Angina Pain in The Back


You may suffer chest and upper back discomfort simultaneously for a variety of reasons. The heart, the digestive system, and other bodily systems may be to blame.

Some causes of the upper back and chest discomfort are not emergencies, while others are. If you have abrupt, persistent, or inexplicable chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes, you should always seek emergency medical treatment.


Can back pain be a symptom of angina?

The type of chest pain (discomfort) brought on by lack of oxygen-rich blood in the heart muscle is termed Angina. Your chest may experience pressure or squeezing. Your neck, jaw, belly, back, shoulders, and arms may also feel uncomfortable. Even the discomfort from angina might resemble dyspepsia. Additionally, some patients experience additional symptoms including weariness or shortness of breath but no pain. An "angina equivalent" is what is seen if these symptoms are brought on by the heart muscle not receiving enough oxygen.

Angina, however, is not an illness. It is a sign of a cardiac condition that is already present, often coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD). There are several varieties of angina, including stable, unstable, microvascular, and angina brought on by a coronary artery spasm (vasospastic or variant).

The most common cause of angina, also known as ischemia, is a narrowing or blocking of one or more coronary arteries.

Additionally, coronary microvascular disease might manifest as angina (MVD). This type of heart disease, which affects the smallest coronary arteries in the heart, is more prevalent in women than in males. Find out more about female angina.

Numerous things might cause angina discomfort, depending on the type of angina you have. Depending on the type of angina you have, the symptoms also change.

Causes of angina pain in back

Upper back and chest pain

You may suffer chest and upper back discomfort simultaneously for a variety of reasons. The heart, the digestive system, and other bodily systems may be to blame.

Some causes of the upper back and chest discomfort are not emergencies, while others are. If you have abrupt, persistent, or inexplicable chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes, you should always seek emergency medical treatment.

Other causes of upper back and chest pain

Here are 10 possible reasons for chest and upper back discomfort.

  1. Heart attack

When the blood flow to your heart's muscles is restricted, a heart attack occurs. As a result, chest discomfort experienced by those undergoing a heart attack may radiate to the neck, shoulders, and back.

Other signs to watch out for are:

chilly chills and feelings of pressure or heaviness in the chest

breathing difficulties, feeling dizzy or faintly nauseous

Women are more likely than males to feel back or jaw discomfort during a heart attack. It's also crucial to remember that not everyone undergoing a heart attack will exhibit any symptoms at all.

  1. Angina

When your heart tissue isn't getting enough blood, angina is discomfort that develops. People with coronary artery disease are frequently affected by it. It frequently occurs while you are exerting yourself.

Angina discomfort can radiate to the shoulders, back, and neck, much like the agony experienced during a heart attack.

Men and women might experience different angina symptoms. In addition to or instead of chest pain, women may have discomfort in the back, neck, or belly.

Other signs of angina include:

  • feeling weak or exhausted, having trouble breathing, and perspiring
  • feeling dizzy or faintly nauseous
  1. Heartburn

When stomach acid or other contents reflux into your oesophagus esophagus, heartburn results. Behind your breastbone in your chest, this generates a sharp, scorching ache. You could occasionally feel it in your back or abdomen as well.

After eating a meal or in the evening, heartburn frequently gets worse. Additionally, you can get a tongue taste of acid or pain that worsens when you bend over or lie down.

Heartburn risk can also be increased by being pregnant, overweight, or obese. The illness can also be brought on by certain meals, such as fatty, citrus, and spicy foods.

  1. Pleurisy

Inflammation of the membranes that border your lungs and chest cavity causes pleurisy.

These membranes often pass each other without any problems. They may rub against one another when they are irritated, which causes discomfort.

Numerous illnesses, such as autoimmune diseases, malignancies, and infections, can lead to pleurisy.

Pleurisy discomfort worsens when you cough or inhale deeply. Additionally, your shoulders and back may be affected.

Other signs that might appear are

shortness of breath, fever, chills, unexpected weight loss, and cough.

  1. Gallstones

The bile that is stored in your gallbladder, a tiny organ, is a digesting fluid. This fluid solidifies inside your gallbladder, generating stones that are known as gallstones.

Gallstones can cause discomfort in a variety of locations, including

your right shoulder blade and the upper right portion of your abdomen, just under your breastbone

Gallstones can cause pain that lasts anywhere from a few minutes and many hours. Additionally, symptoms like nausea or vomiting might appear.

Being a woman, being pregnant, and being overweight or obese are just a few risk factors that might make you more likely to get gallstones.

