A man is clutching his chest in pain.


How to relieve Chest Tightness

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Roland Liebscher-Bracht in a white shirt is kindly smiling.

Roland Liebscher-Bracht

Germany’s trusted pain specialist

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Chest Pain

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Discover How to Relieve Chest Tightness With This 3-Minute Stretch

A tight feeling in your chest and shortness of breath can set off an alarm bell that no one wants to hear: Am I having a heart attack? However, the sudden chest pain you are experiencing may be something much less serious and far easier to treat than a heart attack. The source of your chest tightness may be musculoskeletal, the result of a pulled or strained muscle. 

Your chest has three layers of muscles which are called intercostal muscles. The main function of the intercostal muscles is to support your breathing. When you inhale, your intercostal muscles expand; when you exhale, they contract. Straining or tearing an intercostal muscle can make your chest feel tight, which may lead to pain or trouble breathing.

Other symptoms of chest tightness are: 

  • Severe chest pain.
  • A pulling feeling in the chest area.
  • Difficulty moving your chest or upper body.
  • It feels like a heavy weight is on your chest.
  • A feeling of pressure in your chest.
  • Swelling.

If you are experiencing chest tightness or chest pain because of a strained or pulled intercostal muscle, you may have:

  • Injured yourself during sports or exercise.
  • Lifted an object that was too heavy.
  • Lifted a heavy object in an awkward position.
  • Not warmed up enough (or at all) before sports or exercise.

Tightness in the chest occurs between the top of your stomach and just under your neck. This tight feeling may be specific to one or several points of your chest, or it may cover the entire area. Each person experiences chest pain symptoms differently. The discomfort may appear and go away, or it could occur frequently. 

Our tight chest remedy is an easy stretch that takes just 3 minutes and all you need are two chairs. You can also perform our treatment for a tight chest in the corner of a room. Follow along with our YouTube video or check out the written instructions below.

Fight Pain with Information.

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Release tension in your chest muscles

A woman is about to hang between two chairs.
  • Place a chair to your left and right at arm’s length so that the seats are facing each other. 
  • Kneel between the chairs.
  • Place each hand on the seat of a chair and lock your arms.
  • Walk backwards on your knees until your arms are raised at about a 10° angle.
  • Position yourself so that your chest is parallel to the floor.
  • Keeping your head straight, lower your chest toward the floor and hang in this position.
  • You’ll feel a stretch along your pectoral muscles through your forearms.
  • Hold for about 1 minute.

If your hands start to slide off the chairs, bring them closer to you.

A woman is hanging between two chairs.
  • Press your hands against the chair with as much force as you can; imagine you are trying to bring your hands together. Hold for about 1 minute.
  • Release the pressure by imagining that you are lifting your hands from the chairs. (Do not actually lift your hands.)
  • On each exhale, bring your chest closer to the floor until you reach between 8 and 9 on your personal pain scale.
  • Stretch for about 1 minute.
  • Slowly leave the position, sit back on your heels, and shake your arms.
The corner of a room.


You can also perform this stretch standing in the corner of a room.


Perform our tight chest remedy 6 days a week until you feel like the pressure and discomfort in your chest has gone away.

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The Best Exercises and Tips against Chest Pain

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Chest Pain

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