The most frequent cause of noncardiac muscular pain is gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux disease, Mayo Clinic explains. Some other causes include motility disorders and esophageal hypersensitivity.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach acid gets backed up in the esophagus, causing burning and chest pain, states Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, a dry cough, a sore throat and a sour taste in the mouth. Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause intense chest pain and be mistaken for a heart attack. This disease is highly treatable with medications and lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding fatty foods or trigger foods relieves the symptoms.
Esophageal motility disorders also cause noncardiac muscular pain because the uncoordinated ends of the esophagus keep food from being swallowed and staying in the stomach, says the Keck School of Medicine. Normally, the muscles at both ends of the esophagus contract together, but this disorder prevents their coordination. Heartburn and acid reflux can result. Some people who experience chest pain have esophageal hypersensitivity, a condition where the perception of the pain is out of proportion, according to Mayo Clinic. This sensitivity can be treated with antidepressants because a part of the problem involves serotonin and how the brain perceives pain.