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10 Proven Strategies on How to Relieve Chest Tightness

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Dominion Ezechibueze — 

Jan 13, 2023

how to relieve chest tightness

If you want to learn how to relieve chest tightness, this article is for you. Chest tightness or pain is a common feeling among everyday people that can be moderate in discomfort or excruciating.

Experiencing tightness in the chest can be very scary for most people, especially when it happens suddenly. It doesn’t always mean you’re about to have a heart attack but for older adults, sudden chest pain can be an indicator of a more serious health issue.

You’ll need to find out what is causing your chest tightness “asap” because the treatment will depend on the cause. In some instances, you might need immediate medical attention.

Chest tightness can certainly be a sign of a serious medical condition, but it can also be caused by everyday stressors, poor posture, or overtraining of the chest muscles without adequate recovery. It sometimes feels like squeezing or pressure in the chest, and it may make breathing difficult and cause pain.

In this article, we will discuss some common causes of chest tightness and how to relieve it.


Why does our chest get tight


One possible cause of chest tightness is anxiety or stress. When we are stressed, our bodies release hormones that can have physical reactions such as chest tightness and rapid breathing. This is more commonly known as a panic attack, which can be triggered by a number of reasons. For most people, their stress is found at work, school, or within their personal relationship/s.

To help relieve chest tightness caused by anxiety, l would find healthy ways to manage stress, like exercising, meditation, or finding a therapist to talk frequently with.

Another common cause of chest tightness is poor posture. When we sit or stand in a slouched position for extended periods of time, it can cause the muscles in our chest and upper back to become tight. This can lead to chest tightness, especially when we try to take deep breaths. Constantly sitting or standing in a slouched position puts lots of pressure on our diaphragm making breathing difficult over time.

To relieve chest tightness caused by poor posture, try to be mindful of how you sit and stand up. Try taking breaks while you’re sitting for work to stretch, and move around throughout the day.


how to relieve chest tightness


Overuse of certain muscles can also cause chest tightness. For example, if you are a runner or swimmer, you may experience chest tightness due to the repetitive motion of these activities.

To relieve chest tightness and pain caused by overuse, it’s imperative to incorporate rest and recovery into your training routine.

A good way to allow those muscles to rest is by cross-training with other exercises that target different muscles. Stretching and foam rolling can also help to alleviate muscle tightness.

It is important to note that chest tightness can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as a heart attack or asthma.

If you are experiencing chest tightness along with other concerning symptoms like shortness of breath, pain radiating down the arm, or dizziness, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.


How to Relieve Chest Tightness


Deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing can help relax the muscles in the chest and reduce tension. Try taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Sounds simple I know but most of the most beneficial things for our bodies are not complicated procedures.


Stretching can help improve flexibility and range of motion in the chest muscles, which can help reduce tightness. Try incorporating stretches like puppy pose or camel into your daily routine.


Massaging your chest can help relieve tension and improve your circulation leading to decreased pain. I would use a foam roller or a massage ball to increase the effectiveness of the massage. You can also use your hands to massage your own chest or have a friend do it for you if you don’t want to go to a professional masseuse.

Hot and cold therapy

Applying heat towels or cold packs to the chest can help reduce muscle tightness and inflammation. Heat improves circulation by opening up blood vessels and allowing more blood to flow through the muscle. Cold helps with slowing down or completely stopping inflammation.

Mobility training

Mobility training can help improve flexibility and reduce stress, which can both help alleviate chest tightness and pain. Try adding exercises like standing wall pec stretch, camel and wheel pose to your workout routine.

Proper posture

Poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances and increased tension in the chest. Try to be mindful when sitting. Minimize any slouching and try to always sit up straight, bracing your core. Also, use good posture while standing, not putting more weight on either of your feet and having the weight evenly distributed.

Relaxation techniques

Holistic techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help relax the body and mind, helping to reduce chest tightness and pain.


Did you know that your body is around 70% water? Optimal hydration is so important for your overall health. Making sure your body is fully hydrated can help reduce muscle pain and tightness. Drinking a gallon of water throughout your day should be one of your top priories when it comes to improving your health, especially if you’re experiencing chest tightness.


A healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, complex carbs and lean proteins can help improve your overall health and reduce muscle tightness.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and can help reduce muscle tightness. When you sleep, thats when your body fully restores itself and heals any internal damages. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

When to Call 911 for Chest Tightness

If you experience sudden unexplained chest tightness along with any of the following, please seek medical attention immediately:

·  Burning feeling

·  Cold sweats

·  Crushing feeling of weight on your chest

·  Difficulty breathing

·  Nausea

·  Pain that radiates to your jaw, shoulder blades, or left arm

·  Shortness of breath after inactivity


Lets wrap this up

So we went over 10 holistic strategies to help with your chest tightness. It’s important to still get advice from a licensed healthcare professional if your chest tightness persists or if followed by other severe symptoms.


Now you know how to relieve chest tightness and pain by implementing these strategies above.


Please share if you found any value in this article, and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter (BELOW) for tons of free evidence-based content.



No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinicians.

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