Does your chest hurt when leaning or bending forward?

Does your chest hurt when leaning forward after having a meal?

Does your chest hurt when leaning forward while breathing?

Does your chest hurt when leaning forward and is in association with nausea sweating or dizziness?

If you want to identify why your chest hurts when leaning forward and want to know more about it, its types, continue to read the article you will surely get some tips, remedies of basic dealings with your issue.

If your chest hurts when leaning forward, there might be many possible reasons for the condition. Any condition that involves the lungs, causing Pleuritic chest pain, may be one of the reasons why your chest hurts when leaning forward.

Pleuritic chest pain may be due to pulmonary embolism, lung infections (viral, bacterial or fungal), ruptured bullous or ruptured emphysema, and other pathologies related to lungs like pneumothoraxhemothorax, pleural adhesions, alongside gastroesophageal reflux and cardiac related issues like Acute coronary syndrome, pericarditis, congestive heart failure.

Chest Hurts When Leaning Forward

What you will read next:

What does chest pain means and what can be the causes of chest pain when leaning or bending forward?

Chest pain is a discomfort beneath you sternum or you might feel that the pain you are experiencing is coming from your ribs, breast or any structure in your chest.

Your chest pain can be in a certain region or point, spread to an area, after having meals or coughing or at night after you dine.

Your pain can be sharp, burning, stabbing, aching dull or a heavy sensation. Your pain can be worse when bending or leaning forward. Your chest pain is associated with dizziness; palpitations, leg pain, low blood pressure, fainting or your chest pain has nausea, bloating or stomach pain associated with it.

You’ll learn more about your chest pain when bending over in the article continued below.

What are the most common causes of chest pain when bending forward?

  1. Heartburn/GERD
  2. Pulmonary embolism

It is a condition in which the gastric acid, food and other liquid substances flow up into the esophagus in a chronic manner, lasting more months. In this pain a person experiences burning sensation after eating or after a certain time at night. The pain gets worse after bending over after a meal. You might even have bitter or acidic taste in the mouth or chronic indigestion.

Causes of heart/GERD can be the abnormal or weakened relaxation of the esophageal sphincter which can worsen while we bend down.

Associated symptoms may include:

Risk factors for GERD:

These foods can be a triggering source for some people and includes:

Also if you’re pregnant or over weight this can be a risk factor for experiencing heart burn.

If not treated can result in complications like:

How to diagnose GERD?

When your chest pain changes intensity when you change the body position and may get better when you tend to straighten up and sit in contrast to when your chest pain worsens while bending forward.

In order to diagnose your chest pain when bending forward as a possible cause of GERD, your doctor may recommend:

To examine the shape of you esophagus and stomach.

To measure the pressure and movement of your esophagus

To check the abnormalities in your esophagus and may be tissue biopsy would be needed.

In order to examine for how long your stomach acid has been flowing back into your esophagus this test can be used.

Treatment and precautions of Heartburn

Best treatment for your chest pain when bending forward with these specific symptoms can be treated by treating this underlying condition of your heartburn. The best treatment is done with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and is a kind of medication that reduces your stomach acid. PPI helps to relieve your symptoms when taken for a prolonged period under the supervision of your doctor that can help this pain to be no longer a part of your life.

  1. Antacids which neutralize stomach acid and provide you with some relief.
  2. H-2- receptor antagonist- which reduce the stomach acid.
  3. Proton pump inhibitors- omeprazole, lansoprazole.

Prevention is better than cure and so can help here by cutting off your certain triggering foods or foods you might have noticed triggering your heartburn and consequently your chest pain when bending forward.

The better way to manage your symptoms is to change your lifestyle and medications.

Lifestyle changes are easy and helpful to prevent further damage which may include quitting smoking, eat smaller meals, avoiding tea, alcohol, and definitely to maintain a healthy weight.

When to see a Doctor for GERD?

  1. Recurrent episodes of chest pain when bending with associated symptoms of heartburn should be addressed early by your doctor before damage occurs.
  2. If you feel your symptoms other than the above discussed above and thus pointing towards some other cardiac issue related pain needs medical emergency assistance.

Emboli can be defined as the blockage in your vessels from a clot travelled to that place from some other.

Pulmonary embolism can be defined as a blockage in your artery suddenly that happens to involve your veins with clot in the legs, that may break loose and travel to the arteries of your lungs and get lodged there.

Less common cause of blockage include: air, cells of tumor, droplets of fat etc.

The chest pain is worse when a person bends forward and is obviously is associated with other symptoms that may direct a person to the underlying case of the chest pain when leaning forward.

Symptoms of pulmonary emboli include:

Other counted symptoms may include:

 How do you know you are at a risk of having chest pain when bending forward due to emboli?

How to diagnose your condition which is the cause of chest pain when bending forward alongside these symptoms:

Treatment and prevention of pulmonary embolism

Treatment may include:

Blood thinners which may prevent further formation and   prevent the formed ones from getting bigger.


If you have any of the risk factors including:

  1. Obesity
  2. Sedentary life style
  3.  Cancer
  4.  Recent pregnancy

and you are experiencing chest pain when bending forward frequently along with other symptoms suggestive of pulmonary embolism, your doctor may prescribe you with blood thinner and pressure stockings, and good movement in your legs when in a long ride or journey.

When to see a Doctor for Pulmonary embolism?

If your symptoms complete match up with symptoms mentioned above and with the risk factors above must seek medical help to prevent further complications and possible fatal outcomes.

Take away and summary

Chest pain when bending forward can be a sign of heartburn/GERD and pulmonary embolism but you definitely should not miss other cardiac causes like angina or heart attack. Non cardiac causes like GERD which is benign but can’t be ignored for long and cause potential damage to esophagus. Pulmonary embolus can present with serious life threatening symptoms like shortness of breath, tachypnea, bluish color of skin and nails.

Even if your symptoms wake you up at night, with sweating, nausea and difficult swallowing you should seek possible medical help.

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