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Chest pain is a very frequent symptom in all age groups. It is probably one of the most commonly reported symptoms in human medicine, and, in addition, one of the most complex diagnoses to make, giving the fact that there are numerous possible causes of chest pain.

We can say that chest pain in adults under the age of 30 is rarely the sign of a serious cardiac problem, but since it is associated with almost all cardiac conditions, medical evaluation is of great importance. Young people often describe chest pain during exercises as a sharp pain or chest tightness, which begins during the training and lasts a couple of minutes afterwards. In some cases, the pain is so intense that it prevents the person from finishing the workout. Here are the most frequent causes of chest pain in young adults associated with physical activity:

Idiopathic Chest Pain

Even after detailed examination, in most cases of chest pain in young adults, the cause remains unknown, which is marked as idiopathic pain. Patients describe this pain as sharp and short lasting, with no other symptoms. This pain is harmless, but nevertheless, all the other causes need to be eliminated in order to make this diagnosis.

Musculoskeletal Pain

This type of pain can appear not only because of chest injuries, but also due to invisible injuries caused by incorrect performance of some exercises. Exercising errors impair the stability of the whole body, and cause slight damages in skeletal structures of the chest wall (joints and bones), thus causing the pain. This pain is commonly reported during running, and can be prevented by applying corrections such as: changing running surface, buying appropriate running shoes, lifting lower weights, and consulting an instructor to correct exercising errors.

Asthma-related Chest Pain

Asthma can cause pains during physical activity which are frequently described as chest tightness, and can be associated with shortness of breath. If you have a medical history of asthma, consult your physician in order to assess the current state of your respiratory function.

In addition, sleep disturbances, psychological issues, and stress can sometimes be associated with chest pain, especially in adolescents.

Cardiac Causes

Heart problems are often the first thing that frightens the patients with chest pain, although they are not common in persons under the age of 30.

Isolated chest pain during physical activity is less likely to be of cardiac origin, but if it is associated with high blood pressure, dizziness, or fainting episodes, the problem should necessarily be referred to a cardiologist in order to perform a full investigation.

Cardiac chest pain is usually accompanied by tiredness, excessive sweating, and lower physical performance than expected because of the exhaustion. Also, a long history of chest pain during physical activity without worsening and with no other features, is often harmless, while the new onset of chest pain requires more careful approach.

In conclusion, if you are under 30, fit, and physically active person, with no other symptoms than chest pain during the training, try to adjust your exercising habits first. If that doesn't help, refer to you health care provider for further examination and advice.

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