What Are the Most Common Causes of Chest Tightness?

Mild conditions such as anxiety attacks, hyperventilation and indigestion may cause chest tightness, according to Healthgrades. However, chest tightness may be a symptom of more serious conditions such as heart attacks and pulmonary embolism. Recurring chest tightness may be due to lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Chest pain and tightness can result from a wide variety of diseases, conditions and disorders, explains Healthgrades. Digestive problems that may cause pain and tightness in the chest include gastroesophageal reflux and narrowing of the esophagus, reports MedlinePlus.

Lung problems that may cause tightness in the chest include a blood clot in the lung, or pulmonary embolism, and a collapsed lung, explains MedlinePlus. Pneumonia and swelling of the lining surrounding the lung may cause chest pain and tightness that worsens when the patient breathes in deeply or coughs.

Respiratory conditions that may cause chest pain include asthma, acute bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pulmonary edema, notes Healthgrades. Chest tightness may be due to problems of the heart and blood vessels such as heart attack and angina, according to MedlinePlus. Chest pain in children is rarely ever due to heart problems and often indicates asthma or costochondritis as a result of inflammation of joints in the ribcage. Other causes of chest pain and tightness include panic attacks and strain of tendons between the ribs.