress or injury so that future chest pain can be avoided.

How Chiropractic Care Helps Chest Pain

For many people, a specific incident can be enough to cause the problem that leads to chest pain. If you’ve experienced any sort of accident or trauma, visiting a chiropractor is a good idea to help your spine maintain proper alignment. Even if the cause is ongoing stiffness and tightness in the muscles, a chiropractor will be able to effectively and naturally help.
Since the ribs, neck, and shoulders are all a part of the musculoskeletal system, a Billings chiropractor will be the best choice for care. Gentle adjustments can be used to reduce pain by ensuring the body is in alignment and working properly, without the need for an emergency room or invasive treatments.

Many people who visit a chiropractor like Dr. Thomas Keogh experience a reduction in non-cardiac chest pain. One case study shows a 45-year-old man whose pain completely resolved within 3 weeks and did not return at monthly follow-up visits. Another man cited chiropractic care as eliminating not only chest pain, but anxiety and breathing troubles.

Chest pain does not always require an expensive trip to the emergency room. If you are experiencing chest pain that is not starting in the heart, consider visiting Bare Chiropractic for a full evaluation. We will help you determine the root cause of your pain and craft a plan to relieve it. Contact us today for your first appointment!


Cooper, S.R., Pfefer, M.T. “Management of Non-cardiac Chest Pain With Chiropractic Care: A Case Report and Brief Review.” Activator Methods International, 2011 Oct 7. https://www.activator.com/case-studies/management-non-cardiac-chest-pain-chiropractic-care-case-report-brief-review/

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If you have been involved in a car accident or have suffered a personal injury, it is essential to seek immediate chiropractic care. At Bare Chiropractic, we are dedicated to providing individualized care tailored to your specific needs and goals. Book an appointment with Dr. Thomas Keogh and our team today to start your journey towards recovery and restoring your health.