  1. Pericarditis

Your heart's pericardium covers its outside. When the pericardium swells up, pericarditis results. It could be brought on by an autoimmune disorder or an infection. Additionally, it may occur following a heart attack or cardiac surgery.

Sharp chest discomfort is a symptom of pericarditis. While lying down, swallowing, or taking deep breaths, this pain might get worse. The left shoulder, back, or neck may also experience pericarditis-related discomfort.

Other signs to watch out for include:

feeling run down, anxious, having trouble breathing when lying down, and swelling in your lower extremities.

  1. Skeletal muscle ache

Pain in the chest and upper back can occasionally be brought on by muscle issues. Chest, back, or chest wall discomfort can be brought on by the repetitive usage or abuse of several muscular groups, such as during sports like rowing.

Along with these symptoms, you could also suffer weariness and other symptoms including twitching and rigidity of the muscles.

  1. Aneurysm of the aorta

The biggest artery in your body is the aorta. When a portion of the aorta weakens, an aortic aneurysm develops. This vulnerable region may occasionally rip, which might cause fatal hemorrhage. The term for this is aortic dissection.

An aortic aneurysm frequently develops with little to no symptoms. But some people could have discomfort or tightness in their chest. In some circumstances, back discomfort could also happen.

Other signs to watch out for are:

breathing difficulty coughing and feeling hoarse

  1. Spinal issues

In rare circumstances, pain from a pinched nerve in the upper section of the spine may radiate to the chest region and perhaps to the limbs.

You could also have muscle spasms and stiffness in the afflicted area of the spine, which could limit movement, in addition to discomfort.

  1. Chest cancer

Lung cancer symptoms might also include back and chest discomfort. Even though despite back pain is a typical symptom of lung cancer, 25% of patients reported it, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

When a lung tumor tumor starts to exert strain on the spine, back discomfort from lung cancer may result. When you laugh, cough, or breathe deeply, lung cancer pain may get worse.

Other indications of lung cancer might be a pain in the back and chest, such as

  • prolonged cough that occasionally brings up blood
  • hearing loss
  • wheezing or breathing difficulties
  • feeling flimsy or worn out
  • unjustified weight loss
  • persistent lung conditions including pneumonia

Types of angina2

  • Stable angina
  • Unstable angina
  • Microvascular angina
  • Variant angina 

(Mention the types and the chances of having the pain in the upper back)

Stable angina

When the heart is working harder than normal, such as during exercise, stable angina develops. Normally, it lasts for five minutes. dependable source

It has a predictable rhythm and might last for weeks, months, or even years. The symptoms can typically be reduced with rest or medicine.

Unstable angina

Unstable angina has no set rhythm and typically strikes while you're at rest. Atherosclerosis, which includes a blockage preventing blood from reaching the heart, is the primary cause.

The discomfort may develop with time and linger for more than five minutes. Medication and rest may not be enough to reduce the symptoms.

Unstable angina angina might signal a possible heart attack. Anyone experiencing sudden angina should seek emergency medical attention.

Microvascular angina

Coronary microvascular disease can cause microvascular angina (MVD). The tiniest coronary arteries are impacted by this.

In addition to chest discomfort, a person may feel: weariness and poor energy issues sleeping issues breathing difficulty

Stable angina is more transient than microvascular angina. It frequently lasts for more than ten minutes. Trustworthy Source and occasionally takes more than 30 minutes.

Variant angina

Rare variant Angina as it is often known, can occur while the body is at rest, typically around midnight or early in the morning.

It takes place when the coronary arteries spasm. Cold exposure, stress, medications, smoking, or cocaine usage are examples of potential causes.

Although the illness is persistent, medicines can help control it.

Understanding angina pain in the back

(Explain why angina pain spreads to the upper back)

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort brought on by a lack of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Your chest may experience pressure or squeezing. Your neck, jaw, belly, back, shoulders, and arms may also feel uncomfortable.

Diagnosis and Treatment


To treat angina, a number of drugs can be administered. These drugs may enlarge blood arteries, lessen angina discomfort, or prevent blood clots. Some remedies for angina include:

  • beta-blockers
  • blockers of calcium channels
  • clotting agents
  • nitrates \statins

Your treatment plan will include recommendations for heart-healthy lifestyle modifications. Procedures like PCI and heart bypass surgery can be required if prescription drugs and dietary modifications are unable to effectively manage the disease.


