Chest pain is most often associated with diseases or damage to the major organs in the chest: the heart and lungs. Pain in the chest wall can result from other causes. Shingles often affects the torso and runs around the chest and abdominal wall. Diseases of the junctions between the ribs and the breastbone can also cause pain under the breast and with breathing. Diseases affecting the junction of the ribs and spine can cause painful breathing. Inflammation of the nerves under the ribs (intercostal neuralgia) can also cause chest wall pain. Sometimes the pain is due to areas other than the chest wall.
In Chinese medicine, pain the the chest indicates disharmony in the heart or lungs; in the ribcage and flank, liver and gall bladder disharmony; in the epigastrum (solar plexus) stomach and spleen disharmony.