Chest Pain and your child: musculoskeletal causes

Chest pain is uncommon in children; however, it can be serious in some cases. So, if your child experiences chest pain along with some other symptoms, then you should take them to a doctor for treatment. Get a consultation with the best cardiologists in Brooklyn.


Musculoskeletal causes are the second most common cause of chest pain in children which are conditions that affect the bones and muscles of the chest. Generally, the pain from these conditions occurs in a specific place with repeated movements.

The most common musculoskeletal conditions that cause chest pain in children are:

  • Contusions:

If your child’s chest pain occurs due to trauma then it may be known as a contusion (means a bruise below the skin) caused by an accident or injury that happened by collision or fall. It may heal on its own or you can apply ice a few times a day. Pain-relieving medications are also helpful if your child is in severe pain.

  • Muscle strain:

A strain in a muscle can lead to chest pain. This is very common if your child/teen plays sports or lifts weights. The pain may occur in specific areas of the chest and feel tender on touch. You may notice redness and swelling in the affected area.

  • Costochondritis:

This occurs in the upper half of your ribs (in the area of cartilage) that connects your ribs to the sternum, where your costochondral joints are located. These joints are adjacent and cause sharp pain especially with deep breaths or by touching the affected area.

It may occur due to severe coughing, injury, or physical strain from the same exercise or sudden exertion (activity like moving heavy tables, beds, etc.). The pain can last for a few seconds or longer which goes away with time.

  • Tietze syndrome:

This occurs due to inflammation of the upper rib joints. It mostly happens in one joint and then inflammation causes noticeable warmth and swelling on the affected joint. Your child may presume this pain as an indication of a heart attack. It may occur due to severe cough or physical activity that strains your chest.

  • Slipping rib syndrome:

This condition is rare in children but may cause chest pain in them. It occurs in the lower part of the rib cage when your rib gets slipped or pressed on a nearby nerve. It can be painful or ache after the pain dulls.

  • The precordial catch:

This may occur when your child is standing up straight from a slouching position which causes a pinched nerve or muscle strain. It causes severe chest pain for a short moment on the left side near the bottom of the sternum.

  • Chest wall pain:

This is very common in children, as they experience sharp pain for a short moment or longer in the middle of the chest. It gets worse when children take deep breaths or press the middle area of the chest.

  • Xiphodynia:

This occurs when the child eats a lot of food, moves around, or coughs. It causes pain at the bottom of the sternum.

  • Pectus excavatum:

It occurs when your sternum is sunken inward and causes chest pain and other symptoms because your chest is in the sunken inward state which reduces the room for your heart and lungs to work properly.

  • Scoliosis:

This occurs when spine curvature bends outwards to one side or the other causing compression on the spinal cord and other nerves. This can distort the size of a child’s chest cavity and cause chest pain. Treatment is required to inhibit movements and prevent other health complications.


If your child has chest pain, visit our pediatric cardiologist clinic in Brooklyn. Our doctors make sure your child receives the best treatment and gets healthy as soon as possible. To book your appointment, call us on +1(347) 384-5690. The Cardiologists at Doral Health & Wellness consistently have outstanding patient satisfaction ratings. The professionals at Heart Specialist Brooklyn are able to greatly improve their patient’s health and quality of life because of their vast training and experience. New Yorkers can get the greatest medical, surgical, and cardiovascular care at Doral Health & Wellness Brooklyn. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.