Heartburn can be treated with a number of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors are a few examples of them. Stronger prescriptions may be prescribed by your doctor if OTC treatments aren't working to ease your symptoms.


By treating the underlying ailment that may be the cause, pleurisy can be addressed. Additionally, medications like acetaminophen or NSAIDs for pain relief and cough syrups to reduce coughing may help relieve symptoms.

Fluid may occasionally need to be drained from the afflicted region. This may lessen the risk of lung collapse.


Treatment for gallstones is frequently not necessary. Your doctor may occasionally recommend medication to assist dissolve the gallstones. The gallbladder may need to be removed in cases when gallstones are recurrent.


Treatments for pericarditis that reduce discomfort and inflammation, such as NSAIDs, are manageable. Your doctor could suggest a stronger anti-inflammatory drug if they are ineffective.

An antibiotic or antifungal medicine will also be administered if an infection is the root of your issue.

You could occasionally require a treatment to remove the fluid. Your heart's pressure may be lowered as a result.

Skeletal muscle ache

Rest and painkillers like NSAIDs, which reduce inflammation and discomfort, may be used to address muscle problems that cause upper back and chest pain.

Heating the afflicted area could also be beneficial. Physical treatment could be suggested in more serious situations.

Coronary aneurysm

In some circumstances, your doctor may advise employing imaging technologies, such as a CT or MRI scan, to monitor your aneurysm. To assist decrease blood pressure or cholesterol levels, your doctor may also prescribe drugs including statins, beta-blockers, and angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Larger aortic aneurysms may necessitate surgery for repair. Endovascular surgery or open chest surgery can be used to accomplish this. A burst aortic aneurysm necessitates immediate surgery. dredge to remove liquid.

Spinal issues

The severity of spinal issues determines how they should be treated. It can involve decreasing your amount of exercise and taking painkillers or muscle relaxants like NSAIDs to treat inflammation or soreness. Exercises for physical treatment may also be suggested.

Surgical intervention may be necessary to correct more severe situations.

Chest cancer

Lung cancer can be treated using a variety of methods. Depending on the kind of lung cancer and the extent of the disease's progress, a particular type may be employed. Together with you, your doctor will develop a treatment strategy that is ideal for you.

Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy are all possible forms of treatment. Surgery could also be advised to remove the cancerous tissue


For many of the reasons for the upper back and chest discomfort, the following are some wise general guidelines to follow:

  • Consume heart-healthy foods
  • Ensure that you exercise enough
  • keep a healthy weight
  • Steer clear of smoking and passive smoking
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
  • Organize your tension
  • Maintain regular medical checkups, and make an appointment with your doctor as soon as any unfamiliar or concerning symptoms arise

Additional advice would be:

  • Reduce your intake of acidic, fatty, or spicy foods that might cause heartburn.
  • To avoid heartburn symptoms, avoid lying down shortly after eating.
  • To lessen your risk of developing gallstones, avoid eating late or heavy meals.
  • To prevent muscular tension or damage, stretch correctly before participating in exercise or sports.

When to consult a doctor

Chest discomfort should always be taken seriously since it can occasionally be a sign of a serious medical problem, such as a heart attack.

Always call 911 if you experience sudden or inexplicable chest pain, especially if you are having trouble breathing or the discomfort has travelled to your arm or jaw.

Any ailment that doesn't improve with over-the-counter treatments or has symptoms that repeat, are chronic, or start to become worse should also be seen by a doctor.


Upper back discomfort and chest pain can develop together for a variety of reasons. It's crucial to treat chest discomfort carefully even though some of the reasons for this sort of pain aren't dangerous.

Chest discomfort may indicate a problem like a heart attack that might be fatal. Seek immediate medical attention if you have sudden or severe unexplained chest discomfort.


  1. Angina - Symptoms and causes [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Oct 14]. Available from:
  2. Angina(Chest pain) [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 14]. Available from:
  3. Upper back and chest pain: 10 causes, treatments, and more [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct 14]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Usman Zahid

Pharm-D student, University Of Central Punjab

I’m a Pharm-D student at University of Central Punjab, Lahore. It’s always been my passion to be a pharmacist and serve people. I have gained experience at retail pharmacy, industry, Distribution and marketing as well. From where I have developed several skills of dealing Patients, dispensing and monitoring Medications, marking, patient Counselling, unit dose method, quality control and production.
I plan to run a rehabilitation Centre for drug abusers, Where we’ll rehab them, Groom them, polish their professional skills and provide job opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818