Life-threatening... These are a few of the life-threatening causes (does not have to be very severe pain): 1) heart attack or impending heart attack, 2) aortic dissection (tearing of the aorta) which can lead to sudden death, 3) pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the vessels of the lung), and 4) booerhave's syndrome (rupture of the esophagus).
Other causes. Sometimes it's due to muscular pull or strain. Can also be due to a cracked or bruised rib. Digestive causes include gerd (acid reflux) & motility problems with the esophagus. Lymphomas and solid cancers of the lung (primary or metastases), heart, stomach, or spine can cause chest pain too.
Can be cardio-pulm. Common cardiac causes include ischemia (blockage of a coronary artery causing starvation of a piece of the heart), vasospasm of the coronary arteries (quivering), pericarditis (inflammation of the outer sac of the heart), heart failure (decreased pump efficiency). Pulmonary causes include pneumonia or bronchitis, embolism (clot usu. Blood), asthma or copd, fluid build-up and others.
MANY things. Chest pain can be caused by many things. F cardiac-related, it is again caused by a number of things. In fact, chest pain is one of the top symptoms of patients coming into the emergency dept and a number of tests and detective work through the patient's history and account of events is necessary to determine the cause. General causes can be cardiac, pulmonary, digestive, muscular, infection, etc.